In his early 20s, Michael met Guy Davenport (1926-2001), the man who would become his mentor and have the biggest artistic impact on his life. Davenport was a globally recognized polymath – a professor, a writer, a painter, a translator, and recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant.
Michael fondly remembers a snowy Saturday morning during one of his many weekend visits to Guy’s house where they first discussed Guy’s controversial novella, Wo Es War, Soll Ich Werden. The title was taken from a famous quote by Sigmund Freud that translates, “Where it was, shall I be,” or “Where id was, there ego shall be.”
Inspired by their conversation, Michael wrote a collection of poems that emulated Davenport’s colorful use of language, blending it with a passionate interest in eastern spiritual traditions and an exploration of Freud’s concept of the ego.
Michael titled this early work Soll Ich Werden, as its motive was to reveal “where ego shall be” as known from an awareness he had experienced that was able to objectify the ego.
Soll Ich Werden stuck as the over-arching moniker for Michael’s aesthetic, one that lives at the intersection of contemporary poetry, American culture, developmental psychology, and the remembrance of Non-Separation.
Today, Michael continues to publish poetry collections and is now experimenting with short films shot on his iPhone.