Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Turning Year, WCW, & a Free 6 Issue Subscription to Lilliput Review

The first batch of new issues for subscibers went out this week and I am hopeful that the rest will follow over the next few weeks. Also announced is the publication of chapbook Number 19 in the Modest Proposal series, entitled The Turning Year: Japanese Nature Poems, translated by Dennis Maloney and Hide Oshiro.

The Turning Year is a companion volume to Unending Night: Japanese Love Poems, both of which are drawn from the classic 100 Poems by 100 Poets (Hyakunin Isshu). Both of these collections take a unique subject approach to a Japanese poetic classic and allow the reader to contemplate both the individual poems and their cultural milieu from distinctly unique perspectives. Those familiar with Dennis's translations of Yosano Akiko and others, both from this blog and as published in Lilliput Review, know that he stays true to the original while bridging the gaps from both classical and modern Japanese to modern English. His smooth, imagistic style is at once lyrical and economic, admirable qualities perfectly suited to the source material. Along with Hide Oshiro, they have put together a fine collection of nature poems that should entice anyone with even a casual interest in Eastern verse. Here are a few examples:

Beyond sight my thoughts
turn to Kasuga temple
near my home
where above Mt. Mikasa
the same moon shines.
Abe-no Nakamaro

At this place along the road,
the known and unknown
come and go,
meet and part again,
passing through the Osaka gate.

On this sudden trip to Takuke shrine
I bring no prayer offering;
God of the mountain path
please accept the brocade
of maple leaves surrounding us.

The Turning Year is a 19 page chapbook and sells for $3.00, postpaid. In a web-only publication launch, I'm offering the two volumes, The Turning Year and Unending Night, for $5.00 postpaid. For further information, email me at "lilliput review at gmail dot com".

In poetry info this week, it is Anne Sexton's birthday. She is a modern American favorite of mine and here she is reading her poem "Her Kind." This week the Best American Poetry Blog featured a posting on another personal favorite, Richard Brautigan. I'm not sure I agree with their contention that his poetry was not successful in his lifetime; I can't think of too many poets at the time who were more read than Brautigan but hey, maybe, all those funny mood altering whatzits beclouded me already fuzzy noggin. In any case, the posting reprints his "Your Catfish Friend," which seems to be hands down one of his most popular poems circa Internet 2008.

In small press news, a place called "The Shop" is featuring Vox Audio for sale, which includes readings by small press giants Todd Moore and Albert Huffstickler. I'm curious about the Huff reading, which is listed as taking place in Austin and Bisbee, Arizona. If anybody knows anything about this one, drop me a line. Another poetic favorite, Miriam Sagan, was recently interviewed by Patricia Prime for Haibun Today. Miriam has published frequently in Lilliput and is the author of The Future Tense of Ash, another Modest Proposal Chapbook. Congratulations are in order for Alan Catlin, whose book Effects of Sunlight in the Fog, is number 20 on the Small Press Distribution Poetry Bestseller list, eking out the fashionably happening Tao Lin.

Finally in poetic news, William Carlos Williams' granddaughter has put out and appeal for folks to vote for WCW for the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Bruce is in already, so maybe it's time for someone a tad more lyrical. Williams is listed under the general category (Walt Whitman is listed under history - I'm wondering if there isn't going to be some nasty vote splitting there). You don't have to be politically minded or even from Jersey to vote and though they ask for your name, you can always dust off your old nom de plume if need be. Nobody is checking. If you are strategizing, you may want to tone down the Abbott and Costello vote - only two folks get in across all the categories so if you vote for other famous folks ... well, you get the idea.

Art by Bobo

This week's tour of the Lillie archive brings us to issue #67 from April 1995. Ah, that simpler time of the Contract of America, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the seemingly ubiquitous Unabomber. Ya know, come to think of it, the 90's had a kind of 80's feel without all that hair. Here's what was happening in this little world of the short poem.


old fishing village
---------in morning mist
Patrick Sweeney

A Woman

A woman standing
under the pier with her
back to me, staring
out at the ocean.

The water that slides
up the beachface stops
at her feet. I fall
in love every day.
Andy Fogle

One Idea

The music of the night
Calls me to come out
Where insect voices sing
Of universal peace
And annihilation as one idea.
B. Kim Meyer


The rope that ties
its own knots.
H. Edgar Hix


Finally, here is Brobdingnag Feature Poem #27 by Mark Sonnenfeld. I'll give a free 6 issue subscription to Lilliput
(or a 6 issue extension to your current subscription) to the first person who can tell me what he's talking about:

lawrence, KS

what I think about
is old bridgeboards
revving car engines
that drag-race their dust
to the rivers
eerie current
with all the mud + sand
so high as now this river is
a church
organist plays the daytime
workmen listening
from then her window
in the land ladys
rooming house sometime
the boards pop
at night
a part of her
left alone walking
the old deserted pavilion
she is drawn
Mark Sonnenfeld

For those who are not all that familiar with Lillie, the magazine features short poems, ten lines and under. Very occasionally, I will publish something longer under the heading Brobdingnag Feature poem. Hence, the above.

And, oh yeah, I do know what he's talking about ...



Charles Gramlich said...

I've got to give some thought to what that poem might mean. I've got a few ideas but better let them germinate.

Got an email coming your way soon.

ryan said...

gawker linked

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Well, the Brass Figlagee with Oak Leaf Palm (as Jean Shepherd used to say )and a 6 issue subscription to Lilliput Review goes to A Scott Britton who correctly sussed out that Mark Sonnenfeld was talking about one of my fav cult flicks, Carnival of Souls.


Ed Baker said...

a country road two 1956 Cevy's drag racing towards an old, wooden, single-lane bridge "winner" is first one there crosses the "loser" splashes in..

of course the "woman in the house" is
wit-ness? "the prize"

lots of these bridges in Mexico they are called:


Jim H. said...

Dennis Maloney was here today, speaking at St. Olaf College. He was right in my back yard and I missed him! Didn't even know he was coming until a few hours after he had left. Rats!

I guess I'll buy the chapbook anyway...

Greg said...

nice chapbook deal. liked those sample poems. also liked "catfish friend" -- i'm still trying to get my hands on a brautigan book.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Ed's got the woody revved up to go, gawker dinked is more like it ...

Jim, sorry you missed Dennis - I've yet to meet him, but admire his translations and work output very much.

Greg, is there a particular Brautigan you are looking for?