In Bed. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop.

The homestead El Caserio i Bizkerre lodged upon the wall

has a large gable’s end symmetry, slightly

skew whiff in the canvass that encompasses it. I wonder if

she’s painted herself from within to without

 

Where she stands now, a cut out dark silhouette, on a patch

before the facade of splotches, daubs of windows

doors, heraldry shields, terraces, hatches. Two doors, right side

sharp, left a blur but can i enter, what will i see

 

She knows she’s concealed from me?

what will i find, dusty jars, a winding stairway, creaking

floorboards, a chest of drawers, which i will open

to secret treasures, but no, i am without with her dark silhouette.

 

What is that luminous blob suspended above

her head by almost invisible silvery strands of arms embedding it?

All in the foreground, the sharp, the blur, paths

to each door, blotches of rockery, smudged plants, dollops

 

Of green lawn. Overhead, a red angle roof, in the sharp, crows

swarm in a blue sky, where it blurs, branches

stretch to entangle, notch the gable corner in weird distortion.

Beside this painting is another, a naked Madonna

 

A faceless oval she kneels, arms clasped behind her sleek black

parted hair, her armpits bared to reveal the taut

of her breasts, her curves in orange & gold dust.

Is it she who waits behind these doors?

 

When night falls the sea is a distant death

is The Bed that is a Tree hewn from the stump

of an olive tree, drilled as a bed

post, as a mould for the rest, around which the chamber

 

Was built, waiting for us to enter?

She is more beautiful than her painter & we know it

but perhaps if we enter together

the splashes of paint will be softer than our creaking bones.

 

* In Bed. Italics. The Bed that is a Tree. Kim Lansky. Italics. The Odyssy. Book xxxiiv.

 
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Robin Ouzman Hislop, born UK, a reader in philosophy & religions, has travelled extensively throughout his lifetime but now lives in semi- retirement as a TEFL teacher and translator in Spain & the UK.
 
Robin was editor of the 12 year running on-line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times. In 2013 he joined with Dave Jackson as co-editor at Artvilla.com, where he presently edits Poetry Life & Times, Artvilla.com, Motherbird.com.
 
He’s been previously published in a variety of international magazines, later publications including Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review (Appalachian University, N. Carolina), The Poetic Bond Volumes (thepoeticbond.com) and Phoenix Rising from the Ashes (a recently published international Anthology of Sonnets). His last publication is a volume of collected poems All the Babble of the Souk available at all main online tributaries

 
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Richard Lloyd Cederberg Reviews All the Babble of the Souk

      ALL THE BABBLE OF THE SOUK

A personal reaction/essay from:
Richard Lloyd Cederberg
________________________________________
 
Initially the title of the book puzzled me. ‘Babble’ and poetry seemed antithetic. But Robin’s usage of the title in the first poem – ‘Africa North’ -seemed to be hinting at something vaster in scope. “All the babble of the Souk, men over there, over there women. All the life of the planet, so little part of it that I breathe” This made it seem like a sweeping vision from a finite point of view. After reading various poems, I saw that the poet’s work was alive with surreal vignettes; visual snippets patched together to create a montage of life’s mysteries, colors, and characters. This particular observation was supported (I felt) in a verse from ‘Lucky Hat Day’. “The world is a patchwork quilt, stitched up to the hilt its seams, which we quarter in our dreams, on which our edifice is built.”
 
Soren Kierkegaard said: “The poet can understand everything, in riddles, and wonderfully explain everything, in riddles, but he cannot understand himself, or understand that he himself is a riddle.” At that point I knew that attempting to dissect the poet’s work in a grand intellectual context was the wrong approach. Besides, I wasn’t qualified. Instead I would read it as if I was sitting under a waterfall and offer back the stimulating way the content was washing over me. First and foremost… I purposed for a better grasp of the title. Something that made sense to me. With that I felt I would have a better chance at apprehending the contents. So that’s where it began.
 
Book titles, for me, are kinda’ like figureheads on the prows of wooden sailing vessels; a face on it, but not the power of it. This title seemed to be corroborating all the chaos and noise humanity makes living their lives and hawking their philosophies and products in a global marketplace. Certainly this obvious interpretation had some merit, but it didn’t seem (to me) to affirm the books ultimate scope. Still curious; I dug into the definitions and discovered something intriguing. There was one definition that stood apart and became a key that started a trickle of water for me.
 
BABBLE as an intransitive verb: to talk enthusiastically or excessively. To utter meaningless or unintelligible sounds. To make sounds as though babbling. As a transitive verb: To utter in an incoherently or meaninglessly repetitious manner. To reveal by talk that is too free.
SOUK… a marketplace in North Africa or the Middle East.
A fuller definition: A marketplace in North Africa or the Middle East.
A bazaar. Also: a stall in such a marketplace. It became personal here.
STALL… A small area set off by walls for a special use. A booth where articles are displayed for sale. The water began to flow stronger now.
 
The Poet’s Stall. You can call it whatever you want but each of us has one. Mind. The seat of the faculty of reason. The poet’s singularity of cogitation. Senses. Telescope. Microscope. Binoculars. Tools. Oxymoron. Pun. Idiom. Simile. Onomatopoeia. Hyperbole. Alliteration. Personification. Metaphor. A verse from ‘The Pine at the Summit’ offered a glimpse into the process. “My mind’s a needle scratching sky, bleeding a sigh of shadow, as through tension of this extension, I summit into ascension.”
 
All poets require a safe [set apart] place they can enter to assimilate and interpret the world around them. A place where they can observe the mysterious vastness of life without being overwhelmed by it. I could visualize, then, a place set apart in the midst of a noisy-plagued-global-marketplace, where the poet could readily analyze, understand, and express the essential (and non-essential) elements of all that was being observed and felt; locally, from his travels, and in a broader global context. Robin’s poetry found the cracks in my defenses then and began hydrating me. Each reading, after that; the content became more meaningful.
 
As someone once said: “It requires wisdom to understand wisdom; the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.” Many say that poetry is an [almost] dead art form. I’m not so sure about that now.
 
For me personally: the essence of profound insight is simplicity. If poets only cater to poets then a part of the ‘souk’ is deprived. Some say poetry is painting with the gift of speech. If this is true, and I believe it is, then Robin’s work, to me, evokes, M.C. Escher, Robert Raushenberg, and perhaps (at times) even Salvador Dali. Readers take caution. Robin is a poet’s poet. A reasoning philosopher who sees life vastly different than most, and, who channels much of what he sees and feels into his work.
“As he affirms in ‘Clear Drops of Water’: “To write is my possession – a given time, a given space, a given self, as if it were an alchemy that could turn blood into wine, we’ve different tastes nature or me.”
 
‘All the Babble of the Souk’ is not simple. It is woven with riddles that, when resolved, offer the reader a singular critique of life from a safe perspective. Robin’s poetry may never be fully grasped by me. It is esoteric. Intriguing. Surreal. Adventurous. Philosophic. Brainy. But even though it demands carefully considered thought to fathom; it still flows as pure water in its declarations, imagery, and suggestions. Poet Hislop’s unique work has heightened my appreciation for the written word.
 
1. I am once again thankful for the depth, beauty, and mysteries of another’s poetic invention.
2. I discovered another beautiful view of the One Tree.
3. I have purposed now to get out of myself (more often) to discover another’s perspective; something quite essential for the poet and creative writer I’m thinking.
4. I can see an aspect of metaphor now that I’ve never known.
5. Poetry is NOT dead.
 
JEG HILSER DEG Robin Ouzman Hislop
 
Richard Lloyd Cederberg
Author/Poet

 

AUTHOR PIC (Large)

 
August 2007 Richard was nominated for a 2008 PUSHCART PRIZE. Richard was awarded 2007 BEST NEW FICTION at CST for his first three novels and also 2006 WRITER OF THE YEAR @thewritingforum.net … Richard has been a featured Poet on Poetry Life and Times Aug/Sept 2008, Jan 2013, Aug 2013, and Oct 2013 and has been published in varied anthologies, compendiums, and e-zines. Richard’s literary work is currently in over 35,000 data bases and outlets. Richard’s novels include: A Monumental Journey… In Search of the First Tribe… The Underground River… Beyond Understanding. A new novel, Between the Cracks, was completed March 2014 and will be available summer 2014.
 
Richard has been privileged to travel extensively throughout the USA, the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in Canada, the Yukon Territories, Kodiak Island, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Petersburg, Glacier Bay, in Alaska, the Azorean Archipelagoes, and throughout Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Holland… Richard and his wife, Michele, have been avid adventurers and, when time permits, still enjoy exploring the Laguna Mountains, the Cuyamaca Mountains, the High Deserts in Southern California, the Eastern Sierra’s, the Dixie National Forest, the Northern California and Southern Oregon coastlines, and the “Four Corners” region of the United States.
 
Richard designed, constructed, and operated a MIDI Digital Recording Studio – TAYLOR and GRACE – from 1995 – 2002. For seven years he diligently fulfilled his own musical visions and those of others. Richard personally composed, and multi-track recorded, over 500 compositions during this time and has two completed CD’s to his personal credit: WHAT LOVE HAS DONE and THE PATH. Both albums were mixed and mastered by Steve Wetherbee, founder of Golden Track Studios in San Diego, California.
 
Richard retired from music after performing professionally for fifteen years and seven years of recording studio explorations. He works, now, at one of San Diego’s premier historical sites, as a Superintendent. Richard is also a carpenter and a collector of classic books, and books long out of print.

 
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Miriam C. Jacobs Reviews All the Babble of the Souk

miriam c jacobs
 
 
Poet Robin Ouzman Hislop’s first full-length collection, All the Babble of the Souk, is appropriately titled. With a remarkably consistent ear for the market’s noise, for “[t]he broken lights of the bazaar/spangled] with glistening promise/in the eyes of the dusky beggar …” (Laminations in Lacquer ) Hislop’s poems, many of them cinematic-style montages of sounds and images, show us the metaphoric souk of the world, on the beach or in the street, its glitter, its sadness, its ragtag glory:
 
“pets, flower pots framed captive in a moment
outside the house of the painter, a robot
in chains with an alms bowl” (“Departures”)
 
These impressions are not confined to the scenic. Individuals, too, flash like rich arcades:
 
“there is not time enough to love
before the tram whisks her away
a creature of the costume of the moment
in a parade of parts.” (“In the fish-eye window”)
 
So marked is Hislop’s interest in the external world, readers may long for a glimpse of the speaker. It comes rarely. There are one or two musings on the phenomenon and surprise of feeling oneself age, the odd disjointing of it, but otherwise these poems proclaim their perhaps unique impersonality. In “Laminations in Lacquer” we sight what is, perhaps, the poet, but in third person, one who rises, observes, and then folds in at last with the “throng”:
 
“Below the rift of its eye
the sealed beak that will open
gleams on the lee …
in a room that roams without corners
he must rise with a chalice of blood for lips of shades
where the vertigo edge of the flower distills the dish
together with the quantities of immeasurable throng
on watery groves billowing with ivy bowers
sprung over hidden lairs of concealed hoards.
Night begins and the dogs draw nigh
scavenging for scraps
yapping at the walker’s naked ankles
in the dust of unknown alleys.”
 
Among other reoccurring themes – shadows, mirrors, the moon – is Hislop’s interest in physics. In a variety of contexts he reflects on time and infinity, the imagination-daunting galaxies, quantum theory and space:
 
“Man cannot live on myth alone
he shall earn his soil somehow, between
the Big Bang, the Big Slam ….”
 
One admirable quality in this work is that souk places us firmly in the precariousness of the current moment in history. These poems are exactly right for the age, and who we are now, those of us born 1945-1960, with our particular view of past and present, our grasp of the sciences and technologies that have overtaken the known world in our lifetimes.
 
“The world is a patchwork quilt,” Hislop concludes in “Lucky hat day,”
‘stitched up to the hilt its seams/which we quarter in our dreams
on which our edifice is built …”

 
 

 
 
MIRIAM C. JACOBS is a alumnus of the University of Chicago and teaches college writing, literature and humanities. Jacobs is the editor of Eyedrum Periodically, the art/literature journal of Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery, Atlanta. Her poetry has appeared in Jewish Literary Journal, The East Coast Literary Review, Record Magazine, The Camel Saloon, Bluestem: the Art and Literary Journal of Eastern Illinois University, The King’s English, and Oklahoma Today, among other publications. Her chapbook of poetry, The Naked Prince, was published by Fort!/Da? Books in September 2013.
 
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Voodoo Stick Boogaloo. A Poem by Saira Viola

 
Did you get a red balloon for Valentines
Spin to win 4 overtime
Did you find your magic wishing star
Or collect a smile from the cookie jar
Did you see yourself on TV
And find Elysium in your sleep
Did you mist the mirror with morning dew
Rock the sidewalk in rose suede shoes
Did you think that love was a hallmark card
Or the bearded sonnets of a rum soaked bard
Did you use a voodoo stick and old shark’s tooth
To change your luck and repair the roof
Did you find yourself in the lost and found
Or fail your credit check for a bank account
Did you see the moon swim across the bay
Or find that needle in the hay
Were you free to run through Autumn’s leaves
Or shake your sorrows on a midnight breeze
Did you blink at car lights like scattered stars
And drown her face in a whiskey bar
Did you see your face a hollow ghost
Wizened victim of a holocaust.

 
boomie picture
 
Saira Viola ia a best selling crime writer , satirist, song lyricist and creator of innovative lit technique sonic scatterscript. Her work is infused with undercurrents of politics, pop philosophy and black comedy
 
http://gonzotoday.com/author/saira-viola/

 
artobscene
Saira Viola, Author at GonzoToday
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Saira Viola is a critically acclaimed poet , author, song lyricist , satirist and creator of innovative lit technique self labelled sonic scatterscript .

 
 
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Adam Levon Brown Reviews All the Babble of the Souk

robin2705
4/5 Stars
 
Review of All The Babble of the Souk
By Robin Ouzman Hislop
 
I had the great pleasure of reviewing “All the Babble of the Souk” by a very experienced and talented poet, Robin Ouzman Hislop.
The book is split into the two parts, The first part is “All the Babble and the Souk 1” and is very short in comparison to the second part, “All the Babble and the Souk 2”.
 
Reader beware, this poet is on a different level. Do not read this if you don’t want to engage your essence in a series of fantastic life/mind changing events. Many of the poems herein push the boundaries between science and philosophy and develop a sense of doubt within the reader. These poems carry you on a cosmological, philosophical journey that is sure to leave you speechless and thinking on deeper frequencies.
 
Part 1
 
These are just a few of my favorites from part one.
 
From the very start with the poem “Africa North,” Hislop captures the reader in a vivid description of a thriving cityscape filled with many sensuous sensations. The poem “Passage” is a psychological view into the mind of the modern human. The poem, “Non Linear” focuses on the inception of homo Sapiens and how the system we created dwarfs us into a microcosm of everything around us.
 
Part 2
 
The second part is filled to the brim with intellectually stimulating pieces that deserve at least a second read through. The poem “Accident” grasped me and made me think of past events that I thought were lost forever.
The poem, “Slant” is written in sections such as, “on the Bus” and details philosophical messages the author has gained through these experiences. I very much enjoyed this poem as it is raw, delves deep into the mind of the poet and presents the inner workings of the brain.
The poem, “Edge” touches on what I believe is our greatest political and existential battle; human extinction.
 
Conclusion
 
This book changed my perspective on the human experience. Highly recommended to anyone who is into philosophy and isn’t afraid to take a step in a different direction.

 
 
 
 
Adam Levon Brown (ii)
 
 
Adam Levon Brown is a poet and author residing in Eugene, Oregon. He has one published poetry book out, Musings of a Madman, which is a collection of poems made to enlighten and inspire the reader. Adam attributes his love of poetry to the many great poets he discovered in the school library during his formative years. He enjoys listening to political hip hop music and is a political activist himself.
 
 
My Author Page: www.ctupublishinggroup.com/adam-levon-brown-.html
My Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/AuthorAdamBrown
My Twitter Account: twitter.com/adamlevonbrown

 
 
 
 
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