Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Anthologies Feature—Issue 38, February 2014)

Abraham Smith & Shelly Taylor
Hick Poetics

I remember the negative stigma of rural or even worse regional when I was coming up & especially the heat of these words around the graduate schoolhouse.

But I had always been country when country wasn’t cool, saw the shine in it, never hung my head, rather hung the banner the trees & said myself welcome home.

I thought c’est la vie, what a wonderful thing to carry on the tradition of the singers of the stalk, cause this is what you know to bone.

This idea of reclaiming the pastoral, I say where has it gone as if to gather up again & place name over?

Granny says you can’t never get by where you’re from.

If America is, as Charles Olson reminds, all SPACE, then what does it mean to be a local of the horizon. Let the hayseed sing of her own golden stalk for once.

Hick Poetics had a need to get born; this assemblage of rural voices never done before in this manner; this going back to the ground; right now in southern Georgia I know I won’t never get by.

We of the land unbridled, wild. What’s out past the hayfield is nobody’s biz. We who know it is December, the land’s need to fallow. It is our responsibility to speak the language of the holler. Hick: it is ours; we who are reared out of the strange wind, we who ran to it or from fast as two pistols.

And so Abraham Smith & myself, joined at the hip in our understanding of hickness, lovers of the road that hits dirt & keeps on going, we decided it was our responsibility to do something, a powerful gesture to call together our brethren of the hinter, the bonafide. Let us create a gathering for you.

Calling all hicks. We went the fenceline, we called beyond. Calling you, you sickle wielders, you transparent eyeball, you calloused crooners, you edgy dweller took to the land, made it yours. Yes, we have a sense that you mother was the arboreal silence & your father a culvert of leaves. We have a sense that you are or were once a local of the horizon not totally beat up by interstates, the open spaces still existing you won’t never get by.

Hick Poetics: dropping late 2014 from Lost Roads Press. Get your gun.