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About this poet

Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1975, Michael Dickman, his twin brother Matthew, and his younger sister were raised by their mother in the neighborhood of Lents. He received his MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dickman's first collection, The End of the West, was published in 2009 by Copper Canyon Press. He is also the coauthor of the forthcoming 50 American Plays from Copper Canyon Press. His second collection of poetry, Flies (Copper Canyon Press, 2011), received the 2010 James Laughlin Award.

His many grants, fellowships, and residencies include honors from organizations such as the Michener Center for Writers, the Vermont Studio Center, the Fine Arts Work Center, and the Lannan Foundation. He was awarded the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University for 2009-2010.

In addition to writing, Dickman appeared in the 2002 film Minority Report with his twin brother, worked for years as a cook, and has recently been active in the Writers in the Schools program. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Dead Brother Super Hero

Michael Dickman
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

Flying around
the room
like a mosq-
uito

Drinking all the blood
or whatever we
have

to save us
who

need to be saved


*


I whispered     To the rescue
and sat
on the dead edge
of my bed
all night
and

all morning

My feet did not touch the floor

My heart raced

I counted my breath like small white sheep and pinned my eyes open and stared at the door

Any second now
any second

now


*


He saved my brain
from its burning
building

He stopped and started the bullet it my heart
with his teeth

Just like that

He looked down from outer space through all the clouds, the birds dropping like weights

He looked out
from the center of the earth
through the fire
he was

becoming

He stood in the doorway
and closed his eyes

His cape sweeping the floor

From Flies by Michael Dickman. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.

From Flies by Michael Dickman. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.

Michael Dickman

Michael Dickman

Poet Michael Dickman's second collection of poetry, Flies, received the 2010 James Laughlin Award

by this poet

poem
What are the birds called
in that neighborhood
The dogs

There were dogs flying
from branch to
branch

My friends and I climbed up the telephone poles to sit on the power lines dressed like
   crows

Their voices sounded like lemons

They were a smooth sheet
They grew

black feathers

Not
poem
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

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
poem
First I get a father
from some city
of fathers

One with a neck

bright 
red

And with all the tiny bird bones in my fingers carefully tip his chin back into the light like love
     so I can see
     so I can smell

I tell a dirty joke, then drag the steel across the universe

There's