blog post


16
Jul 2019
11:19 pm

More than whispers, less than rumors - Bob Hicok

More than whispers, less than rumors - Bob Hicok


The river is high. I’d love to smoke pot
with the river. I’d love it if rain
sat at my table and told me what it’s like
to lick Edith Piaf’s grave. I go along thinking
I’m separate from trash day
and the weird hairdo my cat wakes up with
but I am of the avalanche
as much as I am its tambourine.
The river is crashing against my sleep
like it took applause apart and put it back together
as a riot of wet mouths
adoring my ears, is over my head
when it explains string theory
and affection to me,
when it tells me to be the code breaker,
not the code. What does that mean?
Why does lyric poetry exist?
When will water open its mouth
and tell us how to be clouds, how to rise
and morph and die and flourish and be reborn
all at the same time, all without caring
if we have food in our teeth or teeth in our eyes
or hair in our soup or a piano in our pockets,
just play the damned tune. The river is bipolar
but has flushed its meds, I’m dead
but someone has to finish all the cheese
in the fridge, we’re a failed species
if suction cups are important, if intelligence
isn’t graded on a curve,
but if desperation counts, if thunderstorms
are the noise in our heads given a hall pass
and rivers swell because orchestras
aren’t always there when we need them, well then,
I still don’t know a thing.

 

My favorite line from this poem was:
"The river is crashing against my sleep
like it took applause apart and put it back together"

I liked that line because it captures something in words that I've had the pleasure to experience but never have been able to verbalize concretely. Contact poetry like this makes magic by way of unlikley comparisons and a fluid thread that ties the whole poem together with a particular sensation. I love the way this poem turns over on itself and weaves in and out through the lines. Reading this poem feels like I'm weaving between trees in a thick wood. 

I enjoyed this poem so much I sent it to my friend Natalie, her favorite line was:
"I’d love it if rain
sat at my table and told me what it’s like
to lick Edith Piaf’s grave."

It's wonderful how different readers grasp onto different aspects of a poem. With each re-read I take away something new, some image lands with greater clarity, greater weight, or more pizzazz. Each line is tangible and original enough to be a take-away-line for another somebody. 

I read this poem yesterday and today and it keeps layering on top of itself in my mind, which feels wondeful!

-- Danielle Falling