Some Stuff About Me:

My photo
I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Great great amateur poem from Matthew Dickman!!!

Image by Rabi Khan, Toronto


More than putting another man on the moon,

more than a New Year’s resolution of yogurt and yoga,

we need the opportunity to dance

with really exquisite strangers. A slow dance

between the couch and dining room table, at the end

of the party, while the person we love has gone

to bring the car around

because it’s begun to rain and would break their heart

if any part of us got wet. A slow dance

to bring the evening home, to knock it out of the park. Two people

rocking back and forth like a buoy. Nothing extravagant.

A little music. An empty bottle of whiskey.

It’s a little like cheating. Your head resting

on his shoulder, your breath moving up his neck.

Your hands along her spine. Her hips

unfolding like a cotton napkin

and you begin to think about how all the stars in the sky

are dead. That my body

is talking to your body slow dance. The Unchained Melody,

Stairway to Heaven, power-cord slow dance. All my life

I’ve made mistakes. Small

and cruel. I made my plans.

I never arrived. I ate my food. I drank my wine.

The slow dance doesn’t care. It’s all kindness like children

before they turn four. Like being held in the arms

of my brother. The slow dance of siblings.

Two men in the middle of the room. When I dance with him,

one of my great loves, he is absolutely human,

and when he turns to dip me

or I step on his foot because we are both leading,

I know that one of us will die first and the other will suffer.

The slow dance of what’s to come

and the slow dance of insomnia

pouring across the floor like bath water.

When the woman I’m sleeping with

stands naked in the bathroom,

brushing her teeth, the slow dance of ritual is being spit

into the sink. There is no one to save us

because there is no need to be saved.

I’ve hurt you. I’ve loved you. I’ve mowed

the front yard. When the stranger wearing a shear white dress

covered in a million beads

comes toward me like an over-sexed chandelier

suddenly come to life,

I take her hand in mine. I spin her out

and bring her in. This is the almond grove

in the dark slow dance.

It is what we should be doing right now. Scrapping

for joy. The haiku and honey.

The orange and orangutan slow dance.

~Matthew Dickman

I don't know much about Matthew Dickman, but I do know this. Every line in this poem is exquisite, every line dripping with entendre (double), every line makes me feel alive. When I finish reading this poem I want to have someone in my life who would rush to bring the car around so that I don't get wet. I want to dance again to Unchained Melody. I want to dance again with the one person in my life who will get it, who will know that when one of us dies, the other will suffer. I want the haiku and the honey. At some point, I will read this poem and I won't get tears in my eyes. I'm not sure when that will happen, though. Quid


Marion said...

This poem is amazing, and so not amateur! "Matthew Dickman is author of the chapbooks, Amigos (Q Ave Press, 2007) and Something About a Black Scarf (Azul Press, 2008). His first full-length collection, All American Poem, won the 2008 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize in Poetry. He has had work in Tin House, Clackamas Literary Review, Agni Online, and The New Yorker, among other publications." ~from:

Thanks so much for sharing this. I'm off to go buy one of his books! :-)Blessings!!

Marion said...

Imagine my surprise when I went to to find his books and discovered that he has a twin brother named Michael who is also a poet. How cool is that? Of course, I had to buy two books instead of one. LOL! Blessings!

quid said...

Marion... you are so cool.

Thanks for getting me to the right place to read more of his "stuff".


Valerie said...

I love this poem, too. You are right, just about every line is perfect. I'm going to look him up now, thanks for introducing him to us!

P.s. funny -- the word verification word here is "cheek" ; just like dancing cheek to cheek. Appropriate, no?

quid said...

Valerie... I love the word verification being "cheek". Delicious irony!


Kelly said...

Had to read this one more than once. Always the sign of a good poem for me.

I had Johnny Rivers' "slow dancing, swaying to the music" running through my head the whole time.

Serena said...

Oh, my gosh, how I love this! It's absolutely, divinely delicious, every single line of it.