Gabriel Levine Brislin

is an artist & writer
based in Edinburgh



A ten part sonnet cycle following the erratic narrative of ‘the Saint’, an archetypal yet anonymous figure of sin, piety and redemption. ‘Hagiography’ evolves through multiple conflicting voices and locations, all contained within the formal constraints of Pushkin’s ‘Eugene Onegin’.

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        IV. The Cimmerian

He hid from Him: shady alleyways,
gloom-soaked bar-rooms, (hunched & hushed) in
cinemas. He could not stay home - they’d
come knocking, hawking for his sin.
Even when he had crossed & bolted
the doors the sun still crept up, vaulted
the window-blinds and licked the floors
like a searchlight. “Greedy for more,”
the Saint quivered, forcing a grin, “Well
I will not give in to him yet,
yet...” He waited out the sunset
siege in the black absence of his cell.
The passing cars cast their white headlights
on the ceiling, “...alright, I’m alright...”

        IX. The Woods

Dull and endless green variations
and above, a singular white:
disinterested sky. Losing patience
like small change, the Saint grunts and swipes
sleepy green branches, stumbles and breaks
into space - 
                            below him, a lake,
sleeping, occupies the valley
like a ghost. A pale mockery
of tilted planes, blunted sunless hills.
Seated on the bank, breathing hard,
the Saint begins to count his scars
and mourns the star, which, after a still
night’s guiding light, has melted high
upon that white, featureless sky.