Brian Dickson

Beyond Thirst

I'm in the other room
extending my ear for the rhythm
of your fish-gasps. Sister
softens the ice on your lips.
As the first drop spawns
a river on the floor-glides

a calm stretch.
When you think no one listens,
worms dress in their best segments,
make a list of your delicacies.

After the Myth Retold in the Kitchen

Butter in the pan wheeled-

The hearses
circled the cemetery, their lights tied
to each other like elephants' tails;
they roamed
the graveyard for scattered bones.

While the rain-night carved
the cars' breath, the stove's fire
sucked back-

my breath too.
The yellow still rounded the pan,
and my holey spoon scooped
for butter,
dug for forget.

Boulder Ridge on Fire

You knew flame would come
at the brim
of dusk:

stone cradles
scrub oak
big sagebrush



where lichens first flaked
from limbs in their downward


And here, on the carnival street,
Tezcactlipoca* dancers donning masks
with obsidian orbs, turquoise foreheads, reflecting-

soaked hillsides unctuous torsos rage gut burn down

at feet

spread of ash laden corn
sifted off the first knuckle


introspective noses held close to the curb
for a smell of the yellow brick road
in smolder gray

plenty of cameras mirrors with bright


are we positive

in smoked mirrors


the back palm clearing cheeks

* In Aztec mythology, he is the Lord of Smoking Mirrors, purveyor of chaos.

Brian Dickson balances his time between three realms of education with tutoring, farming kindergarteners, and teaching in the cyberworld. He enjoys spending time riding his bike to work and around Denver cultivating an awareness of things around him.

"Actually, there haven't been many front porches in my lifetime, but I remember a dirt porch on a farm where I used to work during high school. This sacred place (if I may be so bold) is where you could never quite enter in the house because you had to recall the day's work, the alfalfa fields, the hay bails, the plows, the heifers, and always the compacted basketball court. Of course there is some nostalgia-narratives arose from the june bugs, from the Natural Light, and the tabbies rolling in from a prowl.

"What I have now is a small porch in Denver overlooking an alley. The alley light and I have accepted our share of the loss; loss not necessarily good or bad, but just is, as you attempt to search for a way to blend into the landscape."


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All photos were taken at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, by Sameera Kapila and Herpreet Singh.

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