Sunset in Wonderland

“I am always doing this. Walking around the old neighborhood, always

sixteen, moody and stealing cigarettes” (36).

I read Wonderland by native-Portlander Matthew Dickman.

I read not about a Portlandia-version.

I read about a place where an alt-right TriMet attacker is no surprise.

I read a Gen Xer’s recollections of the city I recall from my Millennial childhood.

I read about swastikas and inappropriate men touching women.

I read about skateboarders and homeless men.

I read about poverty and overt, violent racism and xenophobia.

I read about maple trees, crows, Rottweilers, cherry blossoms, and chain-link fences.

I read about pills, cigarettes, alcohol, beer, gender fluidity, and homophobia.

I read about starlings, sex, and Star Wars.

I read about disillusionment, the thick grime that covers Wonderland.

I read these poems because I am not a poet.

I read to conjure these ghosts from the past that haunt present-day Portland.

I read because this could be any city in any town but it’s not.

I read because while so many poets are obscure and abstract,

I read Dickman because his work is vivid and cutting.

I read that some poems were published in The New Yorker and other literary gems.

I read this and know these visceral poems affect people across the nation.

I read poems that are almost micro-fiction in their narrative power.

I read and read and read and want to read more.

[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Kindle
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | iBooks[/alert]

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