Tag Archives: Online Writing

that other night when


Michael Dickel

dark crunches down
behind some planet
waiting to jump water
puddles seize land masses
swallow rivers flatten
mountains freeze lava
until we surrender willingly
to its subversive seduction
embrace folds contours
planes of existence
dimensions of imagination
suppressed memories
and skip over
an impossible sea
to an unknown continent
over remote tributaries and
beyond shadow peaks
until we burn with cold

that other night when
Digital art
©2017 Michael Dickel

3 Comments

Filed under Digital Art, Experimental writing, poems, Poetry, Writing

Wet Egret | Poem


Michael Dickel

Head hunkered down into shoulders,
an egret scurries across a muddy road—
desire for a different wilderness.

Wet and Cold
digital art from photo
©2017 Michael Dickel

Digital art posted on Instagram, FaceBook, and Twitter (via Instagram).


2 Comments

Filed under Digital Art, poems, Poetry, Writing

I Dove In | Hybrid Flash

Who wants to dive in? The monstrous conversations firing missiles and bombs across continental divides require your opinion now. Drop everything. Don’t think. Write your opinion!


Michael Dickel


Dove-In-Cubism

I Dove In – 1
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

Of course, that ad attracted my attention.

I wanted to leave my thinking cap in the brain-washer and drain my commonsense down the tubes; but the tubes turned into transistors and some chipped silicone took over the flip way I looked in the house of mirrors—interactivity leading to the monkey house on steroids, where advertisers don’t care about credibility, so long as you get with the click and join the cliques to which, of course, I would not want to belong, if they would have someone like me.

So, I figured the eight ways to solicit the attention of the ad-meister who wanted to hire a blogger—oh web-logger clear-cutting the civility forest into another barren desert chorus, eroding the floor until walking becomes treacherous and only traitors run away, seeking search-engine optimization.

Yes, I would love to be your dog…loving you is easier than rolling off a log…how much do you pay per posted blog?

I dove in.

I longed to fly missiles with alternative-facts and drop bombs across cyber-real fake-towns, across continental decisions divided—creating rifts with precision and dancing opinions on the heads of pins and needles, stitching together movie-scenery reality with microwave-ovens turned into spy-cams.

I Dove In – 2
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

It’s these special effects that affect our specialists, analysts of their own opinions and promoters of their sponsors’ narcissistic promotions.

I got the job that required me to not have evidence.

Cheesy gee-whizzes and long lists of coprolite anomalies, combined with contretemps dissent and troll binges of corporate-lite bridges, to rally the choir and preach to the troops—singing ditties, theme songs, and jingles jangling the long roots of the fake news.

Writing opinions I felt so free to despair, disparage, and dis-repair, all in fortississimo dissonance. I dropped everything—and everything dropped me—while I wasted away and waited for my just-desserts.

But I’m not any richer at a fiver per pitch, so the pitcher on the mound, on the way to a no-hitter, decided to leave town with a pitcher of beer.

Unpaid, tired, fired again, all my friends lost and me feeling lame…

I slid out of my gutter, stooped over I walked to the end of my talk with a stutter. The social meteors mediated my vacuity, and I consulted with campaigns, if they paid a large gratuity.

I Dove In – 3
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

It didn’t matter the theme, it didn’t matter the cause, I marshaled their resources and sent them off to Oz. The pawns moved the game, but the fans gave them fame, shouting and yelling without any words, “follow the gold-brick road.”

I came to the opinion that time chimed for warlords, loot fell to soldiers, and the boot landed on the bugler’s throat. But the consultant collected fees, no matter who died.

Leave a comment

Filed under Digital Art, Experimental writing, Hybrid, Poetry, Politics, Writing

Jerusalem’s Garden — Hybrid

Jerusalem Imagined and Recalled


Michael Dickel

א — Aqsa / Dome of the Rock / Temple Mount | Digital art from photo | ©2017 Michael Dickel

א
Digital art from photo
©2017 Michael Dickel

Jerusalem perpetually escapes the present. It slips into strong recollection—memory with all its failings constructing histories and narratives in dusty layers under and around every stone chipped by human hand. Human-hand made narratives, full of political failings, slip Jerusalem into side pockets.

And Jerusalem also slips, paradoxically, into a weak, almost-timeless desire—imagination with all its lust polishing each dreamed-of rosy-limestone stair and wall to perceptual perfection. The desired Jerusalem, the imagined Jerusalem, the recalled Jerusalem, recollect Jerusalem into a cacophony of dissonant and contested cries.

Rabbis long ago understood the multiplicity of Jerusalem and wrote of Jerusalem below and Jerusalem above—meaning physical and spiritual. They have been taken to mean below as this world, the present, and to mean above as the spiritual realm, the world-that-is-coming—which could refer to heaven or could refer to the future: mundane, redemptive, or apocalyptic.

I take the words to mean Jerusalem imagined (above) and recalled (below), desire imagining Jerusalem and faulty images memorializing Jerusalem piece by piece, piecing themselves together to build this city that dissolves the present with its creation.

This garden I now write from also slips from the present to reside in a dual-space of a strong past and weak future, of an almost-absent present, of memory and desire, of recall and imagination. Like Jerusalem, it exists only in the mind—like the real toad’s imaginary garden, a thought-experiment generating genres too slippery to grasp.

And since the toad’s garden exists only as a mental construction, let it slide now into Jerusalem, along a stone path from one cobbled road in the Old City to another, an opening on the west of the alley suddenly revealing the garden, a glimpse of possibility unanchored by actuality.

I have imagined it there, for the moment, so that I might recall it here in this text, something abstractedly vague as the toad croaks then splashes into its reflexivity, a mirror-pool of psychology and absence, a mere pool of sociological and political ambivalence.

White jasmine flowers trumpet from their dark shrubbery, arching over the entrance from the alley, nearly hiding the portal as it covers the East wall of the garden. Oleander stretches up the wall that encloses the North side of the garden. Bougainvillea stretches up the South wall. On the West, trellises of grape vines. Nearer the ground, short hedges of neatly trimmed lavender and rosemary border the square garden. These all strive for a square of clear blue above, the imagined Jerusalem.

Now, in autumn, only the shrubbery and herbal hedges bloom. If it were spring, narcissus would be blooming. In winter, cyclamen and anemones. In summer, planted annuals—petunias, marigolds, sweet alyssum. The tended grass remains green all year.

In the center of the garden grow two trees. A lemon tree wants to spread its reputation as the Tree of Life, but January fruits give it away. Next to it grows a tired olive tree, knotted-trunk peace-symbol. Its green fruit reflect glimmers of light.

At a distance from the trees sit four benches, each with its back toward one wall.

This garden does not exist, even while my mind sits in it, watching, waiting. I think I possess this garden, but then the toad’s trigonometric pool appears, just in time to disabuse me of foolishness. I don’t occupy this garden. It occupies my mind.

I am not alone here.

On the bench to my left sits an old woman. She has a basket of grape leaves next to her today. Some days she brings fresh dates, golden, unripe. Others, her basket holds za’atar, a spice mixture sprinkled with sesame seeds. She murmurs praise for her produce.

On the bench to my right, an ancient-looking man sits reading a book, most days. I cannot tell if he holds the same book every day or a different book. He doesn’t know, either. He reads it, pauses, mutters, cocks his head as though listening, and then continues to read.

Across from me a woman occupies the remaining bench. Her two children play in the grass in front of her. She watches them and smiles, but her eyes seem not to see the garden as they search some other place, subtly creating silence around her.

I think about what to write here. My children play behind my bench.

Four people have come to this space for generations. Each lays a claim on it. The four forget about the toad and its reflecting pool. They forget about the gardener, the people who live behind the walls that enclose the garden, or whatever may thrive beyond. They remember living here for thousands of years. They imagine living there now.

The four people reflect a me and you that do not cohere. We fall asleep here, and never leave. The dream unfolds.

There is no garden. There is a garden.

There is a Jerusalem. There is no Jerusalem.

I live in Jerusalem.

jerusalem3web

Jerusalem Imagined and Recalled
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

Leave a comment

Filed under Digital Art, Digitial Humanities, essay, Flash Experimental, Hybrid, Writing

coffee brews Wednesday


Michael Dickel

As he wrote Musée des Beaux Arts

Auden danced with Isherwood. He asked about a young man
who had caught their attention long ago in Berlin.
Brecht approved of their love; Gypsy Rose Lee kissed
their cheeks when she visited them on Fire Island.
Auden loved his suffering, embraced it in his bed
each night and held it close, making love with it
before he dreamt of flying toward the sun,
the smell of molten wax, the splash of water.
Just as the blue waves engulfed him
he glimpsed the amazing flashes of color—
yellow, red, orange, blue, green, purple—
of reef fish darting toward a bit of shelter,
smooth dark caves amid the sharp coral reef.

XIR3675

Pieter Brueghel, the Elder, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
Oil-tempera, 29 inches x 44 inches. Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels.

 


W. H. Auden, 1907–1973

Musee des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

 


William Carlos Williams, 1883–1963

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling
near

the edge of the sea
concerned
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings’ wax

unsignificantly
off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning


 

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Sunday brunch Tuesday


Michael Dickel

Deconstruction

I’ll take your hyper-inflated
phallus, ego-distended balloon,
id-fueled hot-air engine
that fills super-ego daydreams
to dizzying-heights of power—
and throw your craven, carved
wind on the fire of this year’s
revolution. Such a useless
log, poorly fit for fuel, and
barely at that, must burn
to ash before this dawn

comes, must rise in smoke
signals to call poets and
painters from themselves.
Then you can raise your
indistinguishable flags,
try to wave the smoke
from your eyes. We
will not be deceived—
we know who feeds
this all-consuming blaze.
And we will have

already come for you.
As you crawl out of your
wrecked ship of state,
we come for you.
As your cracked currency
drops from you, we come
for you. As you fall,
we come for you.
We come, not as you
imagine. With arms open,
we welcome you back to humanity.

Deconstruction-1-WEB.jpg

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Three poems | memory | gary lundy


gary lundy

you press the rewind button

watch the same scene over until loss regulates a breach into which we all might run. an accord found between two close friends. or the movement of others whose bodies sway in the moving waves of sound and traffic. ignore for a few minutes those things beyond loss. how to now return to those boxes assumed forever lost to landfill. or a closet or drawer of a stranger. bookcase or wall. all lost although finally not. when they remember to call and we aren’t home. particles upon particles. of the one now fallen to dust. our floor covered. fragments crack underfoot. the accumulation of wasted details. we might still find room to love they say. all the while you nod fighting off sleep.

 


Sunset memories


gary lundy

when i close my eyes i fall into disquieted memory

flood within frames of imagined past events no more real than the color blue. regard a quiet as if contemplation an everyday recurring event. where a newly discovered photograph compels analogy. you sketch out your days forgetful wander under unexamined happiness. when food runs low and wine sours. when they unexpectedly slap us our glasses fall break. the residual trace of others. cigarette butts tossed onto the ground. crumpled coffee and soda cups. plastics and cardboards surround and grow in clumps. so that one wearing miniskirt and handlebar mustache attracts our attention. out of a rising boredom in the everyday. looks prevail whenever ears focus on conversation or song. when there’s nothing to say napping comes too easily. they wonder why you ignore them. or if rather they take up all your attention and thus compel you to shut them out. not even at night when quiet attaches to the rooms are they able to amend the pain that constantly compromises any even slight activity. whenever it just doesn’t work.

 


Meron Area - 22


gary lundy

are there locators for those days when indispensable vacates.

when hours fly north with the geese. hard to notice you’ve been voiceless for two months three days. not that dates count for much other than broken promises. where contracts constrict our movement and leave us in state of compromise nonplussed. or rather while the water boils check up on their movement across rugged terrain. when they startle and spill coffee or sprouts stick to the cover over skin pleasure. those usual moments when everything doesn’t hold together. they wander alongside others delusional. wrap the morning plans in warm weather protection. otherwise they garner praise and smile wrapped in red. slow it to a tune on the radio. resolve not to subject themselves to errancy when in pursuit of unwanted attention.

 


cranes2difference


 

gary lundy and I have known each other forever almost, or at least decades, which is almost forever. We met at a philosophy and poetry conference in Canada and have been inseparable since, mostly online. Through those decades, we have continued to converse  poetically and philosophically through the personal.

His first book, When Voices Detach Themselves (Is a Rose Press), delves deep into personal space and comes out with cultural revelations. His most recent book, Heartbreak Elopes into a Kind of Forgiving (Is a Rose Press), dives even further, if possible, into the heart of matters, uncovering the space for forgiveness and a desire for continued connection—even from deep within introspection. We feel the power of pausing in order to understand how the outer world shapes us, especially through the ideas of relation/ship and loss.

gary headshotThe three poems above play on memory, nostalgia, and longing—the delusions of what we take as granted and the cracks and splatters of a glass of wine shattering on the ground of that false sense of knowing. Looking at it from my own contexts of distortion, gary’s work seems to play in a liminal space, on the boundary of what we understand but can’t articulate clearly in our limited, culturally-shaped language, with imagery that we understand without language, in that boundary where delusions fracture to reveal glimpses of our human longing for connection, and tones of desire form the pallette of his word paintings.

 


Shop Indie Bookstores
gary lundy’s poetry books can be found at Independent book sellers through Indiebound.


Digital art and photo of trees ©2016 Michael Dickel
Photo of gary lundy from his book Heartbreak Elopes into a Kind of Forgiving @2016

 

Leave a comment

Filed under poems, Poetry