In my experience, the Dickman brothers and their poetry are polarizing topics amongst creative writers. Most people really do either love or hate them. I’ll admit that I was in the latter camp, – I was suspicious of the Dickman public image, which is very Portland, cool and offbeat, and this prejudice ruined what individual pieces of theirs I read or heard read aloud – until, like a critic should, I gave their work a fair chance. When I actually read Matthew and Michaels’ poetry collections in full, I flipped.
Flies won me over to Michael Dickman. Mayakovsky’s Revolver similarly convinced me of Matthew. The collection, which West 10th reviewed earlier this month, is full of surprising language and metaphor. My favorite example occurs in The Gas Station, when Matthew encounters a gunman: “this guy came out swinging / a gun, his face like an apartment / that no one had lived in for years, / the gun pointing just above my head when it went off, …” Continue reading