Dan the Stickman

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Poetry
My name is Dan.
I'm Dan the Stickman.
I live with my Mom in her triangle blouse
There’s a triangle roof over our one-room house.
One day, my friend Stan comes to play
He says, “Hey man, let’s hang, man
Play hangman,” (I’m always hangman)
So I say, “Not today, Stan.”
Mom says, "But Dan, you love that game!"
And I say,

"Yeah, but there's a whole lot more to me
And in my bones I know I'm supposed to be
Completely free, casually,
Taking on the world beyond what we can see,
Can't you see? I'm not just any stencil
Drawn in pencil; I’m a utensil for a bigger plan
I'm taking a stand
I'm dreaming of ascension
To the world of three dimensions."

Mom says, "Dan, have you been drinking ink again?"
“I’ve just got this distance in my wide eyes filled with longing.”
She says, “Pick two.”
Instead, I draw some lines in the empty space
A perfect design in a perfect place
And while my friends watch tic-tac-toe on the tube
I show them my very first cube.
They're stupefied and stunned for a bit
Before they sneer, “Dan, that looks like crap.”

And though the pain has faded
I was devastated
Who was I to make it? I’m a pile of broken sticks
The one who always takes the hits
My father drew me with a grin
He used a permanent pen
So you’ll probably think I'm happy till you find out where I've been

Break that. Fight back.

I draw for hours every night and I do it again and again
There's a busy construction at the tip of my pen
As the ever-present effervescent vision of my eyes
Makes the contours of my mind’s shores materialize
Foreground. Background.
Behind me, everyone has sat down.
I wield the power of creation in a pen-on-pad invasion
That divines the shade and color of the
Universe unuttered. Watch!
They call me the next Michelangelo
I'm an artist and that means I stand alone
Handle lows; candles blown
I’ll put all my work on some sticky notes
When you flip it it looks like I'm dancing, though
Scholarship for animation, bro
Practice until I’m about to blow
Check it, my movie’s about to show.

Wait! Watch the screen.
It flickers, it illuminates, it splits the dark, now watch it
Light a halo like an intimate, imminent sunrise
Up high.

And as music hits the summer breeze
I’ll look back and in summary
Find limits that I needn’t reach
Till I have stretched this world complete.

See, I'm just like Dan
A bit of a stick man
But if ideals are just thin air
I’ll be a parachute.