Mayakovsky’s Revolver is his second full length volume and it is easy to see why he has won the awards. From catch opening lines like “ no dog chained to a spike in a yard of dying/grass like the dogs/I grew up with…” And “Because I miss you I have made a pile of clothes/along the bed, your exact height and weight.” Or “There’s no telling what the night will bring/but the moon./That’s a no brainer.” Try this one: “The only precious thing I own, this little espresso/cup. Finally, “I’m thinking about the ancient Egyptians/and how when someone died/they would separate the body forever in four jars…”
And those are only the beginnings! Lest you think this book is one of humor, be cautioned. Dickman’s poems are about loss and grief, remembrance and sadness. Even the book’s title recalls the Russian poet who committed suicide like so many other poets have done.
The title poem tells a lot about Dickman’s poetic powers, his thoughts and ability to translate them to paper: