by Gary Hicks
when i was a child we children would masterfully insult each the other. reputations rose and fell on our ability to not be the recipient of the last comeback cutting to the quick, the last razorsharp word to the heart. we could get volatile. there were things said that were more insulting than the dissing of our mothers especially if such sayings contained even smatterings of the truth. we would fight at the drop of a hat on a heartbeat if someone talked trash about our home furniture. orange crates! someone would sneer: y'all can't afford furniture! and we would throw down hard. noses would bleed. sometimes bones would break over those two words: orange crates. such mutterings took second place only to dissing a mother or father who turned out to be dead. for too many of us coming up poor, orange crates were all too real to us as living room kitchen, even bedroom furniture. most of us who grew up together are dead, pulling hard time, crazy or strung out. i who have survived the soft holocaust of the fifties and sixties long ago learned that words do kill whether spoken or unspoken, printed or censored. in these days i stack my books and papers in milk crates and cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling. all of my knowledge and more of my ignorance is contained in this collection. i am beyond fighting over orange crates. but i live in an age where i could die and even kill over ideas stacked in guerrilla furnishings.