"My Dead Friends Come Back"

Random Musing
I've briefly written about Michael Dickman before.  "We Do Move On" was the imitation of his writing style that I wrote for my English 324 class last semester. Well, I realized, after some failed googling (I know, shocking concept) that it's very difficult, if not impossible to find a full copy of a particular poem of his: "My Dead Friends Come Back."

In my opinion, it's a great poem. My favorite of all his work. When you first read it, you might not understand exactly why I think it's so good. It might come off as convoluted, with no clear message, and as just another run of the mill contemporary poem. I believe that was my initial reaction to it anyways. After some time though, lines from the poem started running through my head. So I had to go back to the poem and reread it. And so slowly, I started to really like it. At this point, I even have the poem memorized.

Anyways, I thought I'd provide you all with a full copy of the poem. Since you're unlikely to go out and buy a copy of The End of the West, and I really think you should read it.

"My Dead Friends Come Back" by Michael Dickman

If you want to
come back, just you
I say it's fine

From the flattened universe
From His side
of the bed

Shave my head and put me in the ground with you surrounded by

Trillium or
something else

Shit and violets


If you want to
come back, just you
I say it's fine

From endless singing
From the icy branches
of evergreens

I want to trade you sunlight for starlight, or star for star, the night sky
             disappearing for
             coffee in the morning

What I want

I want to fuck you again
on the living-room


If you want to
come back, just you
I say it's fine

From your hijacked brain

From your skeleton
sparkling like change
on a countertop

Your life as light is just beginning in the cosmos, but you can come
             back if you want to

What a terrible place this is

Limping around
not in each other's arms
not like light
at all


  1. thank you for posting this, i needed it today and here it was


  2. I'm so glad it was there to look at - that I ever bothered to put it up. Hang in there. It'll get easier.


  3. This is my favorite poem ever. I know you posted it years ago, and may not see this comment, but I really appreciate you posting it. I own the book (it's probably one of my favorite books) yet I often find myself telling people about this poem and I've used this page so many times that I thought I'd thank you.

  4. Well thanks so much - it's nice to know it's proven useful to someone. It really is just such a lovely poem.


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