At a Slant. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop


I approach the horizon of my 70th year, at a slant. 
Opposite the bars of the kitchen window
the gable end wall is stuffed with straw, stones, sand, birds
plus weird contortions.

O cellular automata paying lip service to an age of cryptography
decipher me
a digit in time saves nine.

The wall is yellow now, a mingling crumble
            carte blanche in the sun's heat it stands to fall
            a block across which entangled photons might reach
            to inform the space already transfixed in the light

on this plane of observation
which might be the special attraction, the fractal symmetry
of this organism with its bacteria in my nose
together with the properties of impregnated asteroids.


On the bus. 27/05/14

under the hat, squaring the ridge, on the gravy train

traffic is more representative of our species nowadays
            an extension of our inner space
            put back what you get out of it
like the carnivore industry, from gravy to the grave.


Airport lounge. 2.30pm 27/5/14

extended into our traffic
but not our cattle, we eat them
whereas our traffic eats us.


Departure Gates

We're not meat as we're shuffled through Control
milled into queue
loaded into seats to be transported across the skies

our meat machines are the word made flesh from which we grow
to love, not hate!


Late in the Departure Lounge.

Night drinks a darkening
day in its deceit harvests green
with all its carnage unseen
beneath our conscious sheen
for were the green gone
how could night become
with a hey, a ho, a noddy
noddy hey ho.


On the floor stands an orange cow beside the snack bar
bedecked in flags of nations with tasty invites.

You can even touch it, it will not bite.

The Delicatessen sports legs of smoked ham, spirits
a cardboard cut out black bull rages in ferocious stance
a headless toreador, richly costumed brings it down
no need for fight or flight
            it's there to tame your hunger.


Day 3, in the shaving mirror.

She was like a digital doll
young, almost beautiful
compiled to instruct us by ritual mannerism
to go through that door in the wall with a video camera
in every corner watching over us.

Who's going to watch it, I wonder
perhaps Watson, who one day
will be able to react on itself, in AI.

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.


At a slant – the street. 12/06/14

parades predatory robots, rapine vampires
a pageantry of prawns, satellites flying
computer sausage balloons

an android addresses the multitude with the question
            who has not the free will to be immortal.


Skull Moon
looming in your implacable fashion
are we facing extinction?

You live longer than we do
tuned into the fine tuning of the cosmic sea
where we swim only to drown on the tides
drawn by the skull beneath the waves



we are special because between the bonobo, the baboon
we strike a happy medium, we grow the meat we eat
the world is our property.


A walk in the cemetery

no shining sarcophagus
no black, silver gleaming obelisks
no painted vases on filmy fields
here the bank's greenery gathers them
tipped, tilted awry, dark stained moss brown
not a tint of blood red.

They're a huddle of mute sameness
a closeness without plasticity
nature harvests no funeral
life simply goes on, appearances are deceptive.

Slant a summer's day
chicks sally forth in summer shorts
sequestering looks, selecting sequestered looks
the world is a mating call.

On the moor, nature unleashed
on this wind where ancient whiffs
of nostalgia blow from land, sea
were my predecessors really so free
or like me, trapped?

Dressed, undressed
      the hairless ape
dressed, undressed
      a dance of rigmarole
until we became a costume part
      a marmot puppet of coloured rags
a roll of flags.

Out of town
shunting from the station
arches overhead, slanting
produces an OCD rush in the brain 

'underneath the arches i dreamed my life away'

Arch trance
- an iteration of ink blots or patches of light, dark.


Shopping mall

float in a slip stream, an air
conditioned sunlight
euphoria of flowing flesh
epiphany of the age.

Saccades pass through windows
which mirror a time where nothing changes
a reflected object in the existence of distance
(there yet might be no external world)

ephemeral moments intervene 
          describe reality as slices of dream.


“Derby day”

Amongst those dark satanic mills
where the falcon soars the fell
over milk, honey, dairy swell
a videocam on each farm wall
to toil the land to till, kill.


Dancing tossed

a measure of uncertainty where the environment begins
(but only seems) in the drift of infinity
where it never finishes in its last ultimate instance
- on the pitiless wave ...
Here we are so so - big, so so - tiny small
are we a particle or are we a cell
that damned eternal interval – silencio.


Day One Return Flight in the Shaving Mirror. (12/9/14)

Dear homo sapiens
it's a pity we can't be more than we are
but it's the same for all of us!

At the heart of all politics is religion
at the heart of all religion is gossipmongering
the birth of a nation state is a limited liability company
                   a moral fiction.



In the brain
again the rain
before the click
i can't locate it -
what shall i do
shall i let it stall
or unwind it all?
The click's the call – Click.

A bartered world
shrieks the parrot's song
pieces of memories - go ape.

What is the final emotion
we programme
every physical thing
information into a time machine
on a haunted meme?


A glint of flint
ground gravel
a spruce of sprig
broken twig
scuttling insect
scuffed toe
there's no flow
membranous landscapes
slide show
but it's only the split, we know
time transforms all.

This life that drags
innumerable concerns
hand to mouth - the law!

World without doors
      after the before that
           doors do not speak

doors that let you in
doors that let you out
doors that lock you down

Tunes that determine words
       words that determine tunes

Break in space
      eat in public place

Do not touch
      it must have a name

Like emergence
      hurrah for war

 After the before that
      doors do not speak

World without doors
          patches in between.

The world is our closure
time its property
like a pendulum's to, fro
manufactures dream in the instants between

             age is made of memories & forgetting.

                         * * *

Poetry Life & Times

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