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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Dickman
Michael Dickman
Poet Michael Dickman's second collection of poetry, Flies, received the 2010 James Laughlin Award...
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FURTHER READING
Poems about Faces
About Face
by Alice Fulton
Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face
by Jack Prelutsky
Iowa
by Kate Northrop
The Face Without Makeup
by Victor Hernández Cruz
When We Look Up
by Denise Levertov
Woman in Front of Poster of Herself
by Alice Notley
Poems About Fathers
'The child is father to the man.'
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Last 4 Things [That hard thread]
by Kate Greenstreet
A Boy and His Dad
by Edgar Guest
A Situation for Mrs. Biswas
by Prageeta Sharma
A Story
by Li-Young Lee
A Story
by Philip Levine
American Primitive
by William Jay Smith
Another Country
by Ryan Teitman
Auld Lang Syne
by Jennifer L. Knox
Blood
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Confessions: My Father, Hummingbirds, and Frantz Fanon
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Daddy
by Sylvia Plath
Descriptions of Heaven and Hell
by Mark Jarman
Do not go gentle into that good night
by Dylan Thomas
Father
by Edgar Guest
Father Outside
by Nick Flynn
Father's Day Cards
from The Princess [Sweet and low, sweet and low]
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
Grief Calls Us to the Things of This World
by Sherman Alexie
Her Father
by Thomas Hardy
How to Be a Lawyer
by Jordan Davis
Inventing Father In Las Vegas
by Lynn Emanuel
Lay Back the Darkness
by Edward Hirsch
Like Him
by Aaron Smith
Man of the Year
by Robin Becker
Meeting with My Father in the Orchard
by Homero Aridjis
My Father
by Scott Hightower
my father moved through dooms of love
by E. E. Cummings
My Father on His Shield
by Walt McDonald
My Father Remembers Blue Zebras
by Judy Halebsky
My Father's Hat
by Mark Irwin
My Father's Leaving
by Ira Sadoff
My Papa's Waltz
by Theodore Roethke
Only a Dad
by Edgar Guest
Parents
by William Meredith
Passing
by Carl Phillips
Poems about Fathers
Renewal [Excerpt]
by Chris Abani
Separation is the necessary condition for light.
by Brian Teare
Tended Strength: Gifts of Poetry for Fathers
The Ferryer
by Sharon Olds
The Idea of Ancestry
by Etheridge Knight
The Idiot
by Charles Reznikoff
The Portrait
by Stanley Kunitz
The Trouble Ball [excerpt]
by Martín Espada
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
To Her Father with Some Verses
by Anne Bradstreet
Toad
by Diane Seuss
Whose Mouth Do I Speak With
by Suzanne Rancourt
With Kit, Age 7, at the Beach
by William Stafford
Working Late
by Louis Simpson
Yesterday
by W. S. Merwin
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Shaving Your Father's Face

 
by Michael Dickman

First I get a father
from some city
of fathers

One with a neck

bright 
red

And with all the tiny bird bones in my fingers carefully tip his chin back into the light like love
     so I can see
     so I can smell

I tell a dirty joke, then drag the steel across the universe

There's nothing better
than shaving your father's face
except maybe
shaving

your mother's legs

My bedside manner is impeccable

The white foam
stays white


*


In the evening
his face attracts moths and women
sons 
daughters

It's as if his chin is made of Christmas lights, you have to shave the moths and family off
     it takes forever

The wings get all over your fingers

I like to use Merkur Super
platinum coated
stainless
steel

You could write on water with it

Rust free
Rost Frei

Made in Germany
so it will

last and last


*


Shaving my father's face
I'm not shaving
my face

I'm shaving my brain

Lifting
the gray folds
to get at
the pink parts

Stuffing toilet paper into all the tiny holes I cut so it looks like a field of red flags waving
     paper tulips
     love notes

The universe wants a close shave
it wants its hair
high
and tight

You could bounce a dime off dad's skin

My hand
on your face can you
feel it






From Flies. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of Copper Canyon Press.
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