Translations

Michael Dickman
My mother was led into the world
by her teeth

Pulled
like a bull
into the 
heather

She only ever wanted to be a mother her whole life and nothing else, not even a human being!

One body turned into 
another body

Pulled like that
by the golden voices of children

A bull 
out of hell

Called out
her teeth out in front of her
her children

pulling


*


First I walk my mother out
into the field
by a leash
by a lifetime
then she walks me out
our coats
shimmering

I brush her hair

Wipe the flies away from her eyes

They are my eyes

Who will ride my mother
when we aren't around
anymore?

Her children won't

Turned from one thing into another until you are a bull standing in a field

The field just beginning
to whistle us
home


*


Then I am led by the mouth
out into the yellow
field

The light turning to water in the early evening, the insects dying in the cold and coming
     back in the morning

 

Something has to come back

Wings and
shit

I have put on my horse-head

Led by a bit

A lead

My leader is tall and the hair on her forearms is gold

It is a miracle
to lower your eyes
into the tall grass
and eat

More by Michael Dickman

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

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 despite worms or fire

I love our stomachs
turning over
the earth

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

Shaving Your Father's Face

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 nothing better
than shaving your father's face
except maybe
shaving

your mother's legs

My bedside manner is impeccable

The white foam
stays white


*


In the evening
his face attracts moths and women
sons 
daughters

It's as if his chin is made of Christmas lights, you have to shave the moths and family off
     it takes forever

The wings get all over your fingers

I like to use Merkur Super
platinum coated
stainless
steel

You could write on water with it

Rust free
Rost Frei

Made in Germany
so it will

last and last


*


Shaving my father's face
I'm not shaving
my face

I'm shaving my brain

Lifting
the gray folds
to get at
the pink parts

Stuffing toilet paper into all the tiny holes I cut so it looks like a field of red flags waving
     paper tulips
     love notes

The universe wants a close shave
it wants its hair
high
and tight

You could bounce a dime off dad's skin

My hand
on your face can you
feel it

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