REVIEW: 24 HOURS – MATTHEW DICKMAN (ONE STAR PRESS / POOR CLAUDIA)

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24 Hours by Matthew Dickman

I went to my mother and asked her to stop talking.

I went to my mother and asked if she would hold me.

I went into a city I didn’t know and I was ok with it.

I went into a city I didn’t know and something like an accident killed me.

Matthew Dickman is a fun, unapologetic writer. He has proven this time and again in previous poems, and this chapbook is no different. A repetitious, full throttle adventure inside of a Picasso splatter, this is what poetry is for.

I lost my body in the fight for my body.

I lost my brother because his body hated him so much.

I lost time.

I lost the way and was happy and the moon was above me.

I lost the feeling in my fingers.

I lost some friends but found a secret room in my apartment.

Each poem has a different first few words for each line (I went… I lost… The light… etc.), binding together each poem while being vastly different from each other in a way that made you HAVE to read all of the book in a single sitting. You wanted to see how the next poem would bleed into the previous one in a focused, pulling way.

I did go out and find what I was supposed to find.

I did what you wanted.

I did go missing.

I did like the way your hands were cool in the movie theater.

I did wonder when I was going to die.

I did get excited.

There are no lost lines here. Every word is needed. Every stop almost obvious in the reasoning behind it, not in a simplistic way, but instead in a “whew, I can breathe now” kind of way. I was there with the speaker of the poem, no matter how many twists we took.

I made you think you were crazy and also laundry was hanging.

I made a place where I could go on-and-on.

I made longing out of a toothbrush.

I made a goodbye and so long and fuck off and what are you doing.

I have long been a Matthew Dickman fan, and this hard nosed collection is why. From funny to gut-wrenching in the same line, sometimes for the same reason, he is one to watch now and in the future. Not just to see what comes next, but because it will no doubt be of great import.

Purchase your copy through One Star Press. 

Wil Gibson writes reviews in partnership with The Poetry Question and Drunk in a Midnight Choir. 

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