- “Simplify, simplify,” wrote Thoreau, and we get Einstein’s formula E=MC2 . Some might say that Einstein had simplified the immense complexities of the universe in a manner that Thoreau would approve.
- To the uninitiated, Mister Hislop’s Next Arrivals might seem unduly complex; but it is the absolute opposite of complex. This epic poem—for it is not a book of poems—it is an epic of time and space, of variable time and elastic space.
- We mustn’t look at this poem flat on, as we might when we look at Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” like a map. Milton fills in his spaces. Spaces are the subject of Mister Hislop’s Next Arrivals; the electric universe and its interstices. We are singing the body electric with Whitman, but in a different way. We are singing the universe, its mysterious nooks and crannies, and to sing it, as Mister Hislop does, we must see it through all the points of the compass at once, and we must see it between those points. Think a wheel with spokes: the author suggests that there is something important between the spokes, something that must be felt and found, perhaps a final reality, and as we fill in these interstices, the parts of the poem almost miraculously clamp together.
- life decieves the disobedience of art
- plunged into never waking obsession
- the play is yet in flux
a crowd of events jostling for a place amidst the shambling shadows
There is a handful of the stuff between the spokes. These metaphorical shadows are also real spaces. We cannot make similes because we do not understand what is there, but we have no doubt of the crowds in space and time. They cry for attention. They beg for notice. Mister Hislop is attentive. He listens. He attends. He is a poet.
- vast unoccupied
- regions of outer space
- night wrapped up in immutable energy
- a silicon chip may stay put there for eternity in infinity
- or blip
- to be resurrected on a google bandwidth
- vast unoccupied
Patches of words are spaced in such a way as to suggest what is next—the Next Arrivals—and there they are—what is in the spaces. Next Arrivals is a space epic, not science fiction, but a silicon epic of the spaces, what is in there and out there in language and reality. But an epic must have movement, narrative; and what we are advised to read is the narrative of digital tapping. There is no past, no future, now is the moment and we are actually in flight!
- Tap! Gluon! Tap!
- It makes one wonder if we have produced a machine or rather if we are, if the universe is, the product of an even greater machine, and if, ultimately, some kind of god, a deus ex machina, may emerge from the machine and solve the tragedy we all live—I’ll call it “The Tragedy of the Trees.” Mister Hislop makes us feel this almost supernatural—let us say ontological—journey. This is a brilliant poem, and we must thank the author for it.
Schorb’s work has appeared widely in such journals as The Yale Review, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Chicago Review, The Sewanee Review, The American Scholar, and The Hudson Review.
At the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2000, his novel, Paradise Square, was the winner of the Grand Prize for fiction from the International eBook Award Foundation, and later, A Portable Chaos won the Eric Hoffer Award for Fiction in 2004.
Schorb has received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the North Carolina Arts Council; grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Carnegie Fund, Robert Rauschenberg & Change, Inc. (for drawings), and The Dramatists Guild, among others. He is a member of the Academy of American Poets, and the Poetry Society of America.
Editors Note: See also introduction to Next Arrivals by Ian Irvine Hobson at Poetry Life & Times, Artvilla.com & Motherbird.com
Ian Irvine (Hobson) is an Australian based, British born, poet/lyricist, fiction writer, journal editor, and writing and creative arts academic. His work has been published extensively, including in a number of national anthologies, e.g. Best Australian Poetry and Agenda’s special Contemporary Australian Poets edition. He has published four books and has co-edited over 20 publications including 7 editions of the groundbreaking international literary ezine The Animist (1998-2001), as well as Scintillae 2012 (a print anthology containing work by over 60 Australian poets and writers). Ian has taught in the creative and professional writing programme at Bendigo Kangan Institute since 1999. He also lectures casually in a similar program at Victoria University, Melbourne.
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times his publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)