after Bob Hicok
I do not want my mother to die. My mother does not want her mother to die. Her mother does not want her husband to die. Her husband does not want his son to die. His son does not want his daughter to die. His daughter is too young to pronounce death, let alone decipher it. Three days later, when her grandfather will die, she’ll be braiding her doll’s hair. Thirty-six years later, when her father will die, she’ll be looking, with ocean eyes, at her six-year-old daughter braiding the hair of her doll. Three days later, tired of the doll, her daughter will ask her the question she did not ask her mother: where do they go? She won’t know what words to put in her mouth, so she’ll leave her mouth open. She’ll chew on it all night. Nobody wants to go somewhere they can’t return from, do they? But then, who wants to go so far only to return? My father cuts the strings of kites when they’re way up in the sky. The world is full of kites like these.
—from Poets Respond
January 19, 2022
Karan Kapoor: “Bob Hicok’s birthday is today. I write poems because I want to make someone feel the same way Bob’s poems make me feel—full of wonder, beauty, joy and innocence. Each of his poems take me to a place beyond suffering. I imagine it’d be easier for Sisyphus to roll his boulder up and down the hill if there was Tchaikovsky in the background, or I was reading him Bob’s poems. I do not like that we write tribute poems to poets only once they’re dead. Bob Hicok is alive and writing the most surprising poems and deserves to be celebrated every day, but especially today. I’m so glad that he was born. His poems make me want to be a better person.” (web)