Green Migraine

Michael Dickman. Copper Canyon (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (98p) ISBN 978-1-55659-451-9
Dickman (Flies) creates personal, lyric panoramas of the blurred spaces between imagination and reality in his third collection. He contrasts violence and beauty throughout, generating momentum through clever wordplay and free-association to highlight the fragility of language and what it’s capable of describing. Many of the poems are constructed in brief, sparse lines punctuated by a more flowing digression, as in “The redbreast kills/ and kills itself against/ the window// sooner or later the blood in the breast will break the window into hundreds of pieces you can swallow whole.” The form allows him to reflect on varying spans of attention and the flittering of the mind between the dreamed and the lived. This is notable in his three poems titled “Butterflies” and enacted more subtly in his five colored migraine poems (“Green Migraine,” “Red Migraine,” etc.), the imagery in each of which is tinted by its own hue—white, red, yellow, green, and black. Dickman demonstrates a sharp wit and is a keen observer of how language and place shape perception, his poems forming a thesis on how the psychic and the corporeal wrangle with each other in subtly beautiful ways. The contained chaos within these pages is a fantastic reflection of the world from which they spring. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 01/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 98 pages - 978-1-61932-146-5
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