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Bob Hicok quotes (showing 1-17 of 17)

“Here, when I say I never want to be without you,
somewhere else I am saying
I never want to be without you again. And when I touch you
in each of the places we meet,

in all of the lives we are, it's with hands that are dying
and resurrected.
When I don't touch you it's a mistake in any life,
in each place and forever”
Bob Hicok
Other Lives And Dimensions And Finally A Love Poem

My left hand will live longer than my right. The rivers
of my palms tell me so.
Never argue with rivers. Never expect your lives to finish
at the same time. I think

praying, I think clapping is how hands mourn. I think
staying up and waiting
for paintings to sigh is science. In another dimension this
is exactly what's happening,

it's what they write grants about: the chromodynamics
of mournful Whistlers,
the audible sorrow and beta decay of Old Battersea Bridge.
I like the idea of different

theres and elsewheres, an Idaho known for bluegrass,
a Bronx where people talk
like violets smell. Perhaps I am somewhere patient, somehow
kind, perhaps in the nook

of a cousin universe I've never defiled or betrayed
anyone. Here I have
two hands and they are vanishing, the hollow of your back
to rest my cheek against,

your voice and little else but my assiduous fear to cherish.
My hands are webbed
like the wind-torn work of a spider, like they squeezed
something in the womb

but couldn't hang on. One of those other worlds
or a life I felt
passing through mine, or the ocean inside my mother's belly
she had to scream out.

Here, when I say I never want to be without you,
somewhere else I am saying
I never want to be without you again. And when I touch you
in each of the places we meet,

in all of the lives we are, it's with hands that are dying
and resurrected.
When I don't touch you it's a mistake in any life,
in each place and forever.”
Bob Hicok
“I love how intimate I've become with failure.”
Bob Hicok
“In other languages,
you are beautiful- mort, muerto- I wish
I spoke moon, I wish the bottom of the ocean
were sitting in that chair playing cards
and noticing how famous you are
on my cell phone- picture of your eyes
guarding your nose and the fire
you set by walking, picture of dawn
getting up early to enthrall your skin- what I hate
about stars is they’re not those candles
that make a joke of cake, that you blow on
and they die and come back, and you
you’re not those candles either, how often I realize
I’m not breathing, to be like you
or just afraid to move at all, a lung
or finger, is it time already
for inventory, a mountain, I have three
of those, a bag of hair, box of ashes, if you
were a cigarette I’d be cancer, if you
were a leaf, you were a leaf, every leaf, as far
as this tree can say.”
Bob Hicok
“Making it in poetry

The young teller
at the credit union
asked why so many
small checks
from universities?
Because I write
poems I said. Why
haven't I heard
of you? Because
I write poems
I said.”
Bob Hicok
“Let us all be from somewhere.”
Bob Hicok
“i can't prove this but i can't prove
you're a good person though i suspect you're a good person.”
Bob Hicok
“I like the idea of different

theres and elsewheres, an Idaho known for bluegrass,
a Bronx where people talk
like violets smell. Perhaps I am somewhere patient, somehow
kind, perhaps in the nook

of a cousin universe I've never defiled or betrayed
anyone.”
Bob Hicok
“My life the only thing that has been with me my whole life”
Bob Hicok
“Then I felt up silence. Then silence and I went all the way.”
Bob Hicok
“I will beg, will take to my knees, will listen to snow
stroking air, a sky of gasps, will open my mouth,
swallow, somewhere else the sky is falling,
somewhere else it gets back up.”
Bob Hicok
“When I say my name

I hear a burned-down church.”
Bob Hicok, Elegy Owed
“You might think and be so marvelously right about praise that you open your door one day and the day walks in and stays for years.”
Bob Hicok
“I had no business trying to see you leave, see death arrive, I owe you an apology, an elegy, I owe you the drift of memory, the praise of everything, of saying it was the best decision of my life, to hold you full, hold you empty, & live as the only bond between the two.”
Bob Hicok
“I think clapping is how mourn.”
Bob Hicok
“Truth About Love"

I apologize for not being Gandhi or Tom
the mailman who is always kind.

He makes his way every day no matter
the mood of the sky with our words

in a sack and Gandhi made the English
give India back without

taking a gun for a wife. My contribution
to the common good is playing

with the alphabet in a little room
while the world goes foraging

for food. I’m a better poet than man
and it’s well known how little

my verbs are worth. I am my only subject,
being the god of my horizons.

What saves me is that just beyond my skin
the world of yours is where

I’d rather live. The AMA says you’ve added
seven point six years to my life.

In a phrase, love is a transfer of wealth.
This is why Adam Smith gave up

romantic verse. In trying to say what can’t
be said I’ll take the Dragnet

approach. Just the facts. I’d be dead
sooner without you, you’ll die faster

for being a Mrs., raw deal can’t be more
clearly defined. To make amends

I offer ten percent more kisses each year.
Or do I do more harm the closer

we become? If yes, leaving would be love
and a better man might. But my thrills

are selfishly domestic. I like sweeping words
into piles and whispering good night.”
Bob Hicok, Insomnia Diary
tags: love, truth
“Torn


The internet’s all show, no actual cunnilingus
has transpired between us. This has been
smoke signals from eye to eye. And just
like the telegraph, the telephone
gave us a means to the ends of staying
ever closer to home, ever farther
from the ear we’d dot-dash
or whisper into, what a sad story
for flesh, marooned. First by the womb,
then the word traveled fast and free
of lips, now your hips can thrive
in my brain without entering my life.
I might as well be on the moon.
The evolution of communication’s
to mythologize togetherness
as we drift entropically apart.
That’s what the kids
call a thesis statement. But god
you’re hot, and your crescendo
of breath so fully apes
the real deal, is it possible
we can be islanded and still come
to prefer absence to presence,
the digital to the palpable?
I fear the question answers itself
by nodding to the fact that I
can write a poem and you read it
with no hand having touched metal
or paper or words that don’t dissolve
as soon as a switch is thrown.
Half of my soul says, Get used to it.
The other million percent begs, Don’t.”
Bob Hicok


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