Biography of Michael Dickman
Michael Dickman is an American poet born August 20, 1975 in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Field, Tin House, and Narrative Magazine.
Dickman attended and graduated from La Salle Catholic College Preparatory, after which he attended five colleges (Portland State, the University of San Francisco, Portland Community College, Marylhurst University and the University of Oregon). He received a fellowship from The James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. In 2009, he received an Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University.
His poem "Returning to Church" was awarded the 2008 Narrative Prize by Narrative Magazine. Dickman's first book, The End of the West, was published in 2009 by Copper Canyon Press. His second book, Flies (Copper Canyon Press, 2011), won the 2010 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.He is also the coauthor, with his twin brother Matthew Dickman, of the 2012 poetry collection 50 American Plays, published by Copper Canyon Press.
He along with his brother Matthew starred as the pre-cog twins, Arthur and Dashiell respectively, in the 2002 Steven Spielberg film Minority Report.
Michael and Matthew Dickman were the subject of an April 6, 2009, New Yorker profile.
Michael Dickman Poems
From The Lives Of My Friends
What are the birds called in that neighborhood The dogs
From The Canal
Something breathes on a dead deer and the hair inside its ears wave
When you cry like that you sound like meat being tenderized by hand Beaten, flipped and beaten again If I'm deathly quiet it's because I want to hear the muscles flatten The sun pours in from the other shore and runs its fingertips over the shank Like a butcher in love! Here- you can wipe your hands on my apron * It's not heaven it's the early dark Everything fighting to be seen Hands and stars Sometimes the bed seems to be made entirely of skin Sheets of skin Onion and Egyptian my legs, your stomach Honey I can't stop grinning I'm having so much fun trying to relax around your fist * It's as if we're both standing on the wilder shore of some immaculate kitchen, our towels folded neatly, into bleached-white columns I love your spine, chef Serrated Butterfly Bird's Beak I love your technique Lifting the veins up carefully in the early light and then putting them back down again Lifting them up Putting them back Lifting them up * Do you think there's a difference for the Lord between slow dancing in the kitchen at night, no music, your arms around my neck, and later my face in your ass? I think His home is covered in dark leaves cicada wings and promises a peaceful night a perfect death * Are you hungry? Do you want to get up? Do you want some coffee? I want to bow very low all the way to the ground actually lie down my face pressed hard against the tiles my arms out, and bow to your fingers your parents who put you here your legs the backs of your knees your mouth your chin how you smell how you smell at night bow to your voice across the kitchen crooning Come here Come back I'm going to bend you over my knee
FOR THE NIGHT
The mare kicks in her darkening stall, knocks over a bucket. The goose… The cow keeps a peaceful brain behind her broad face. Last light moves through cracks in the wall, over bales of hay. And the bat lets go of the rafters, falls into black air.
Emily Dickinson to the Rescue
Standing in her house today all I could think of was whether she took a shit every morning or ever fucked anybody or ever fucked herself God's poet singing herself to sleep You want these sorts of things for people Bodies and the earth and the earth inside Instead of white nightgowns and terrifying letters * Here she comes her hands out in front of her like a child flying above its bed at night Her ankles and wrists held tightly between the fingers of some brightly lit parent home from a party Flying Her spine spinning Singing "Here I come!" Her legs pumping her heart out * Heaven is everywhere but there's still the world The world is made out of cancer, house fires, and Brain Death, here in America But I love the world Emily Dickinson to the rescue I used to think we were made of bread gentle work and water We're not but we're still beautiful killing each other as much as we can beneath the pines The pines that are somebody's masterpiece
Daffodils shimmy in the dilated onion grass their hearts out Shelovesme Shelovesmenot Smeared against the sidewalk Urine left in the toilet all day simmers under halogens Listening to someone else breathe listening to static cling Time to wipe down the refrigerator with a handful of ibuprofen and a bandanna soaked in tonic water Butter-butter Black lemons Pine-Sol • Daffodils shimmy in the dilated onion grass their asses off Other yellow flowers I don't see you yet Noon tears down the street a terrible kid on a brand-new Now I remember the faces of tulips Speechless Yellow peaches sweat inside brown paper bags Press your forehead against the pit in the perfect peach and everything will stop moving how about that? • Daffodils shimmy in the dilated onion grass their eyes closed Close your eyes I close my eyes Families of worms work their yellow way up through clouds in the mustard air Slams into the yard Pollen lies down on everything it just lies down sun the color of photosynthesis and that's fine Birds bark inside houses Yellow fingers work the yellow spine
My Autopsy (Excerpt)
There is a way if we want into everything I'll eat the chicken carbonara and you eat the veal, the olives, the small and glowing loaves of bread
My mother was led into the world by her teeth Pulled
Shaving Your Father's Face
First I get a father from some city of fathers One with a neck
Dead Brother Super Hero
You don't have to be afraid anymore His super-outfit is made from handfuls of shit and garbage blood and pinned together by stars
Where We Live
For John Guare I used to live in a mother now I live in a sunflower
The redbreast kills and kills itself against the window
I sit down for dinner with my dead brother again
Dead Brother Super Hero
You don't have to be afraid anymore
From The Canal
on a dead deer
and the hair inside its ears
Water fills the black eyeholes that keep seeing everything reflected back from skidding