Foul mood. Then I think of how New York smells versus how Amsterdam smells.
I'm still in a foul mood but have at least the distraction of realizing I can't characterize
the smell of New York. Amsterdam is easy: pot. Every few bright doors: pot. Pot
and pancakes and water in the grachts and half-grachts. Now I'm saying gracht
as I walk in a foul mood while thinking New York smells of piss, piss and spit, piss and spit
and road grime, road grime and piss and stilettos and taxi cabs and honking. And Paris
is a cat that licks itself clean every morning. And London smells gray. And Venice
smells of sinking. And my wife smells like sleep. I am no longer in a foul mood. I am walking
toward the hour of resurrection. I am walking with the intentions of a gymnast to handspring
and bound. I sniff under my right arm and call it New York, New Amsterdam. I am where
I am going, I am where I have been. But no man is an island, no woman an isthmus, no parable
a peninsula, as far as the crow flies. Every time I throw you a rope, I forget to hang on.
You throw it back, the air between us predominately rope-shaped. All this gallivanting:
if there's no place to stand there's no place to sit. If there's no place to sit,
I should set my chairs free to roam as buffalo used to, my jealous table will follow, my rooms
will empty into the great beyond as I will, but what about the great here? Where is that?
And don't tell me the great here isn't here. I am here and can smell a lie, can smell dew
better on my knees. It looks like I'm praying but I'm not. I'm collecting wet knees.
I'm biting the Earth. To cherish. To taste the source. To get even.
Bob Hicok


Bob Hicok

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