God I miss Bill Hicks

An essay written by Hicks shortly before he died. Published after his death by his parents.

I was born William Melvin Hicks on December 16, 1961 in Valdosta, Georgia. Ugh. Melvin Hicks from Georgia. Yee Har! I already had gotten off to life on the wrong foot. I was always “awake,” I guess you’d say. Some part of me clamoring for new insights and new ways to make the world a better place. All of this came out years down the line, in my multitude of creative interests that are the tools I now bring to the Party. Writing, acting, music, comedy. A deep love of literature and books. Thank God for all the artists who’ve helped me. I’d read these words and off I went – dreaming my own imaginative dreams. Exercising them at will, eventually to form bands, comedy, more bands, movies, anything creative. This is the coin of the realm I use in my words – Vision. On June 16, 1993 I was diagnosed with having “liver cancer that had spread from the pancreas.” One of life’s weirdest and worst jokes imaginable. I’d been making such progress recently in my attitude, my career and realizing my dreams that it just stood me on my head for a while. “Why me!?” I would cry out, and “Why now!?” Well, I know now there may never be any answers to those particular questions, but maybe in telling a little about myself, we can find some other answers to other questions. That might help our way down our own particular paths, towards realizing my dream of New Hope and New Happiness. Amen. I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.

Posted in Comedy, Politics & Activism, Religion | Leave a comment

POEM: unlocked

unlocked

the surprise was
      that the door opened
      when I pulled the handle
so few do these days
as a kid pretending to be
      a hero in a game
      involving dice
I remember we could run
      into a church
      for sanctuary
when the monsters got too close
I need it now more than
      my fictional self did then
I need a door to be open
      the soft light through
      stained glass
the quiet only holy places bring

/ / /

10 October 2017
State College PA

Posted in My poems, Poetry, Religion | 1 Comment

How To Talk To Your Kids About Christopher Columbus

This oughta do it.

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House Concert: Ross Hammond

Last night my fiancee-in-crime and I hosted our first house concert. A couple dozen people piled into our living room to listen to Sacramento’s Ross Hammond – Guitarist? play an hour of blues, spirituals and improvised music on the resonator guitar. It was a magical night. I want to share some of it with you, so here are three of the songs Ross played last night. Find his music at http://www.rosshammond.com.

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POEM: Ed, John, Kevin, Mike, Sid & Me

Ed, John, Kevin, Mike, Sid & Me

he stood beside me
(I was five)
dressed in black
white at the throat
when he spoke
others paused to listen
but it was a power
he didn’t abuse
I knew, in that moment
he was who I wanted to be

he stood in front of me
(I was 13)
cream-colored robe
trailing the floor
rubber chicken
in the basket of
his bicycle
which he’d ridden
down the centre aisle
of the church
I knew, in that moment
he was who I wanted to be

he stood across from me
(I was 15)
in the parking lot
at marching band camp
taught me a song by
Genesis (the band, not
the book)
told me he didn’t believe
in the invisible man
I hadn’t realized
that was an option
I knew, in that moment,
he was who I wanted to be

he stood in an alcove
(I was 22)
a statue of burnished wood
incense filling the room
with sandalwood
the temple was dim but
glowed nonetheless
I bowed my head
found my footing
took a deep breath
I knew, in that moment,
he was who I wanted to be

he stood before
the gathered workers
(I was 33)
spoke into a megaphone
salt and pepper beard
close cropped hair
a regular suit, but
that familiar white
at the throat
he led with a quiet fire
told them Jesus
stood on the side
of the worker, not the boss
I knew, in that moment,
he was who I wanted to be

he stands before me now
(I am 44)
a face reflected back
in the steamed mirror
of the upstairs bathroom
he looks older
still has the goatee, but
his cheeks are fuller
he’s taken a long road
to this place
to the comfort of
“I don’t know”
the strength of
“but I know what to do”
I know, in this moment,
who I am and who
I want to be

///

Jason Crane
2 October 2017
State College PA

Posted in Atheism, My poems, Poetry, Religion | 1 Comment

POEM: this changes nothing

NOTE: I post this every time there’s a mass shooting. It hasn’t been wrong yet.

this changes nothing

you know that, don’t you?
in a few days we’ll go back to our coma
back to our flat-screen televisions
our high-definition getaways
six people? nowhere near enough
at this point, we’d need rivers of blood
flowing past the grocery store
submerging the church pews
to even catch our attention for more
than a 24-hour news cycle
for shock value I could start listing
the daily death tolls
of those without health care
or the number of children who go to bed
hungry or abused each night
right here, in the richest…
but you know the story
or choose not to know it
for less shock value
(because who really cares about them?)
I could tell you how many civilians
were killed today in Iraq or Afghanistan
or Gaza or Pakistan or Yemen
by us or by our allies or with our weapons
but what’s the use?
a new season of your favorite show
will start soon and you’ll plop down
on your couch with some popcorn
or a nice plate of nachos
and go back to sleep
in a few weeks you’ll have to
Google this date to figure out
what this poem is about
and in another few weeks after that
so will I

///

Written in January 2011 after the shooting of …

Posted in My poems, Poetry, Politics & Activism | 1 Comment