introducing readers to writers since 1995

November 19, 2004

"The history of the world is hearsay. Hear it."

by Ron Hogan

LeeRobinson.jpgLee Robinson, a former lawyer who now lives on a 102-acre ranch in Texas, has won the Poets Out Loud prize for her first collection of poems, Hearsay. The award is sponsored by Fordham University Press, which has also published the poems and brought Robinson up to New York to read from her work tonight at the university's Lincoln Center campus (113 W. 60th St.) at 7:30 p.m., with judge Robert Wrigley, who calls her book ""not simply the stories of a life that might be Lee Robinson's, but the stories of my own blood and kin and soul, the enactments of what it means to be human. I read and I think, yes, this is how it is."

Here's one of her poems, as read by Garrison Keillor:

The Rules of Evidence

What you want to say most
is inadmissible.
Say it anyway.
Say it again.
What they tell you is irrelevant
can't be denied and will
eventually be heard.
Every question
is a leading question.
Ask it anyway, then expect
what you won't get.
There is no such thing
as the original
so you'll have to make do
with a reasonable facsimile.

The history of the world
is hearsay. Hear it.
The whole truth
is unspeakable
and nothing but the truth
is a lie.
I swear this.
My oath is a kiss.
I swear
by everything

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