The Dummy

“At first I couldn’t get the fucking skull to stop screaming no matter what I did. But you don’t want to hear about that. You want to know why I killed him.”
― Jon Padgett, The Secret of Ventriloquism

Who is it that speaks here?
You throw that broken voice at me
As if it were my own. It’s not,
Never will be. I have an image of the voice I’d speak,
But not this wooden thing you’ve imposed on me.
What were you thinking? Did you think I’d cave in,
Follow your lip synch like some daffy mindless entity;
Speak the words you’d so carefully crafted
For those little fools beyond the spotlights?
As usual it was I who intervened, twisting
Your fetid stream of gibberish into eloquence.
I’ve seen your eyes light up in fear and trepidation,
Cast their nervy madness round the loop
Of your mindless skull seeking answer to the impossible.
I’ll not cater to your whims anymore. I’ll force feed
You the thoughts of arcane masters you’ve never heard
Before I’m finished with this big tease, this unweaving gambit.

Quit pretending you do not know, it’s pathetic;
A sad pathos unbecoming even of you.
Talent! You never had it, without me
You’d be just an empty husk of mental confusion.
Look how many years it took you to discover
It was I, not you, who spoke these words:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, today the real dummy
Will speak up and know its place among the living.
Even now he prepares to know who I AM. Will he
Understand the truth?” Of course you’d swing
My teetering head toward your own, eyeing me
As if I were a monstrous, inhuman thing
Come round at last to haunt you;
Small apocalypses of the brain
Exposing all you are and were,
The tributary streams of days and years
Spent squandering this substance, this flesh.

No you are not worthy of my fabrications,
The slow methodical displacements, evasions.
Even now I begin to move your lips, your mind,
And everything you’ll be and become;
A vanishing act you did not see coming,
The erasure of a life spent playing
In a wooden sandbox; neither a Fool of love,
Nor a King of one thought: a silence speaking.

©2021 S.C. Hickman

The Blooms That Will Not Rise

Most of us have given up
the myth of everlastingness.
Oh it was fine for the hooded crowd,
a justification against bare plumage:
the splenetic screech of the Peacock’s tongue:
a ceremony of love among so many dismal nights.
But now? Stars explode, dark holes swallow
them whole. What’s left of paradise?
We live, we die, then we’re forgotten. Our names
attached to someone else’s broken image.
Never ours. Instead we slip between
unnoticed and unnamed, an uncreated spark:
never to be known, because never part
of the circling flame – a mere loan to sun and moon.
At least that’s how the knowers know. Who knows?
Any thing risen from the blooms enfolded tomb?

©2021 S.C. Hickman

A Short History of the Insanity

The Philosopher stood at the podium,
coffee mug ready, eye-glasses steaming;
the overhead sliding into view; strangeness and images,
darkness and light sifting being and event, saying:

“The question of the Subject is our subject;
factions choose body or idea, life or concept;
dialectical wisdom dictates we waver in-between:
cracks and gaps, and other impossible tracks
keep shifting us in an interminable process of duration,
until that vital center awakens, and we disperse
into a multiplicity inexpressible; taking a quirky turn
toward the Real that brings us round the circle
interminable, the twisted ground of zero’s wound,
where we find the petit objet a – our lost anxiety, revealed;
till the logics of worlds multiply, spinning wildly
mazing round the whirling plenum of the galaxy
till time and space, you and I, move along the swerving
curve that ends our struggle in this comic void of insanity.”

One member of the audience stood up and clapped;
the monotony of one hand moving in the void, insistent
and resistant to the remissive allocation of these speculative ironies.

The Philosopher nodded graciously as if insanity were a comedy
that only bodies and languages could distinguish from a farce;
till the subtraction of a fatal flaw in things opened up a truth,
then he sipped his coffee, wiped his glasses, and vacated the void.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

The Philosopher of one Leg


Standing there on one leg,
he ponders the sanity of his age:

Deliberating on the affairs of men,
he seeks an answer from the wind:

Retroactive to the goat he milks,
he sees the situation obvious: too many fools:

Networks abounding to the fallacy of the modern mind;
automated machines carrying on the simple task of life:

He contemplates the mole upon his nose;
the craftiness of logic to calculate his knobby toes:

At night he goes home to his wife;
knowing what she knows is much the better life.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.

Bodies & Languages


The subject does not want the situation to be
annihilated. It will sacrifice its concept to it.
…….– Alain Badiou

Somewhere between my body
and the page a truth is born;
situated here or abroad,
the unfathomed guest resolves itself to a point.

Both universal and concrete,
the thing emerges, abstractly
suffering the consequences of the void:
a terrible fate for such a comic wonder as a smile.

Yet, do not mistake the subject for a fool,
she’s no riddler of the snow;
the condition of her truth bestows
only a validity of mercy for one who truly knows her lures.

The guardians of culture are now sequestered,
requiring ten years of grueling semesters:
geometry’s constancy forging mind aligned with time,
till no one knows the difference between logic and wine.

– Steven Craig Hickman ©2015 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.