All the Babble of the Souk Reviewed by Richard Lloyd Cederberg

      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

 

 
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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Resonance. Poetry Collection by Gary Beck

Gary Beck is a prolific writer with a number of poetry collections already to his name. Much of his work has a clipped, concise almost journalistic narrative approach about it, it is their serial processing which gives them their poetic content. In this latest volume there is also sociological reflection and commentary but often the works become more moody, enriching the poetry style and form, involved in personal relationships, as well as, on various occasions expressing the sensuous side of the poet’s nature. – Editor Robin Ouzman Hislop.
 
Resonance is a collection of poems that looks at individual and cultural experiences from this complicated world in which some receive rewards but others are punished and pushed to the brink of despair.
 
“Mr. Beck is a talent not to be ignored.” – Alison McBain – Bewildering Stories
 
“Very impressive poems” -Dead Snakes Magazine
 
“The noir voice and objectivity of each piece is unique and exploratory, very delightful reads” -Media Virus Magazine
 
“Awesome! I love the language” -Graffiti Magazine

 

              Resonance image

          http://www.amazon.com/Resonance-Poetry-Collection-Gary-Beck
           

              Gary Beck Image

           
          Resonance is a 136 page poetry volume. Available in paperback with a retail price of $8.00 and eBook with a retail price of $1.99. ISBN 1523916400 Published through Dreaming Big Publications. and available now through all major retailers. For more information or to request a review copy:DreamingBigPublications@outlook.com.
           
          This is the voice of one man singing… About the Cuban Missile Crisis – October, 1962
           
          Boy, dey yanked me outa the warmtha
          me mudders body.
          Wow, dey beat me when I played
          wit meself.
          Dey made me go to school
          and listen to all da crap.
          My old man kicked my ass
          when I played hookey.
          I went to high school,
          joined a gang.
          I got caught stealin.
          The cops beat me up.
          I quit school
          knocked up a broad
          and her old man made me marry her.
          We got two fuggin kids
          who never stop screamin.
          The fuggin house is fallin ta pieces.
          The fuggin union wants more dues.
          The snotty bastard at the bowling alley
          always makes these wise cracks.
          The fuggin phone company
          is shuttin off the phone.
          The old lady is a fuggin slob.
          After a hard day’s work
          I can’t even sit down and enjoy a fuggin can of beer.
          I hope they use their fuggin rockets.

           
          Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays (Winter Goose Publishing). Fault Lines, Perceptions, Tremors and Perturbations will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Press). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) Acts of Defiance (Artema Press). Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). Call to Valor will be published by Gnome on Pigs Productions. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.
           
           
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      Adam Levon Brown Review

      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
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      My Twitter Account: twitter.com/adamlevonbrown

       
       
       
       
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      IF
      IF

      Poetry Robin Ouzman Hislop’s books on Goodreads

      All the Babble of the Souk



       
      All the Babble of the SoukAll the Babble of the Souk by Robin Ouzman Hislop

      Robin Ouzman Hislop, born UK, graduate in philosophy & religions, has travelled extensively throughout his lifetime but now lives in semi- retirement as a TEFL teacher and translator.

      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.

      He’s been previously published in a variety of international magazines, recent 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).

      All the Babble of the Souk ©2015

      Robin is a philosopher, poet, published author and more. It has been my privilege to reap the benefits of this man’s knowledge on an array of subjects. A man ahead of his time. A true visionary. ~Janet Caldwell, COO at Inner Child Ltd, author of the Author Den’s award winning “5 degrees to separation”

      Robin is a brilliant writer and philosopher as well as a recognized poet. He is an editor and contributor for Poetry Life and Times and other publications. ~David Michael Jackson, Web Publisher at Artvilla.com

      Robin is a highly innovative and gifted poet, who excels in writing sonnets, blank verse and haiku, and in translating poetry from Spanish into English. His work is first-rate. ~Richard Vallance, Linguist Linear B, Knossos & Mycenaean

      …on All the Babble of the Souk

      Gary Beck – All the Babble of the Souk is an elegant journey through both foreign and familiar climes. Anything but babble. Time and space bend in mysterious mists and mechanistic voyages. The poems pulsate with languid images that add to the wonder of travel to exotic places.

      Scott Hastie – A collection of real substance that is long overdue. Robin writes with impressive depth and across a spread of philosophic stimuli that he makes uniquely his own. You do not have to travel long before you trip over killer lines, again and again… This is fresh, original and mature work, grown from one special creative soul’s well seasoned experience. Robin truly has a voice that is his own and it has been worth the wait to see it flower…

      Robin Marchesi – High time this great Poet was properly in print. His Poems resonate like the work of Cavafy and Gibran. They are deep and revealing, resonating in one’s inner self. This book will stimulate your metaphysical being. Robin’s Poetry opens you to questions about who you are…. Essential reading……

      R. W. Haynes – Robin Ouzman Hislop’s All the Babble of the Souk grips elemental tangles with wisely wistful authority, making a claim both for the adequacy of animate language and for erudite perception. Counterpointing the abstruse and the inescapably basic, these poems draw upon a power that surprises, engaging the reader in the poet’s heartfelt conversation with a tradition and its diverse voices, including T. S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. Hislop’s retro-modernist recovery of vision argues for a refreshed perception of poetic possibility and a turn from the infinite regress of the verse which echoes the empty sophistry of twentieth-century language philosophers. Music, with its syncopation, minor chords, pauses, accelerations, jingles, knocks, and elegiac phrases constitutes a crucial part of the essence of this splendid collection.

      Ian Irvine (Hobson) – The metaphor of the ‘marketplace’ or ‘bazaar’ – symbolic in this collection of public spaces generally (both physical and cultural/mediatised) – launches this remarkable collection of poems by a poet, editor and creative thinker of international significance. The ‘souk’ is a place of trade, chance meetings, overheard conversations and communal eating. This collection also links it to our post-post modern state of life in the face of cultural globalisation. However, rather than theorise key aspects of our world we are invited to explore them instead as states of being – with joyous and anxious dimensions. As the poet/narrator mingles, observes, samples and digests (in poem after poem) a colourful array of stimuli – sensorial, relational and intellectual – we gradually feel our perception of life and the species crisis/moment deepen and expand. The melancholy grandeur of the human predicament slowly comes into focus – largely through the poet’s gift of empathy. A wonderful selection of poems updating for the new millennia themes mulled over by the likes of Baudelaire (in Paris Spleen), Apollinaire (in Zone), George Oppen (in Of Being Numerous) and many other great 19th and 20th century poets.

      View all my reviews
       

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      Review Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

      An appeal to poetry critics to review The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of Sonnets of the Early Third Millennium
       
      Since its publication in November 2013, The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of Sonnets of the Early Third Millennium, has generally been met with positive reviews from purchasers and poetry reviewers. As editor of the anthology, I for one freely admit that several authors display considerable talent, while some, I believe, are exceptional sonneteers who have penned poems, which may one day be viewed as masterpieces of the genre.
       
      There are also scores of sonnets in languages other than English,French, Spanish, Chinese, German and Farsi, while the English sonnets run from page 15 to 135, comprising 60% of the total in the anthology, sonnets in all other languages span pages 142 to 222, accounting for the remaining 40%.
       
      A number of reviewers have already accorded decent marks to the anthology and I sincerely believe that most new critics and informed readers will be able to dispassionately review the anthology. On the other hand, it is equally incumbent to flag at least a few of the sonnets which display considerable talent and especially those which you, as a reviewer, consider to be jewels, pièces de résistence.
       
      I am not saying that those of you poetry critics who read English only should feel discouraged from reviewing the anthology. Far from it, it is generally taken for granted that the majority of literary critics of English literature are allophone English, given that English is almost universally considered lingua franca of the world. Of course, I also welcome bilingual or multilingual critics, who are well positioned to critique the remaining 40% of “foreign- language” sonnets.
       
      I entreat those of you who are poetry critics to give your dispassionate opinion of the anthology, what we are looking for is an objective appraisal, insofar as it is humanly possible. It does not matter whether you find the anthology below average, average or superior.
       
      Regardless of your overall appraisal of the merits and demerits of this anthology, I shall send you all your own copy of the PDF version. Finally, it would be beneficial to the editors and sonneteers alike if you would rate it on a scale from 1 to 5. Also, the Editor who is at present publishing this appeal, every reviewer should bear this in mind, has promised to publish any of the reviews providing they are fair minded & objective in at at least two of the three sites herein listed: Motherbird.com, Artvilla.com or Poetry Life & Times.
       
      I am grateful for the endorsement of this appeal by Robin Ouzman Hislop of Poetry, Life and Times. Richard Vallance
       
      The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes http://vallance22.hpage.com is also available in hard cover, soft cover and PDF formats from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Chapters.ca, among other online outlets.
       
      The home page of the author, Richard Vallance, now a well-established professional historical linguist of ancient Mycenaean Greek, is Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com, which has become the premier site for research into Linear B on the Internet since its inception in 2013. An internationally acknowledged historical linguist, in 2015 he was published in an international European conference proceedings and in the prestigious annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade), and is set to be published later this year in at least one other major international venue for historical linguistics. He is also an active member of one of the world’s most professional research sites, academia.edu, where you will find his page at https://westernu.academia.edu/RichardVallance/Papers

       
       
       
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      Reviews & Comments on Robin Ouzman Hislop’s Collected Poems. All the Babble of the Souk.

       

       

      http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm
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      All the babble of the Souk
      all the life of the planet &
      so little part of it, that I breathe

      Janet Caldwell, COO at Inner Child Ltd, author of the Author Den’s award winning “5 degrees to separation” Robin is a philosopher, poet, published author and more. It has been my privilege to reap the benefits of this man’s knowledge on an array of subjects.  A man ahead of his time. A true visionary

      David Michael Jackson, Web Publisher at Artvilla.com Robin is a brilliant writer and philosopher as well as a recognized poet. He is an editor and contributor for Poetry Life and Times and other publications. ~

      Richard Vallance, Linguist Linear B, Knossos & Mycenaean. Robin is a highly innovative and gifted poet, who excels in writing sonnets, blank verse and haiku, and in translating poetry from Spanish into English. His work is first-rate.

      Gary Beck – All the Babble of the Souk is an elegant journey through both foreign and familiar climes. Anything but babble. Time and space bend in mysterious mists and mechanistic voyages. The poems pulsate with languid images that add to the wonder of travel to exotic places.

      Scott Hastie – A collection of real substance that is long overdue. Robin writes with impressive depth and across a spread of philosophic stimuli that he makes uniquely his own. You do not have to travel long before you trip over killer lines, again and again… This is fresh, original and mature work, grown from one special creative soul’s well seasoned experience. Robin truly has a voice that is his own and it has been worth the wait to see it flower…

      Robin Marchesi – High time this great Poet was properly in print. His Poems resonate like the work of Cavafy and Gibran. They are deep and revealing, resonating in one’s inner self. This book will stimulate your metaphysical being. Robin’s Poetry opens you to questions about who you are…. Essential reading……

      R. W. Haynes – Robin Ouzman Hislop’s All the Babble of the Souk grips elemental tangles with wisely wistful authority, making a claim both for the adequacy of animate language and for erudite perception. Counterpointing the abstruse and the inescapably basic, these poems draw upon a power that surprises, engaging the reader in the poet’s heartfelt conversation with a tradition and its diverse voices, including T. S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. Hislop’s retro-modernist recovery of vision argues for a refreshed perception of poetic possibility and a turn from the infinite regress of the verse which echoes the empty sophistry of twentieth-century language philosophers. Music, with its syncopation, minor chords, pauses, accelerations, jingles, knocks, and elegiac phrases constitutes a crucial part of the essence of this splendid collection.

      Ian Irvine (Hobson) – The metaphor of the ‘marketplace’ or ‘bazaar’ – symbolic in this collection of public spaces generally (both physical and cultural/mediatised) – launches this remarkable collection of poems by a poet, editor and creative thinker of international significance. The ‘souk’ is a place of trade, chance meetings, overheard conversations and communal eating. This collection also links it to our post-post modern state of life in the face of cultural globalisation. However, rather than theorise key aspects of our world we are invited to explore them instead as states of being – with joyous and anxious dimensions. As the poet/narrator mingles, observes, samples and digests (in poem after poem) a colourful array of stimuli – sensorial, relational and intellectual – we gradually feel our perception of life and the species crisis/moment deepen and expand. The melancholy grandeur of the human predicament slowly comes into focus – largely through the poet’s gift of empathy. A wonderful selection of poems updating for the new millennia themes mulled over by the likes of Baudelaire (in Paris Spleen), Apollinaire (in Zone), George Oppen (in Of Being Numerous) and many other great 19th and 20th century poets.

      Marie Marshall –  Robin’s poetry is often just a ride, lines in little stanzas like

        •           holding all shadows to account
            The hag in her rags begs her bag

      each a new thought after a pause for breath, or so it seems, each with an image that sparkles, almost with effrontery. That’s how I like my poetry – image, sound, and bare-faced cheek.

      As the images pile up, or maybe I unearth more as I drill down, discovering depth in the poetry, I know he’s not your average Internet Joe, but a man with a mean, keen pen, he knows how to play, how to make free, how to brew poetry:

        •         Riding along in our dream machine
        •          our virtual reality all but a scream
        •          no exit
        •          blood on the wind screen, faithful Fido’s gone
        •          the machine’s a mess, – every where’s a gas.

      A trickle through a diaphanous sheen

      a thin crust peels, roll the dice
      a question of ethics, the cost of life.

      Y’know, somewhere along the line, Ezra Pound and John Cooper Clarke rolled dice for this man’s soul, and I can’t say who won. Maybe he walked away laughing while the bones still tumbled, soul intact. I hope so. He has the measure of our suburbs, seeing how

        • the phallus of a Sunday afternoon
            gleamed cleaned cars

      let us (you’re here too, and I have morphed into ‘we’) catch our reflection in that polished surface, wondering how to measure the depth of the shine. Meanwhile

        1. Danger, Deep Water, Keep Out

      As if we could. The collection has the feel of a single work, as though the poet sat down, started at the beginning, wrote the middle, and stopped at the end. We ride. It’s the same ride all the time, but the scenery outside the window shifts, and fellow passengers come and go. Occasionally we get off, but only to stretch our legs

      As we celebrate

      life lies dead on the table

      we eat it

      The poet is aware of the shape of his work on the page, of its concreteness. The poet knows when to be serious and when not to, and he knows when to muddy the water of each with the other. When he says ‘Watch my stick’, you hear ‘This means you!’ The poet can make a dream return from the rubble of artifice. I know poetry when I see it.

      Norman Ball, writer, author of Between River and Rock: How I Resolved Television in Six Easy Payments – Before I get to the book itself, I’d like to offer up a confession. Robin and I have, over the years, engaged in some fascinating discussions on such far-flung topics as Big Bang contrarianism, the mystery of consciousness, theories of memes, multiverses, Popper falsifiability and vitalism, just to name a few; in short, the usual water cooler chatter. Or maybe not. Robin’s a whole lot smarter than me. Nonetheless it’s a lot of fun trying to keep up. If you’ll forgive a mixed metaphor, we’re odd ducks of a feather.

      For one thing, Hislop is not averse to the occasional Latinate or ism getting tossed into a stanza. Of course poetical exploration of High Concept puts one at odds with the prevailing penchant for concrete image and tactile adhesives. There are many in poetry today who insist that, if you can’t say something nice about a spatula, a garden hose or a lamppost, you have no business trafficking in periphrasis. Everything must be grounded in the real, they say—as if such a thing as the real really existed. If I may say, oh prevailing sentiment in poetry, get real.

      So, perhaps All the Babble of the Souk is not for everyone. But then, what of any value ever is? Poetry marches under a Big Spatula and we all can’t be flipping fried eggs and hash. Besides, in the hands of a deftly abstract mind, abstraction is not exactly a kick in the head. Nor will it break the yokes and spoil your breakfast. What is a speculative poetic excursion, after all, but high imagination and eccentricity commiserating via language? Let the arbiters of bric a brac catalog the quotidian like good flea marketeers. Such people are born to rummage about in the attic and log their heirlooms on eBay. Hislop doesn’t trammel their kiosks. He has Big Thoughts to mull.

      Fresh off a personally intense eye-mind exploration , I found myself greatly predisposed to ‘Maps’, a four-piece series of poetic aphorisms that offers some dazzling insights into how we demarcate our space, time and existence, and especially how these elements are conveyed, if not even defined, by our senses:
      This notion of time having a real job to do immediately put me in mind of John Archibald Wheeler: “Time is what prevents everyt hing from happening at once.” Hislop may be onto something even more subtle: Does time keep chaos at bay, allowing time for our disparate senses to marry their qualia into a coherent universe? Perhaps those with Synesthesia are more evolved creators of worlds, their gaps between sound and vision less discontinuous.

      ‘Maps’ delivered me to a speculation I wouldn’t have reached otherwise. And I find that’s a critical function of Hislop’s poetry. It gathers, then points away. More important than the resolved landing place is how it offers a hospitable ‘symposium’, couching philosophical fields of inquiry within poetic metaphor from which the reader’s own speculative arcs can then rise and take tangential flight; speculations feeding speculations. What does resolution ever resolve anyway? Conclusions are overrated. The concrete of the concretists doesn’t exist in a world:

      Imposed as        an impression     seeking an ineffable concrete      in an abstraction     which defies location. —from ‘Red Butterflies’

      In ‘From Here to Silence, three’, he sets up a free will versus determinism tug-of-war stalked by Nietzschean recurrence and Leonard Susskind’s holographic 2D picture-show. You got a problem with that, Rod McKuen?

              1. Say we are not sui generis
            1.            (the cause of yourself)
            2.             we are homeostatic holographs
            3. dimensions in spectral parallel membranes
            4. our near eternal process to err
            5. along such a line we pass time in, time out      but could we not cheat the butterfly effect?

       

      The stanza ends on the plaintive hope, reminiscent of Kafka that our cycle of error could end if freewill achieved grace but for an instant. Let us hope that moment arrives as I’m so tired of breaking my shoelace the day before Thanksgiving forever.

      Am I losing the yucksters in all the heavy universe lifting? Not so fast. Hislop can be funny too. ‘At a Slant’ has a droll quality that still draws a snicker if for no other reason than that we’re stuck, all together (‘but it’s the same for all of us!’):

      The con of life

      the weirdness of its melodramatic sham

      how good we are at yesterday, tomorrow

      always better than before

      like, being had – in the process by it.

      The juxtaposed tenses of being had cement the interminable predicament we share. No exit. But at least we perfect our yesterdays until such time as we resume them anew, becoming rank amateurs all over again; amateurs though with a difference, with a modicum of acquired wisdom and an almost imperceptibly elevated rank.

      Okay, so it’s bleak, black humor. But there are shafts of light. One day, though maybe yet a half-eternity away, some butterfly will escape the dark matter of our descending shoe. (Butterflies pervade Hislop’s poetry.) We’ll be released to the next pristine universe armed with a butterfly-brain’s worth of hard-earned prescience. So yes, each successive Big Bang is not an unadulterated singularity. Some kernel of hard-earned wisdom gets borne through. Each new universe is a tooth on a slowly revolving gear that turns towards…perfection? In short, something barely better. Since Hislop asks, that’s what—I think, I hope—may be next:  ask, the near infinite      (in—the moment before you munch)        take a bit of the biscuit      before the Big Crunch   it’s an eternal packet      & having all, what’s next? —from ‘Lucky Hat Day’

      All the Babble of the Souk will have you pondering your predicament in a whole new imaginative light. Reflect well my friend, as mindless impulsivity and materialist inanity are precisely what dangle this eternity over the present-day abyss. Therein may lie our paper-thin chance for freedom: by insect increment, one pardoned butterfly per eon at a time.

      Richard Vallance, writer, author of Canadian Spirit Voices – If “All the Babble of the Souk” is anything but memorable — as it surely is — it is so because of its sweeping portrayal of the tumultuous market that is humankind. The “babble” of this bazaar is that of all the markets in the world — irrespective of nation, language, culture or race or for that matter, at the symbolic level, of any manifestation of our nature, be it “good” or “evil”, which are not opposing psychological or spiritual states as all too many naďvely imagine, but rather their subtle blending in our psyche. There is no suggestion of the presence or absence of God or a “god”. It is irrelevant. There is just humanity.

      The poems, mostly quasi free form, some of them highly reminiscent of haiku, range from very short to a few pages long. Except for one poem and one only, Scale Free, in which we come face to face with some of the most beautiful imagery in the entire collection, and I quote:

      A cuckoo taunts
      high in the mountain
      where are you?

      there is not a single question to be found in the rest of the book. All the rest of the poems consist only of statements, some of them brief, others rather too long for my taste and some even downright convoluted. When this approach to poetry composition is carried to its extreme, it can and sometimes does result in the overly prosaic. That is the only real quarrel I have with this collection. Fortunately, there are only only a handful of poems which are painfully prone to the prosaic. Among these are Mannequins, the whole series Maps 1,2,3,4, The Prisoners, Non Linear and in particular Rust (which reads more like a scientific tract than a poem), none of which have any real appeal to me.

      The rest of the poems run from agreeable at the very least to the truly amazing. Among those poems agreeable to the mind and/or the ear I count: Passage, At the Party, Here Comes the Moon, Multiverse, The Pine at the Summit and Wind upon a River. Others like these will more or less please the reader. But as everyone knows, we all have our own preferences for the kinds of poetry we like. The poems which appeal more to one person appeal less to another. The aforementioned choices are merely my own.

      Next come poems which display remarkable talent, such as: After Dylan on the Ninth Wave (which I for one particularly like), Africa North (haiku-like), A Witch for Halloween (in which we find some of the most striking chthonic imagery in the book), Core (commendable for its brevity, economy of verse & imagery), Entanglements (haiku-like), Sequence 1 & 2 (haiku-like) and Story of a Rose.

      I have a marked preference for the poet’s haiku-like poems. Haiku have always strongly appealed to me. In fact, I myself, along with Robin Ouzman Hislop and so many other truly talented haijin, have composed a considerable number of poems of this nature, many of which were published in the print quarterly, Canadian Zen Haiku (2004-2010), which is now out of print. Brevity is the soul of wit, and indeed of the memorable. It is Robin Ouzman Hislop’ s more compact poems which please me the most. There are exceptions, poems which are not haiku-like or are somewhat lengthier. There are some truly memorable lines in these poems. For instance, we have:

      from Africa North:

      A winnowing canvass tosses corn
      and
      … as fireflies in the blazing day.

      and finally
      In the gloaming a solitary reaper reaps its shadow.
      (Reminiscences of Wordsworth’ s, The Solitary Reaper, one of the most astonishingly beautiful poems in English.)

      from After Dylan on the Ninth Wave, there are a considerable number of memorable lines, which you can explore for yourself. The poem is not quite up to Dylan Thomas… a very tough act to follow!

      and from Core:

      reaching my eye’s peninsula

      sudden scene, solitary strand

      All of the poems in this class pleased me a great deal.

      Now we come to the downright brilliant poems, of which there are naturally only a few. I might as well cite them all. They are Scale Free (a series of haiku-like lines & almost pure haiku), A Split Second Later’s Late, Laminations in Lacquer, Lucky Hat Day and Red Butterflies, all of which had a powerful psychological and spiritual impact on me. Here are just a few of the lines from these truly remarkable poems which really struck me, and I mean really —

      from A Split Second Later’s Late:

      … a serpent’s spit according to legend.

      from Laminations in Lacquer, the gripping lines:

      Fireworks like a diaphanous lithograph
      print an emblazoned sky
      on the craggy mountains of the night
      where comets play at kites
      & glistening the eerie beak hisses.

      and from Red Butterflies, where we find some of the most highly inspired, truly imaginative lines:

      but as a collage on shifting sands…

      A sword brazed in a fire
      that does not distinguish
      between the battle
      & the field.

      I believe we can safely say that the poet has achieved a level of poetic style and content which can hardly disappoint. Some of the poems in in “All the Babble of the Souk” remind me of T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”. Perhaps the most striking feature of this volume is the poet’s portrayal of humanity, which deprives us of any escape from the darker, more insidious depths of our human condition. The most striking imagery in the entire collection forces itself on the least flattering trait of of our nature, our tendency towards — I might as well say it flat out — bestiality, which leaps to the fore in the poet’s all too frequent comparison between homo sapiens and apes (King Simian, seeking simian), gorillas, baboons and other fierce beasts of that ilk, all the way to neanderthals, Australopithecus and the odious nocturnal lupine, the proverbial werewolf. Lines such as: the hairless ape, go ape, going bananas… all mercilessly zero in on our ape-like nature bedeviling our so-called civilized veneer.

      There is also frequent reference to eating meat, and being eaten (we grow the meat we eat, those she didn’t eat alive, children simply to feed her, how they like human flesh, to be consumed by hell), all the way through to witchcraft and Zombie imagery. The dreadful presence of these creatures of the night inexorably lurks just beneath the thin veneer our blasé urbanity.

      To cut to the quick, the most memorable qualities of Robin Ouzman Hislop’s poetic gifts are his penchant for economy of lines and the puissant imagery of the chthonic. Where these features dominate any poem, they impel it towards the nonpareil! Such poems soar. When it works, it works supremely well. As for the rest, there is much to please the reader.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Press Release All the Babble of the Souk A Collection of Poetry by Robin Ouzman Hislop

      Press Release All the Babble of the Souk published by Aquillrelle on Lulu. by Robin Ouzman Hislop.
       

      robin2705
       
      Review of All the Babble of the Souk by Richard Vallance
       
      Richard Vallance, writer, author of Canadian Spirit Voices=
      If “All the Babble of the Souk” is anything but memorable — as it surely is — it is so because of its sweeping portrayal of the tumultuous market that is humankind. The “babble” of this bazaar is that of all the markets in the world — irrespective of nation, language, culture or race or for that matter, at the symbolic level, of any manifestation of our nature, be it “good” or “evil”, which are not opposing psychological or spiritual states as all too many naïvely imagine, but rather their subtle blending in our psyche. There is no suggestion of the presence or absence of God or a “god”. It is irrelevant. There is just humanity.
       
      The poems, mostly quasi free form, some of them highly reminiscent of haiku, range from very short to a few pages long. Except for one poem and one only, Scale Free, in which we come face to face with some of the most beautiful imagery in the entire collection, and I quote:
       
      A cuckoo taunts
      high in the mountain
      where are you?

       
      there is not a single question to be found in the rest of the book. All the rest of the poems consist only of statements, some of them brief, others rather too long for my taste and some even downright convoluted. When this approach to poetry composition is carried to its extreme, it can and sometimes does result in the overly prosaic. That is the only real quarrel I have with this collection. Fortunately, there are only only a handful of poems which are painfully prone to the prosaic. Among these are Mannequins, the whole series Maps 1,2,3,4, The Prisoners, Non Linear and in particular Rust (which reads more like a scientific tract than a poem), none of which have any real appeal to me.
       
      The rest of the poems run from agreeable at the very least to the truly amazing. Among those poems agreeable to the mind and/or the ear I count: Passage, At the Party, Here Comes the Moon, Multiverse, The Pine at the Summit and Wind upon a River. Others like these will more or less please the reader. But as everyone knows, we all have our own preferences for the kinds of poetry we like. The poems which appeal more to one person appeal less to another. The aforementioned choices are merely my own.
       
      Next come poems which display remarkable talent, such as: After Dylan on the Ninth Wave (which I for one particularly like), Africa North (haiku-like), A Witch for Halloween (in which we find some of the most striking chthonic imagery in the book), Core (commendable for its brevity, economy of verse & imagery), Entanglements (haiku-like), Sequence 1 & 2 (haiku-like) and Story of a Rose.
       
      I have a marked preference for the poet’s haiku-like poems. Haiku have always strongly appealed to me. In fact, I myself, along with Robin Ouzman Hislop and so many other truly talented haijin, have composed a considerable number of poems of this nature, many of which were published in the print quarterly, Canadian Zen Haiku (2004-2010), which is now out of print. Brevity is the soul of wit, and indeed of the memorable. It is Robin Ouzman Hislop’ s more compact poems which please me the most. There are exceptions, poems which are not haiku-like or are somewhat lengthier. There are some truly memorable lines in these poems. For instance, we have:
       
      from Africa North:
      A winnowing canvass tosses corn
      and
      ... as fireflies in the blazing day.
      and finally
      In the gloaming a solitary reaper reaps its shadow.
      (Reminiscences of Wordsworth’ s, The Solitary Reaper, one of the most astonishingly beautiful poems in English.)
       
      from After Dylan on the Ninth Wave, there are a considerable number of memorable lines, which you can explore for yourself. The poem is not quite up to Dylan Thomas… a very tough act to follow!
       
      and from Core:
      reaching my eye’s peninsula

      sudden scene, solitary strand
       
      All of the poems in this class pleased me a great deal.
       
      Now we come to the downright brilliant poems, of which there are naturally only a few. I might as well cite them all. They are Scale Free ( a series of haiku-like lines & almost pure haiku), A Split Second Later’s Late, Laminations in Lacquer, Lucky Hat Day and Red Butterflies, all of which had a powerful psychological and spiritual impact on me. Here are just a few of the lines from these truly remarkable poems which really struck me, and I mean really —
       
      from A Split Second Later’s Late:
      … a serpent’s spit according to legend.
       
      from Laminations in Lacquer, the gripping lines:
      Fireworks like a diaphanous lithograph
      print an emblazoned sky
      on the craggy mountains of the night
      where comets play at kites
      & glistening the eerie beak hisses.

       
      and from Red Butterflies, where we find some of the most highly inspired, truly imaginative lines:
      but as a collage on shifting sands…

      A sword brazed in a fire
      that does not distinguish
      between the battle
      & the field.

       
      I believe we can safely say that the poet has achieved a level of poetic style and content which can hardly disappoint. Some of the poems in in “All the Babble of the Souk” remind me of T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland”. Perhaps the most striking feature of this volume is the poet’s portrayal of humanity, which deprives us of any escape from the darker, more insidious depths of our human condition. The most striking imagery in the entire collection forces itself on the least flattering trait of of our nature, our tendency towards — I might as well say it flat out — bestiality, which leaps to the fore in the poet’s all too frequent comparison between homo sapiens and apes (King Simian, seeking simian), gorillas, baboons and other fierce beasts of that ilk, all the way to neanderthals, Australopithecus and the odious nocturnal lupine, the proverbial werewolf. Lines such as: the hairless ape, go ape, going bananas… all mercilessly zero in on our ape-like nature bedeviling our s0-called civilized veneer.
       
      There is also frequent reference to eating meat, and being eaten (we grow the meat we eat, those she didn’t eat alive, children simply to feed her, how they like human flesh, to be consumed by hell), all the way through to witchcraft and Zombie imagery. The dreadful presence of these creatures of the night inexorably lurks just beneath the thin veneer our blasé urbanity.
       
      To cut to the quick, the most memorable qualities of Robin Ouzman Hislop’s poetic gifts are his penchant for economy of lines and the puissant imagery of the chthonic. Where these features dominate any poem, they impel it towards the nonpareil! Such poems soar. When it works, it works supremely well. As for the rest, there is much to please the reader.
       
      Overall rating: 3.75/ 5
       
      Richard Vallance

       
       
      Richard Vallance
       
       
      Richard Vallance, meta-linguist, ancient Greek & Mycenaean Linear B, home page: Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae, https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com
       
      PINTEREST Boards: Mycenaean Linear B: Progressive Grammar & Vocabulary,
       
      https://www.pinterest.com/vallance22/mycenaean-linear-b-progressive-grammar-and-vocabulary and, Knossos & Mycenae, sister civilizations, https://www.pinterest.com/vallance22/knossos-mycenae-sister-civilizations
       
      Also poetry publisher, The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of sonnets of the early third millennium Le Phénix renaissant de ses cendres : Anthologie de sonnets au début du troisième millénaire Friesen Press, Victoria, B.C., Canada. © August 2013. 35 illustrations in B & W. Author & Title Indexes. 257 pp. 315 sonnets & ghazals in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese & Persian.
       
      http://vallance22.hpage.com
       
       
       
       
       
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      robin@artvilla.com
      editor@artvilla.com

       
       
      http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm
      http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
      www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
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      PRESS RELEASE. The Poetic Bond V.

      PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE
       
      PBVCoverFinal
       
      Willowdown Books is pleased to announce the poems
       
      A Split Second Later’s Late and The Split
      by
      Robin Ouzman Hislop

       
      have been chosen for inclusion in the international poetry anthology
       
      THE POETIC BOND V
      CELEBRATING FIVE YEARS OF GLOBAL POETRY
      ISBN 978-1517783808
       
      Publication Date 21 October 2015
      Available from www.thepoeticbond.com and across all AMAZON Channels
       
      Summary Review
      A Split Second Later’s Late “Hangs brilliantly on the edge, visually stunning, there is a breadth to the language that is very satisfying.”
      The Split “A challenging piece, revealing the debates of Wu Ch Eng En and Chuang Tze, and prompting the reader to research. The tone of philosophical enquiry is well held giving a feeling of profound truth.”

       
      (Trevor Maynard, Editor, The Poetic Bond Series)
       
      Robin Ouzman Hislop is the Editor of the online journal Poetry Life and Times (see Artvilla navigation bar above) & Facebook Pages of Poetry Life and Times and Artvilla.com (see links below) – which are extensions of the website Artvilla.com .He’s published in a variety of international magazines and a recent Anthology of Sonnets: Phoenx Rising from the Ashes. 
      Previously Robin has appeared in The Poetic Bond Series with his poems “Red Butterflies”, “From Here to Silence”, and “Far from Equilibrium”
       
      The Poetic Bond V
      POETRY THAT BONDS US
       
      1. Thirty-six poets from 11 countries were selected through a submission process in which there were no restrictions on form, style, length of subject; instead the choices made were on the basis of emergent themes and congruency in the pool of work; a snapshot of the poetry of new media NOW, seeking to capture the zeitgeist of the moment.
       
      2. Trevor Maynard, UK based poet and writer, manager of Poetry, Review and Discuss Group, a major poetry group on LinkedIn. His new poetry collection KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON (published in 2012). He is also the author of several plays. Further information can be found at our Artvilla site Poetry Life & Times (see navigation bar above)
       
      3. The Poets of The POETIC BOND V (2015) are; Amanda Judd (Virginia, USA), Belinda DuPret (West Sussex, UK) Betty Bleen (Ohio, USA), Bonnie Flach (California, USA), Bonnie Roberts (Alabama, USA), Brian McCully (Victoria, Australia), Caroline Glen (Queensland, Australia) , Christine Anderes (New York, USA) Cigeng Zhang (China), Claire Mikkelsen (Alabama, USA), Clark Cook (British Columbia, Canada), Diane Wend (Dorset, UK), Rhona Davidson (West Yorks, UK), Frances Ayers (New York, USA), Freddie Ostrovskis (Derbyshire, UK), Gilbert Franke (Texas, USA), GK Grieve (London, UK), Ian Colville (Bedfordshire, UK), James Sutton (IOWA, USA), Jill Langlois (Illinois, USA), Joseph Simmons (Maryland, USA), Julie Clark (Kent, UK), Kewayne Wadley (Tennessee, USA), Leander Seddon (New South Wales, Australia), Linda Mills (Oregon, USA), Marli Moreira (Brazil), Nana Tokatli (Greece), Neetu Malik (USA), Peter Alan Soron (Cheshire, UK) Pushpita Awasthi (Netherlands), RH Peat (California, USA), Robin Ouzman Hislop (Spain), Sonia Kilvington (Cyprus), Trevor Maynard (Surrey, UK), Wendy Joseph (California, USA), William diBenedetto (Seattle, Washington, USA)
       
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      PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE

       
       
       
      www.facebook.com/PoetryLifeTimes
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      robin@artvilla.com
      editor@artvilla.com

       
       
      http://www.aquillrelle.com/authorrobin.htm
      http://www.amazon.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop
      www.lulu.com. All the Babble of the Souk. Robin Ouzman Hislop