It is good to be awake early in the morning, alone with the evaporating mist of dreams.

Are all dreams apocalyptic? Is all classical music bombastic? Yes and yes.

Yesterday, riding the bicycle at dusk, a brief scent of fire ants.

Among other things, “bombastic” means pompous. “Pompous” means self-important.

True or false: Everything is self-important.

The days and nights we are allotted are often viewed as a kind of capital, as units to be spent or hoarded, another fetish for the consumer.

Everyone should be married at least once. However, a broken engagement will, in some cases, suffice.

Hildegard von Bingen is okay by me.

In dreams there can be love and forgiveness, too.

My expired passport. What a fresh face!

Can a thing be self-important? Strictly speaking, no. But I am not so strict.

For many years I courted disaster, chaos. I thought this had something to do with art.

“… [T]hat indescribable state where words are absent not because they are stopped by the iron bars of a cage at the zoo but by the limitations of that bone-covered binary electrical system which, in Calvino’s case, broke down on September 19, 1985.” –Gore Vidal, “Calvino’s Death” (1985)

Honor: To be truthful, within reason. To be conscientious. To be compassionate. To be empathetic when it is impossible to show compassion. To be humble.

Vidal is an exemplary materialist. He winks at love, but I suspect he has been in love many times.

I understand why people equate sex with politics. In both endeavors, one sets out with half-formed ideals and a certain amount of naiveté.

New values at the Supermarket.

The average human lifespan is astonishingly ephemeral. Every day should be a holiday.

I arrived in Glasgow on February 4, 1999. My passport expired on December 9, 2008.

Through travel and reading I have determined I would have been happy being born just about anywhere at any time. Just about.

My accent always sparked conversations with the Glaswegians I met in shops or pubs. I was surprised by the overwhelmingly pro-American sentiments I encountered. I had expected the opposite.

When I think of all the mutually dependent functions of the human body it takes to produce consciousness, I am slightly unnerved.

“Ward Marks” would be a good name for a character in a novel. In real life such a name would be absurd.

It was winter in Glasgow. Everyone seemed to be wearing the same puffy light-blue parka.

“Woman may be made from man, but no man can be made without a woman.” – Hildegard von Bingen

No one wants to be thought of as a superstitious or dogmatic sort. This goes against the cult of originality. I think the close reading of history proves nothing is original and most people are stuffed with leaky superstitions and tired prejudices.

Hard work stings the eyes with sweat, makes muscles ache. If the soul aches, this too is proof of hard work.

Life without friendship is unimaginable to me. But certainly there are friendless individuals for whom friendship is unimaginable.

The empires of the past are gone, and there is no reason to believe our current empires will fare better in time, even corporate empires. The creation of empires is, perhaps, the greatest of human follies, though admirers of empire are always with us.

To “speak truth to power” is regarded as a virtuous act, though power is usually deaf.

The rest of the world is waiting for the old guard to get out of the way.

The idea of the commodification of art is now inseparable from art. The desire to subvert this state of affairs leads to much bad art.

The desire to return to first principles is healthy, as a desire. In practice, it is impossible.

First, speak truth to a dog. If the dog understands, one may proceed.

A pilgrim journeys in foreign lands. This is the singular action that defines a pilgrim.

There is a certain horror at which we must be allowed to laugh, or we are prisoners.

My dreams frequent old, sprawling houses, where I live with my friends.


John Hicks keeps his distance from the abyss. A guy could get hurt.

About the Author

John Hicks

Havin' a wild weekend.

John Hicks lives outside the city limits, where eagles dare.

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