Monday, July 01, 2002

Jerry Hicks


Paper odors: sulfur tinge,
    moist rolled gruel scent. Each scrap
finger-print distinct.    Only months ago I was
   a butterfly on her thigh...

now constantly mono-directional.
   Zoom past Blythe, jibe at Albuquerque
"Wrong Direction!"

Then maybe lickety-split to Corpus. Toe-the-Gulf
sweaty clothes irritating like hollow complements.

   roll-ripping Portland bound,    gas
card greasy-fingers blackened.
  Only windshield & mirrors clean.
Del Rio static songs & pleas: Serve J-e-s-u-s!

Seat, floorboards strewn w/ crumpled maps,
   plastic bottles crushed,
   chewed foam coffee cups,
dirtynapkins, candywrapper scraps.

Portland to Laramie--checkerboard blare.
Can't savor the view, strapped in. No
   diversions; course locked.

  Miles clicking odo sanes me.
Days sandwiched w/ sleeps. Months vanish
like whole trains piercing mountains.
   Something pursues, often roars ahead.

Swapping energy for distance--
   swapped for time--swamping memories.
More & more: I am nose art

And Accept What I Can't

new. never tortured
.before. wasn't sure. i wanted
but . my job was.
that. or .Northern. Front. trench duty.
.none. i knew . returned
.with everything they left with.

go ahead, .peers said.... nothing. to it!
we're all .squeamish . initially..
they don't .really. feel
after a .few jabs.

toothless sergeant.
lost . foot, hand, . eye at the.. S . F .
.said, .Know. how your. guts
.growl, 'ts okay to .feel. for a fellow human.
Just 'magin. them
Makes it .easier.
They feel .like cattle, so's .better
for all.

true, tho. i never.
warmed. to it. like. . .the .men.
the .women, the .sick, the .elderly....
.but. .no.
.. .ne.ver. .got. .use. t.o
.th.eir. .piti.ful.
. .ol.. .age....
.woun't. .change..
.a. .thing.

Jerry Hicks: I thought for most of my life, "suicide is the only cure," but here I am at 65 with more lust for life each day, meds and all. No one can understand mental illness who doesn't have it. Compassion comes with incapacity. What is wrong? Why don't things work? The cure: Just slowly living through it--doing whatever it takes to survive. One day, colors come back for an hour. The first ray of hope.

Joe Hackworth Bruce Stater Rick Parsons Jerry Hicks Colin Van der Woude Shaela Phillips Martin Rutley K. R. Copeland Jack Cannon Dave Ruslander

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