Emily Dickinson to the Rescue, by Michael Dickman

Standing in her house today all I could think of was whether she took a shit every

or ever fucked anybody
or ever fucked

God’s poet
singing herself to sleep

You want these sorts of things for people

Bodies and
the earth

the earth inside

Instead of white
nightgowns and terrifying
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


Her spine

Singing “Here I come!”

Her legs pumping
her heart
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

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

From the Lives of My Friends, by Michael Dickman

What are the birds called
in that neighborhood
The dogs

There were dogs flying
from branch to
My friends and I climbed up the telephone poles to sit on the power lines dressed like
Their voices sounded like lemons

They were a smooth sheet
They grew

black feathers

Not frightening at all
but beautiful, shiny and
full of promise

What kind of light

is that?

The lives of my friends spend all of their time dying and coming back and dying and
coming back
They take a break in summer
to mow the piss
yellow lawns, blazing
front and

There is no break in winter

I fall in love with the sisters of my friends
All that yellow hair!
Their arms

They lick their fingers
to wipe my face

of everything

And I am glad
I am glad
I am
so glad
We will all be shipped away
in an icebox
with the one word OYSTERS
painted on the outside

Left alone, for once
None of my friends wrote novels or plays, from the lives of my friends came their lives
Here’s what we did
we played in the yard outside
after dinner

and then
we were shipped away

That was fast-