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…