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Robin Ouzman Hislop

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Shades of Hades
By Robin Ouzman Hislop
Last edited: Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2003

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Recent articles by
Robin Ouzman Hislop

• Hunter's Moon
• After the Cave the Comet Interview with Mystic East Publishing
• Editorial Canadian Zen Haiku
• Spanish Haikus(xix -li) + Translations
• Interview with Poetry Life & Times. August 2001
• Margret Atwood in the Heart of Darkness
           >> View all 8
A small selection of poems

Shades of Hades*

Do Shades of Hades
speak undead words,
through yet still fears,
through yet desires,
that to human ears
cannot be heard?

Only human blood
can freshen oracle lips
to speak live words
to human heart´s need,
where the undead sip.

& those who would
pursue those words
to the domain of the undead,
even as the shade fades
until no more
their blood is tasted,
knows the place the undead
have waited,
knows the place of nevermore.

*In homage to Richard Vallance´s Homeric voyage


The few who never were but for fame, even now inform me
that I am, alike as history is recorded nom de plume:

To the toll of the red masque death´s dance,
the vampire in Xanadu´s ruins does prance,
Caliban sealed in a cavern, in the hall of fame,
a vampire at an art exhibition, blood in the air,
we drink, burnt at the stake, fame we share.

A Vampire`s Dream

Waving your hair, your anarchist look
You gaze into an image
immersed in a radiance greater than its own.
You paint the moon on water,
an eye swallowed in a mirror.
You follow the eye of the wall
following you, you turn on it,
a faceless face, as it turned on you.
The stage is set, it is blood you seek
to shadows which as echoes seek to embrace.
Eternal return of the shade, blood,
kiss me hard.
I am the vamp, its clinging lamp,
I am the pyre, phoenix & dust.
I am tides & blood & moon
& I will come again my love
like a red red rose of an abyss
when all the seas gang dry
& the rock melts into the sand
Let me dream of loving you
and disappearing.

After Tesa Duncan Sueño de Vampiro
Translation Amparo Arospide

Night of the dead

On the night of the dead the sun enters the moon´s tutelage
to be reborn in Spring. Far north it sojourns to death´s domain
casting it´s chill shadow from the ground, to grind the stellar mill.

O night of the dead, we the still unborn
have arisen from the tomb of the moon
on the silver dew of death´s frosty morn,
as light becomes a demiurge´s doom,
to follow the moon who opens our tomb
unto the birth of the sun from her womb.
Moon, we who have arisen from the dead,
on this night, its dead, to the stars are fed.

Body Schizoid

It is just a body on a street street
but an incurable schizophrenic.
Just a man or woman found stuck in a jam,
the rustle in the window dresser´s pane,
wasn´t at all meant to agitate him
& the secret whispers as she passes
Will never be destiny's prophecies,
Nor eyes that look a body up & down

Wore not before it a neurotic frown.
Just a corporeal body's breathing mass,
a jelly roll in a prawn cocktail glass,
lugubrious & glaucous in dance macabre
transparently concealed in shadowy shard,
bodies in incurable loneliness.

The Scorn of Homer.

Overhead the Gods stood, Lords of the dead, the living dead, the undead,
the unborn, the reborn, all of mortal man & his woman.

The Gods had Bedlam for dinner at the Pantheon, they played
at dice & lost their thrones, they bought & sold each others homes & names.

Cattle fen raider clans that traded as well, their babes & women.

Until being all met at the great conference The Althing
they spoke again their names from the ancient runes being certain
of incarnation, but the joke was on them, there was nobody there
to bluff, they were the buffoons, the jokers, the cards, stakeholders & shares.

And they stood overhead, lords of the dead, the living dead, the undead,
the unborn, the reborn, all of mortal man & his woman.

Their kingdoms have gone, their kingdoms come, pirates are trespassers.

There has arisen one voice that speaks for everyone in the Name
of the Face that by not even the Son of Man can be seen.

In the Name of the One whose Name cannot be uttered, a Name
so secret written it cannot be let out but consumes all
other names to nothingness, so it is now & evermore will be.

But even until the last Trojan of Aenid, of Albion,
my mark will be upon them: Troy has fallen for no other
cause than prophecy when Cassandra´s oracle were overthrown.

Under the Volcano*

At gallows crossroads a ghost accompanies a ghost to its home.
A creaking tavern sign swinging to & fro in the rain mist.
When the light is on the rabbit does it know death´s near it´s neck!?
Daybreak binds an interrupted interval into memory.
The hand is worn that holds a lifeless form surrendered to dawn.
In the rain still uncertain which way to go dawn is creaking.
Bounded in the frame ghost at home swings, to & fro in the rain.
The other goes off into Picaresque scenario.

Bucholic landscape, gaunt on the skyline, lean, hungry & mean.
The valley people exclaim he has gone to the volcano.
The world spirals into a twin, the tavern sign grins, dawn creaks.
To & fro, under the volacano, the people come & go.
A phantom on the summit without a conjuring trick, lo,
what will he do, but out of the volacano give them his shoe.

* Empedocles disappeared in flames on Mount Aetna to confirm the report he had become a God: the volcano threw up one of his bronze slippers: perhaps a sacrifice to the fraternity of philosophers through fire, to conserve state in the Polis after the Pythagorean exile, temples were sometimes burnt down etc.,

* Hephaistos Greek, Fire & forge God, Vulcanus by the Romans who held he had his forge on Mount Etna, hence volcano, one story he is cuckold & nets the adulterous couple for the Gods to witness, hence each has contributed a form of his or her name to the English vocabulary.

Describe Adonis.

In red anemone let Adonis come
whence of his anointed blood have so sprung
from gored loin wild boar Syrian.
The Nile has bled her mensturation,
on her mire the swineherd has trodden,
scattered & harvest threshed the seed & corn,
consecrated it in Astarte´s name,
her Byblos temple of red anemone.

She who will suckle him from her nipple,
red as anemones, milk of life & death,
whose lips of blood & wine kiss fickleless
from the moon the sun born child´s full
face, together embraced in red anemones,
as the bards song of the ages is sung.


on evering frontier of his being
so he seems so you to him seem
or perhaps in waking or dream
ever you have been his question
invisible haunting his horizon
ever unseen wheresoever he turn
the moon borne from your lantern
as you enter the chamber groom

to call him within we are not within
so royal in aspect that your wear alone
robed in white gown his haunted room
where he has been & must return
to you who with scorn will spurn
once more to give the kiss he yearns.

Copyright Robin Ouzman Hislop 2003
All rights reserved.

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