The Hanged Man, Alexandra Eldridge
from the Tarot
1. The Hanged Man
One day you came upon a dangling man
hung from a wooden gibbet, human fig
ripening on the branch, a dangling man
tied hand and foot and jerking out a jig.
“One day my universe flipped downside up,
and all my pasts became this present, tense,”
he said, “and now like an upended cup
hung from a hook, I wait here in suspense
to see what falls or rises in my eyes
where up and down and foot and crown are mixed.
Perhaps In Hell the fallen angel flies.
Perhaps all broken things are crucifixed.
Perhaps the trees are roots and I am you.
It all depends upon your point of view.”
2. The Hanged Man Reversed
“It all depends on you, your reading eye.
Perhaps the trees are roots that claw the sky.
Perhaps you thought I grimaced when I smiled.
Perhaps atonal music has begun
and my bound feet aren’t tied, but dancing wild.
Perhaps what’s strung up is no longer strung.
Mercy’s a thing on which so much depends.
It all depends on you, how you see me,
how down the page your reading gaze descends,
whether the fish are birds and I am free,
whether the sky’s a lake and earth a cloud,
whether my rattle is a laugh out loud,
whether you see yourself here in the mirror,
whether I’ve left and you’re left hanging, here.”
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 93: PEACHSUBMIT to L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIICOMING SOON with C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones
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