The Lover’s Pact

Even now you can find it
where the old oak still stands
down by the river,
by the muddy bottoms,
where the brown flows on –

carrying us away

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.

10 thoughts on “The Lover’s Pact

    • Absolutely… I first got an image when I was a teen, with a young girl from Port Arthur, TX… we drove to the Mississippi river had a picnic then told ghost stories that night… kept thinking of the fire, the water, the oaks… all those other books and memories … pop… the trigger of the poem… what’s weird I could have written a full story… but of late I’ve been working with this notion of leaving out everything but the base line affect and letting the reader fill in the gap with their own past readings and images… 🙂

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      • You do it well. I’ve been ping-ponging – yet to find my style – which is foreign for me, as when writing years ago (I had stopped for nearly 8 years), I had a particularly noticeable style. I would prefer to write as you do – where there could be a full story, but instead you leave a notice – letting the reader fill in the gaps … yet on the contrary, I keep finding myself writing entire stories in short form. I am perplexed – though I do believe there are 2 scenarios going on in my life – stealing my creative music and taking over my writing … because somewhat like you, I used to just find memories or images and merely put it to words in a dream type state of “gappage?” LOL 🙂

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      • True… I think it also comes with a complete confrontation with the poets that mean most to you. Truly our poetry is a sort of interpretation and carrying over of the inner songs of our predecessors. What’s makes a poem unique is when that echo is no longer caught of the other in your poetry, but of the other having by strange relation read and written their poems after having discovered and fell in love with yours. This strangeness of time is the element in which all poetry comes from the same place and time… a sort of middle-realm where everything folds into this dimension in certain resonances and vibrations.

        Leaving the metaphysics: one falls in love with specific poets works and becomes so enamored of that work that one either dies of it or creates great poetry out of and against it… you’ll find that!

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      • If I write one more thing/story/poem/mention of this yoyo relationship – even I’m going to get bored of my blog and lose intrigue to follow myself!!! LOL

        Any input or words of wisdom you might choose to offer would be welcomed with open arms.

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      • Who is your favorite poet? Also… who is your favorite poet critic? If you have one? For American poetry I follow to some extent Angus Flectcher who has written extensively on both the rhetoric and notions of American poetry within the context of democracy, naturalism, and ecology etc. But is well steeped in most of the poetic traditions.

        I think the most difficult thing for a poet(ess) is to trust one’s inner ear, Milton would have called it his inner muse that shapes the poem. Content can typically come from almost anywhere books, news, one’s life, etc. But what I call the trigger – and, that reminds me, you might read Richard Hugo’s The Triggering Town – is a place, memory, or person that suddenly becomes the hook of the poem: the site where all the images coalesce…. most of the time for me its the image that comes first, then a story evolves around it. I typically will write the story out in prose first, Then I’ll go back and write it again as poetry leaving out or eliminating the terms in the narrative that seem either too personal, topical, or historical… for me I want the reader to associate the images and connect it to their own lives if possible.

        Being more of an elegist or having a sort of poetry of belatedness of having come to late into the world, with a tradition to overburdened by great writing and poetry, I seek to convey certain affects rather than figures of thought per se. Of course the thoughts are present always, but it’s the emotions in the thoughts that matter to me.

        Now I don’t know if this is the type of poetry for you or not… you may be seeking other things. But that’s just it: you need to put down into words just what your seeking, visualize what you want from poetry, then seek out poets and poetry that seem to exemplify that. For a woman it could be almost any poet… but I might also recommend certain great women poets: Elizabeth Bishop, Hilda Doolittle, Amy Clampitt, Carolyn Kizer, Sylvia Plath, Marianne Moore as well as my favorite Black Mountain poetess: Mary Oliver…

        Beyond that I like to go back myself to Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Conner and reread their stories and some of the southern writers they influenced… so many good ideas for stories and crossovers from your own life and the weavings from stories you love can infiltrate poems. As I said before its all been done before… one could got to Anton Checkov alone and gather the base set of stories of the earth from him alone, he was and is the greatest of the story tellers… from their its a matter of weaving the legends, myths, history of one’s place and time… one’s life…

        Of course the technical side is another matter: but John Hollander’s little book Rhyme’s Reason and Mary Oliver’s books on verse making are to me unsurpassed.

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