Friday, May 13, 2011

Christien Gholson: "For the tiny insect casting a long shadow ..."

Utamaro: Snake & Green Lizard

Christien Gholson is one of the finest poets I have had the pleasure to publish in the 22 years I've been doing Lilliput Review.   The greatest compliment I can give any poet is simply that she or he is unique: Christien is certainly that.  I've published two chapbooks in the Modest Proposal series by him, along with three broadsides.

What follows is the first publication of this poem anywhere.  I thought about the various paper forms in which I could publish it (broadside or Brobdingnag Feature Poem) and electronic and left it up to Christien.  He chose electronic and I'm very happy he did so I could share this with Lilliput's and Issa's web following.  Enjoy.

For the tiny insect casting a long shadow
across the page of a Burton Watson translation of Ch’i-Chi

“…in my poems I think how cold Hsuan-tsung must be tonight.”

Wings smaller than a lizard’s eye:
Emperor Hsuan-tsung
     attracted to his own name in print?

Wing-veins invisible as wind, thinner
 than the Emperor’s
                        thousand year old hair.

Everything returns.


Emperor, Emperor,
egg to larvae to wing in the time it takes
                                    to turn the page.

Nothing returns.


Born from water, nameless.
Older than stone, nameless.
Pattern of air, nameless.
Feeding on light, nameless.

Everything returns.


Wind-chimes to the left, right:
Calligraphy of lizard tracks in dust.

Nothing returns…

                                    Christien Gholson 


This week's featured poems come from Lilliput Review, #153.  Two very different dogs that shared the same page, back in November 2006.   I've read Don Wlekliniski's poem at local readings featuring Lilliput  work - it's fun to read, when you put your back into it.  Afterwards, folks come up an scratch your head.


  business as usual
money says have a nice day

money says bark like a dog

money says bark like a dog
and roll over

money says blame it on each other

money says have another biscuit
Don Wleklinski

The dog of myself
walking the dog of the dog
through the dog of the world.
I think the dog sniffing around
for the perfect plac to void
is the poetry of place.
And I think the poetry of the void
is the dog of myself tied
to the dying tree of the world,
sniffing eternity out.
Paul Hostovsky

the lazy dog
barks lying down...
plum trees in bloom
translated by David G. Lanoue


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Theresa Williams said...

Bravo! I love everything about this post. Christien's poem and Issa's dog made me smile big time. Thanks, Don.

Anonymous said...

A masterpiece of a poem, to return one day in print? as in "everything returns"? after appearing with digital wings where "nothing returns"?

Cross-posting on word pond, with a deeply disappearing bow. Thank you Christien Gholson and Issa's Untidy Hut.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Just back in town after a few days in the woods and blogger crash. Thanks for the very kind words - glad you liked all the work.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


As always, many thanks for the kind words and reposting. Just back from the woods and trying to straighten out the big pile I need to get to.

Blogger's crash pre-vacation kind of put the kibosh on things. Glad you liked Christien's poem.

Poet Hound said...

Loved the poems, but especially the one in which money asks you to bark like a dog.

Ed Baker said...

been working now 7 decades towards an image re: that

' tiny insect casting a long shadow...'


under every stone is a kami reflecting

.... neat stuff as per usual

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

PH, glad you liked. I do really love reading that poem to an audience ...

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Ed, glad you liked ... Gholson is the real deal.

Just back from 5 days in the woods, more soon.