michael dickman | my autopsy

6 02 2009

Poetry Dispatch No. 268 | February 4, 2009

MY AUTOPSY

by Michael Dickman

There is a way
if we want
into everything

I’ll eat the chicken carbonara and you eat the veal, the olives, the
aaasmall and glowing loaves of bread

I’ll eat the waiter, the waitress
floating through the candled dark in shiny black slacks
like water at night

The napkins, folded into paper boats, contain invisible Japanese
poems

You eat the forks,
all the knives, asleep and waiting
on the white tables

What do you love?

I love the way our teeth stay long after we’re gone, hanging on
aaadespite worms or fire

I love our stomachs
turning over
the earth

—–

There is a way
if we want
to stay, to leave

Both

My lungs are made out of smoke ash sunlight air
particles of skin

The invisible floating universe of kisses, rising up in a sequinned
aaahelix of dust and cinnamon

Breathe in

Breathe out

I smoke
unfiltered Shepheard’s Hotel cigarettes
from a green box, with a dog on the cover, I smoke them
here, and I’ll smoke them

There

—-

There is away
if we want .
out of drowning

I’m having,
a Gimlet, a Caruso, a
Fallen Angel

A Manhattan, a Rattlesnake, a Rusty Nail, a Stinger, an Angel
aaFace, a Corpse Reviver

What are you having?

I’m buying
I’m buying for the house
I’m standing the round

Wake me
from the dash of lemon juice,
the half measure of orange juice, apricot brandy,
and the two fingers of gin .
that make up paradise

—-

There is away . :.
if we want
to untie ourselves .

The shining organs that bind us can help us through the new dark

There are lots of stories about intestines .

People have been forced to hold them, alive and shocked awake

The doctors removed M’s smaller one and replaced it, the new
aaabright plastic curled around the older brother

Birds drag them out of the dead and abandoned

Some people climb them into Heaven

Others believe we live in one
God’s intestine!

A conveyor belt of stars and saints

We tie and we loosen

Minor
and forgettable
miracles :

from THE NEW YORKER, December 15, 2008





michael dickman | we did not make ourselves

19 09 2008

Poetry Dispatch No.252 | September 19, 2008

WE DID NOT MAKE OURSELVES

Michael Dickman

We did not make ourselves is one thing
I keep singing into my hands
while falling
asleep

for just a second

before I have to get up and turn on all the lights in the house, one after the
other, like opening an Advent calendar

My brain opening
the chemical miracles in my brain
switching on

I can hear

dogs barking
some trees
last stars

You think you’ll be missed
it won’t last long
I promise
——

I’m not dead but I am
standing very still
in the back yard
staring up at the maple
thirty years ago
a tiny kid waiting on the ground
alone in heaven
in the world
in white sneakers

I’m having a good time humming along to everything I can still remember
back there

How we’re born

Made to look up at everything we didn’t make

We didn’t
make grass, mosquitoes
or breast cancer

We didn’t make yellow jackets
or sunlight
either

——

I didn’t make my brain
but I’m helping
to finish it

Carefully stacking up everything I made next to everything I ruined in broad
daylight in bright
brainlight

This morning I killed a fly
and didn’t lie down
next to the body like we’re supposed to

We’re supposed to

Soon I’m going to wake up

Dogs
Trees
Stars

There is only this world and this world

What a relief
created

over and over

from THE NEW YORKER, September 1, 2008








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