Night of Stones

The night is my element.
I reach down
to earth and grass and stone.

My secret life
is this life
untouched.

Each time I climb this hill
and light a fire, the stars
and elements gather round me

like smoldering flowers.
There’s an insistence
in the wind. A voice.

Sometimes it is almost palpable.
Then drifts
off into the trees,

the shaded glen,
down to the river,
to the sea; I follow

listening, seeking
its strange power –
at the edge

where the sea gray stones fall
below the stone
of my stone, alluring

Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Savanna Winds

There is nothing here today. The snow man
chatters in the sun as if it were winter,
while acacia thorns close their leaves, and baobabs

their empty tendrils send up in arms of wind;
dry, dry the day, the closed horizon splayed
across the desert floor like some wild zebra

whose thirst has brought him to the brink –
left him shattered on the lip, the empty creek
below him; and, we, the travelers who peek on

still believe in innocence and tears; swift light
the sun makes of this shadow land, the broken
afternoon’s slow curve assumes its rightful place;

the panther begins its steady pace, the jackal
up above snips at us with added emphasis,
and looking at our empty canteen we know a truth

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

White Doves

He’s still sitting in that cabin all alone.
The clown mask betrayed him to a terror not his own.
The boards upon the dusty floor are sacred now.

Tears streaming down have faded now. White chalk
and the red glaze of rodeo days are all but memory now.
They told him that morning. His straw pink hat fell to ground.

They found him that way the next day. Swaying.
We walked him down that path one last time. Singing.
Side by side they face the emptied sky together. Resting.

Two white doves lit upon the rough grey stone. Cooing.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Note: Raymond Carver was a great story teller in the minimalist mode. What has influenced me from him was that ability that Beckett his master also had: to allow a tale to be revealed in what is left out rather than in what is said. One should in the negations of negations be able to discern the tale in the void rather than in the shiny lands of metaphoric light registered in words. It’s as if one held up a negative, one that showed nothing but the darkness, and in that darkness a tale unfolds its aura cast from the words that can never touch its truth. Pathos is a difficult form, there is always a tendency to fall into sensibility of emotional nostalgia and bathos. To the extent that this experiment has succeeded is through the elminative strategy that cannot say what should be said, the truth that become inacceptable in any tragic situation unrevealed.

But even more is the work of Robert Penn Warren and his last years of poetry…

Hawks & Love

She remains fixed
in a dream; solid

against darkness and light.

Her fierceness pierces:
the deep golden agate
in her eyes, alight.

Standing there ahead of time,
beckoning: she calls,
“I’m waiting,
lover.
Do not tarry long.”

She had a way about her;
a movement
in her thighs,
a gesture of surprise, 

a  motion always dancing;
her hands,
the way she touched me;
caressed my mind; night thoughts,


a glint in her eyes smile;
her
raven hair,
those coal-black braids, falling down 

bringing hawks laughter, above.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

 

A Dark Day’s Night

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. The more I think on it the more I look at the Left (who think the Justice system and privatization of Prisons is to blame…), and the Right (who blame the cultures or the poor and disaffected…). It’s neither, its much more insidious than either of these who want to moralize from Left or Right. It’s life on this planet and its organization. It’s how stupid we as a species are in our relations not only with each other, but with the planet itself. It’s our whole investment in a world of fictions that just don’t work anymore: Secular or Religious… they’ve failed us. We talk Reform or Revolution… it’s bullshit. Warmed over metaphysical crapology that never worked then and isn’t about to now. We never learn, we will continue repeating the same mistakes over and over like the mad creatures we are. I look around and see the stupidity of humans across the world. Genocide in Africa. Apartheid in Israel. War everywhere or the rumor of war. Ukraine and Putin. EU and U.S.A. boom time hedonism of endless trivializations. Prison System filled with the poor and disaffected run by private corporations. Drugs in Central America. Nothing but Cultures of Death, Destruction, and Despair on a planet wide scale. Noir at its finest.

But to be fair it doesn’t much matter what I think, it’s going to work itself with or without my moral outrage which is for the most part just one more stupidity among many. Neurosciences are revealing everyday just how little we have control over even the tiniest aspects of our own mental processes much less the processes of the planet and these large collectives we’ve enmeshed ourselves within. True, no place to go, either. No Outside. No, we’re all Inside now so will have to piss in our own stew as the old cliché goes. Oh, you wanted some good news did you. None here I’m afraid. And, I’m not even a nihilist anymore. I guess closer to a Realist, maybe even Pessimist at this juncture.

I look around at this supposed #Accelerationist Community with all their High Idealisms and moral bantering, normative navigational guidance systems that are staking out such wonderful new futures for us, planning initiatives to overcome the juggernaut of capitalist aggression, etc. I wish them…. luck? Ah, yes, luck… the great Wheel of Fortune, a spin on the wheel of chance and randomness. But there’s nothing random about what we’re doing to ourselves on this planet. Nothing. It’s a cold calculated world of instrumental reason with its own alien mindset wheeling and dealing its atrocities moment by moment across the board. Do you really think you can stop it now? Do you think I’m just another mad prophet of doom? Well… yes, you might have good reason to conclude that. I want defend this position: it’s not even defensible… it’s just what I’m doing at this moment. Being pissed about everything. Especially the world of our comfortable little pitiless bourgeois middle-class existence. We like to think that if we write enough poetry, philosophy, critiques, ad infinitum that someone will listen, someone will change, things will get better, we’ll all figure this out and work together and build a bright tomorrow.

NO. WE WILL NOT.

At least not till someone gets up off their shiny arse and does something about it other than talk… the planets full of chatter, the noosphere’s alive with buzzing idealists galore… everyone wants to change the world. But the problem is they can’t even change themselves. Caput. Until you realize its not the world that needs changing, but your own being – and, no, I want say – SELF… we are nothing more than mere temporary agents of that impersonal brain, that three-pound lump of power and capacity in our skull which we don’t even understand much less have control of – no, that’s all history now… belated? Too late? Is anything too late? No. Nothings ever too late. We can change, but we have to want too… Hell, even the greatest evil being that Shakespeare could imagine, Edmund in King Lear at the end was able to change, to feel remorse, and learn from his stupidity of intellectual pride… he listened to his own brain, realized just how vein he truly was and that for once in his life another human actually existed beyond his own narcissistic self-infatuated mirrors… he’d been loved…

Edmund said: “I pant for life. Some good I mean to do, Despite of my own nature.”

Maybe in the end this is all we can do. Even against our own dark natures we can awaken the courage to do some good. But what the hell is the Good? Do we even know it? All the normative bellowing want do much good for us in this regard. If you asked the major civilizations and cultures of the planet they’d just start a new war over The Good… who’s good, they’d say. So where does that put us. The Left and Right have their own Good. And, those don’t even align with all the third-world Good’s, nor even the differing cultural frameworks not aligned with the Western sense of our philosophical heritage. Whatever we decide is the good has to be something based beyond our own moral compasses in our useless conceptions of culture.

And don’t expect me to give you an answer to that one. How the hell should I tell you what the Good is for our time?

So… with that I feel better. It’s like a bitter pill, the old Saturnian black sun at the bottom of one’s hell needs to rise up and air itself from time to time… does it change anything? Probably not… I don’t expect people to change much anymore. I think we can agree we’re way too late for that… the planet will probably take us down that deep curve to where it wants… for us… it’s already a long slow dive into noir…