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Robin Ouzman Hislop

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  The Hermit & The Hangman
by Robin Ouzman Hislop
Sunday, December 25, 2005
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Recent poems by Robin Ouzman Hislop
•  Far from Equilibrium
•  Laminations in Lacquer
•  Dream of Uroborous
•  A Witch for Halloween
•  The Way of All Shadows
           >> View all 169



The Hermit.

i should have died yesterday,
when was that, before let us say,
when tomorrow finally came.

i was sent down known ends.
i was an open book.
i was read between the lines,
an open secret,

kept as a personal treasure.
comforts for before & after.

a face, as innocent
as the tabla rasa sky
when i was young,
before age in its quest with time
to find the invincible archetype
transformed me to these ruins.

but are not ruins shrines we worship
at even in our most distant dreams,
no welcome only air to eat.

The Hangman.

i muffle me against their pleas,
mine's not a greedy hand,
cold eyes i serve on plates.

i hand them their bodies
& ask of them nothing in return.

i have the blood of innocence,
on my hands through no fault of my own.
i am what i am but you too
would see me hang- hermit man.

The Hermit.

after they had taken
everything from me they began
with the intention of giving it
little by little back again.

naked as i was, i spotted their game
& so attained condemnation,
by accident i laughed outright
& was straightway sent to you.
known ends, they play by the rules,
as you do too but with a noose.

The Hangman.

The matador must slay the bull,
but how could i the minotaur,
that was my doom, my exile,

i put out my eyes & only felt the jerk

of lumpen death in my hand,
as a fisherman might fly a fish in the rapids
but then the connection snapped.

The Hermit.

i knew when i got to the cross roads
all hope of escape was defeated.
id been sent with that message
& although nobody was there,
they may as well as have been waiting.

it was the same, i knew their satisfaction,
everything was as expected
& nothing more was expected
of me, they were predictable, like you
with your noose & your tale.

The Hangman.

stop, i say stop, i am stop,
that is the secret & the power of the noose,
it tautens & lets go & that's death

at the hand, as commanded,
as handed down, my role, my prerogative.

The Hermit.

because you will never be truly alone,
you will never find the living.

it is a riddle that binds you,
as you bind yourself to death
but not the dead.

that is the difference,
that is why i am here & you there.
each way is decreed, we have made it so,
we have failed to become invincible.

The Hangman

that's the warp & woof of it.
it's the the chicken & the egg,
who got here first

& what are we waiting for,
but there are no exits
only getting on & off at arrivals.

meetings that are records & reference
to records, we never leave our ruins,
they are our homage, our destiny.

they are both of us beyond reach,
that's why i'm a man with a noose,
ready to fall because i cannot be erased.

The Hermit.

line after line, they have made me, even
my loneliness & left me not even nothingness.




Gift of Tongues


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Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 12/26/2005
Hemp halter around the neck, threads running different ways, crossing each other to make the human weave.

As in chicken and egg, who got here first, the red, black, and green bagpipe air bags or the red, black, and green kilt? Which was first? One borns the other.

The Hermit & The Hangman is a joust of living on different sides of the track. Give Hangman enough rope and he'll hang himself. Give Hermit no attention and he'll decay of all intimacy and die of loneliness. Look at my Crossroads tarot card, Robin. The Hermit, an analogy to the primitive road, the Hangman, I think an analogy to the pavement. EXcellent tarot poem, Robin! The duality of the cards!

Sage
Reviewed by Kate Clifford 12/25/2005
Wow, I feel like I just exprienced live theatre. Thank you for this entertaining write that will leave me ponderings on many thoughts that have been expressed here.


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