Author Archives: Rob Hickok

The Poetry of Paper Screams

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I’m having a blast writing again. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so prolific. The response to a number of the poems on Paper Screams is very encouraging. Since I’ve connected my media output to FB, Instagram and Google-Plus, a number of new readers have connected to me and they’ve begun to follow and comment. I’m really happy about that.

What I love most is being able to step out of my old wrangling with self and emotion to reach into imagery and stories about the things I love and dream about. I’ve captured the West, the desert, scenes of Europe and places that inspire me; rambling, I guess you could call it.

Having an audience is wonderful, of course, but I’ve found that reading through these considerably less introspective (and intense) pieces of work is pretty therapeutic. As always, my poetry exists as if I, myself, didn’t really write it. Each time I go back and read my own, I feel like I’m reading something from the outside of me. It’s true of my spiritual and emotional stuff, too, but the new things like the Lost Chalks Sessions really are fantastic to revisit.

As I’ve said a number of times in the past, I’d love to bookify my poetry. This time, I may be closer – there’s some real material to harvest from Paper Screams that could produce a couple of volumes. Maybe I’m not worth money, but for me, even if I’m the only interested owner of a couple of hardback Paper Screams anthologies, a couple of books would be something to hug myself over.

Instagram is important here, because I’ve been enabled to include images with my words, something I’ve toyed with in the past, but now finds a real medium in which it’s worthy. And to do a book with the same format sounds really cool. I’m inspired by Louis L’Amour’s Frontier, done with David Muench and other older books like Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland and the Oz books that have images. The purist “no pictures” bunch is missing a valid point in the experience department. Words are great, but there’s a whole lot more when you can emphasize your message with a well-selected and placed image.

Either way, that’s where I’m at these days. Nothing big, just a few words on my old favorite subject.


The Willis Project

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I’m starting a new project over on Paper Screams. It’s focused on my Grandfather, Willis Hickok.

I have a small collection of memorabilia from his life. Some drawings, artifacts, tools and such. I plan on writing, mostly poetry, but some prose, on these things and memories. Obviously there will be pieces of work including Grandma and others who are tied to this.

I’m soliciting anecdotes, photos or whatever else may be relevant in support of this project.

This will be an off-and-on, running theme for a long while, I suspect. But it’ll be good. There’s a lot of funny, emotional and historic stuff to work from.

 


The Answer is 42

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Today, this year, May the 4th, I’m 42. A party is in order. To be held at my place on the 6th.

1. Don’t Panic
2. Bring your towel
3. It’s mostly harmless
4. May the 4th be with you
5. Lightsabers, blasters, bathrobes and babelfish optional
6. Something pink – sharing the party with another friend who insists.

Here are some links:

Cafepress

Amazon

Etsy

Red Bubble

Pinterest 42 Party

Another Pinterest 42 Party

Another 42 Party

Yet another 42 party

And another 42 party

Related to 42 party

Suggestions for a 42 party

Music selections for 42 party

Some Google Images for 42 party

Because I still want it


On Writing Emergencies

Heinlein said it is a sickness. L’Amour said it had to be pursued. I’m inclined to agree with both. Heinlein also said that a poet who reads his work in public likely has other bad habits. So I haven’t read in public but maybe once in my life. I certainly think he’s right on that count.

So there are three basic times in which writing becomes an emergency. Emergency here is defined as a moment when all else must stop and words must be recorded. So the first two are fairly easy to identify – bad times and good times. The third is difficult and usually quite inconvenient. Any time between one and two.

Contrary to legend, one needs not be in a moment of reverie to have the bug hit. I get the call to write with little warning and at any time. Granted, many of my most prolific moments have been in the throes of depression or elation.

But this past week has seen a bender not tied to either. Life has been meh. Yet I have been compelled to produce a half-dozen pieces almost right on top of each other and not all of the same theme.

The Lost Chalks Sessions has most of the new work. And I’m enjoying it immensely. But there are some others floating in there as well.

What does all this mean? Hardly a thing, really. But I have always loved writing. And that’s about it for me.


The Lost Chalks Sessions

Over at Paperscreams, I’ve begun an exploration of some different themes in poetry. The title of this set is partly in tribute to Terry Pratchett, an author who has had a profound impact in the way I see the world. It is also, however, a journey into scenery and thinking about scenery.

Though I hadn’t intentionally devised this theme, I noticed something unusual. In all the poems I’ve written, only three fit what I am now writing. So I’ve kind of doubled down and begun writing in earnest to capture these images of places where I’ve been. Not limited to physical visits, they consist of things from my reading journeys and imagination.

That’s all. Just wanted to provide some insight on the new development.


Pipe Mania

Gold Briar PipeYep, I’m a Brother of the Briar. I’ve been trying out the blends and styles of tobacco and the amazing craftsmanship of these great toys for a few years now. Thought I’d share some of my collected discoveries.

There are a ton of pipe fanatics out there, and an equal ton of makers. My lasting favorite craftsmen are definitely Trevor Talbert, Dan Morrison, Geiger and Stanwell. The best site about pipes is definitely Pipemakers’ Forums (#1 of all time). Just For Him, Cup O’ Joes, and Iwan Ries are the places I go to first for shopping.

About Pipes
PMF
~ Pipe Makers Emporium ~
Tobacco Smoking Pipe Carvers at Pipe Show Online
PipeSMOKE Magazine Online
Main Page – Pipedia
My Love, My Pipe by Charles Hester (Book) in Humor
Passion For Pipes
Pipes & Tobaccos Magazine
Talbert Halloween
Pipe and Tobacco Collectors Blog
Fajka.org – Web site for collectors and smoking pipe lovers
Pipe Tobacco Reviews: Other Blends
pipes.org – the nexus of pipes on the net
The Briar & Leaf Chronicles
Pipepages.com
FOLLODER

Makers
Talbert
DM Pipes
Tyler Lane Pipes
GEIGER PIPES
Atelier Rolando

Vendors
The Briary Pipe and Tobacco Shop – A pipe and tobacco shop selling fine pipes, tobacco, cigars, humidors and other pipe and tobacco accessories
eBay – Smoking pipes, Tobacciana, Asian Antiques, Cultures Ethnicities items at low prices
mars cigars & pipes – Home – mars cigars pipes-including tobaccos accessories
Pipe and Tobacco Merchants
Cup O’ Joes – Largest Selection of Dunhill Pipes and Pipe Tobacco
Pipes – Tobacco – Accessories At PREMIER PIPES. We Offer The Best Smoking Pipes.
Just For Him Tobacconists: Welcome!
Smoking Pipes,Tobacco Pipes,Pipe Smoking Accessories,Pipe Tobacco,Pipe Repair and Restoration
Iwan Ries — Home
Payless Pipes and Tobaccos – Briar Pipes – Peterson
Tinder Box.com – Online Catalog
Wesley’s Pipes
PipesandCigars.com – Hometown Tobacconist to the World!
Watch City Cigar – Pipes – Items 1-10 of 428
NicksCigarWorld
TotemStar.com
Liberty Tobacco


The Sea Wolf

I’ve been out of touch with my writing side for some time. I doubt it’s coming back anywhile sooner. That said, I’m eager to at least throw some bones to the events around me.

I’m reading Jack London these days. I scored a free (actually free) collection of London’s works, purportedly complete, from Amazon last month, and cracked it open to discover the Sea Wolf. It’s a story about a privileged young man who gets press-ganged into service as a cabin-boy on the Ghost, a sealing vessel in the late 1800’s, or early 1900’s (not sure which).

The tale chronicles Humphrey’s growth from almost effeminate lifestyle to rugged, self-sufficient and hardened survivor thanks to the quintessentially amoral tutelage of Wolf Larsen, a virile, sailor of sailors who has incredible powers of both physique and mind, as well as utterly ruthless and particularly vicious moral convictions.

I won’t go further but to say that the philosophical and moral challenges in this story are profound and cause me to consider more carefully my own tenuous grasp of this mortal life which we all inhabit.

For my regular readers, The Sea Wolf is vitally connected to other readings of mine such as Shardik, Into The Wild, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (especially), and many of the survival stories I’ve read that are based in the late 19th century.

This is short, I know, and a tease of what’s in my mind, but I say again that my ability to write is not up to par with my thinking. Life is difficult enough that I can’t keep up on the keyboard what is running in the ether of thought.


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