Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Afterlife: Issa's Sunday Service #137

Artwork from Vermin on the Mount

In case you have trouble with the above link, click here
If you still haven't heard Paul Simon's last album, So Beautiful Or So What, treat yourself. "The Afterlife," from that album and featured this week on the Sunday Service, is Simon for the ages, quite literally this time: witty, ironic, sardonic, lyrical, and, well, Simonesque. Buddha and Moses (and both their noses) take a lyrical, literary bow, hence the songs inclusion.

The Afterlife
After I died and the makeup had dried
I went back to my place
No moon that night, but a heavenly light
Shown on my face
Still I thought it was odd there was no sign of God
Just to usher me in
Then a voice from above sugarcoated with love
Said, "Let us begin"

You got to fill out a form first
And then you wait in the line
You got to fill out a form first
And then you wait in the line

Okay, new kid in school
Got to follow the rule
You got to learn the routine
Whoa! There's a girl over there
With the sunshiny hair like a homecoming queen
I said "Hey, what'cha say, it's a glorious day
By the way, how long you been dead?"
Maybe you, maybe me, maybe baby makes three
But she just shook her head

You got to fill out a form first
And then you wait in the line
You got to fill out a form first
And then you wait in the line

Buddha and Moses and all the noses
From narrow to flat
Had to stand in the line
Just to glimpse the divine
What'cha think about that?
Well, it seems like our fate
To suffer and wait for the knowledge we seek
It's all His design
No one cuts in the line
No one here likes a sneak

You got to fill out a form first
And then you wait in the line
You got to fill out a form first
And then you wait in the line

After you climb up the ladder of time
The Lord God is near
Face-to-face in the vastness of space
Your words disappear
And you feel like you're swimming in an ocean of love
And the current is strong
But all that remains when you try to explain
Is a fragment of song
Lord, is it Be Bop a Lula? Or ooh Papa Doo?
Lord, Be Bop a Lula? Or ooh Papa Doo?
Be Bop a Lula

And, in case you were wondering, this is how us old farts rolled back when we were able (now we just waft, if in time, sort of ...)

my dead mother--
every time I see the ocean
every time...
translated by David G. Lanoue


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Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 137 songs

Saturday, September 29, 2012

100,000 Poets for Change, 2012: Pittsburgh Edition

This year's 100,000 Poets for Change in Pittsburgh will have 3 featured readers, plus an open mic for all poets to bring two poems.  As stated by Michael Rothenberg, co-founder of 100,000 Poets for Change, "Peace and Sustainability is a major concern worldwide, and the guiding principle for this global event."  As of now, over 800 events are planned worldwide

Hope to see you there ... everywhere.

so teeny-tiny
resting in peace
little snail

translated by David G. Lanoue

Photo by ChangeColumbia


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 136 songs

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chen-ou Liu & dan smith: Wednesday Haiku Week #83

 Photograph by Michael

from a wet dream
... winter rain
Chen-ou Liu

Photograph by Jppi

Rubik's Cube,
dan smith

O insects
don't you complain too!
this autumn
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 136 songs

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Long Hard Book: Issa's Sunday Service, #136

If this doesn't work, click this:

Pavement is one of the great bands who the hipsters know, a band who went the independent route and, though without any mainstream success, certainly made life in the 90s more livable. The lead singer and creative force behind the band, Stephen Malkmus, still delivers the goods with his band the Jinks.

When it comes to Litrock, we are all staring down the spine of that one long hard book. This little chestnut may be the proverbial tough one to crack - there is more here than it may seem. Written by one of the great 20th century authors who is certainly not my cup of meat, the book is write under our noses.

So, identify the author and title of the "Long Hard Book" in the comments section below (first correct answer is the winner) and a free 6 issue subscription to Lilliput Review is yours.

By the way, the album from which "Long Hard Book" is Mirror Traffic, pictured above, is some fine work. If you like Pavement, you'll love this.  

Long Hard Book
   I can't see you through these wandering eyes
   I'm a one-trick pony and I can't survive
   See me flagging, something's wrong, you see
   Rope director, won't you bury me?
   There's a long hard book that needs reading
   So do what you must, but don't touch
   I'm ever so frightened
   Come around, baby, take a look
   No excuses for what you might do
   I'm seeing, lady, things you'll never know
   Run around, rabbit, won't you run run run?
   There's a long hard book that needs reading
   So do what you must, but don't touch
   I'm ever so silent

If this is your cup of tea, and there might not be all that many of you, then there is this, "All Over Gently," also from Mirror Traffic ...


first snow--
making a Buddha of you
is hard too
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 136 songs

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dos Gatos Press Anthology: Submissions Open

Photo by Leaflet

An old friend of Lilliput Review, Constance Campbell, asked me to pass along the following information about a forthcoming anthology of haiku, senyru, and haiga that focus on the Southwestern U. S. You don't have to be a resident of the Southwest to submit and, since there is no fee for submitting (on principle, I won't pass along information where the poet is charged a fee), I am more than happy to pass the info along.      


Dos Gatos Press


Scott Wiggerman & David Meischen, Publishers
1310 Crestwood Road, Austin, Texas 78722 512-467-0678


A New Anthology of Haiku/Senryu and Haiga

A new Dos Gatos Press anthology will feature original, previously unpublished haiku/senyru and haiga that focus on the Southwestern United States. Scott Wiggerman and Constance Campbell will serve as editors. Penny Harter will write the preface. We anticipate a 2013 release date.

You need not be a resident of the Southwest to submit. The arrangement of the anthology will be by seasons, though the poems need not include a kigo, or traditional “season” word.

You may submit haiku/senryu or haiga or both.

Submissions Window: September 1, 2012–January 15, 2013

For all submissions:

· Dos Gatos Press accepts submissions through Submittable, our online submissions manager. We no longer accept submissions by mail. We do not accept submissions by e-mail.

· Do NOT put your name or any other identifying information on the document that holds the poems you submit. We follow a “blind” reading system: our editors read all poetry submissions without knowing who wrote the poems.

· Please use Times New Roman 12 pt. for the text of your submission. Single space your poems; double space between stanzas.

· We welcome the expression of diverse voices, diverse cultures—including poems partly or entirely in Spanish. Please include an English translation of a poem written in a language other than English.

· No previously published work. We consider a poem published if it has appeared online or in print, including personal blogs/webpages and/or social media sites.

· No simultaneous submissions.


Submit up to two haiku/senryu per season (e.g., if you submit two for each season, you can submit up to eight poems). Use the labels Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer to identify your haiku/senryu. You may submit haiku or senryu or both.

What we look for in haiku/senryu:

· Haiku do not traditionally have titles, dedications, or epigraphs noting location and date. We prefer that they not for this anthology.

· The same goes for metaphors and similes; let images themselves do the work. Think simplicity!

· We especially like haiku that juxtapose two images in new and startling ways. Often two of the lines, with a slight pause used as emphasis, will be juxtaposed with the third line to create an aha moment.

· Haiku may have up to seventeen syllables in one to three lines. We do not require a traditional 5-7-5 syllable count.

We like the definition of haiku expressed by Modern Haiku:

“Haiku is a brief verse that epitomizes a single moment. It uses the juxtaposition of two concrete images, often a universal condition of nature and a particular aspect of human experience, in a way that prompts the reader to make an insightful connection between the two. The best haiku allude to the appropriate season of the year. Good haiku avoid subjectivity; intrusions of the poet’s ego, views, or values; and displays of intellect, wit, and facility with words.”

We recommend reading more about haiku at the website of Modern Haiku, as well as at the following: Daily Haiku, Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, Simply Haiku, and Tinywords.

We also recommend excellent how-to articles by Jane Reichhold:

Haiku books worth reading:

· The Haiku Handbook—25th Anniversary Edition: How to Write, Teach, and Appreciate Haiku (Higginson & Harter)

· Haiku: A Poet’s Guide (Gurga)

If you have any questions about submitting haiku, feel free to contact Scott Wiggerman.


Haiga is a digital or scanned image artistically integrated with haiku. The haiku complements the image; the image complements the haiku. The placement of the haiku is important, as is the choice of typeface or the style of any lettering done by hand.

We recommend reading more about haiga at the following websites:

DailyHaiga, Haigaonline, Reeds: Contemporary Haiga, and Simply Haiga.

See an excellent how-to “workshop” on haiga images by Ray Rasmussen:

Note: This link takes you to a welcome page. The menu is at left. Click “haiga workshop” there.

Our Guidelines:

Submit up to three haiga. Each haiga will include an original image and an embedded haiku—both created by the individual submitting the haiga. Because we use a blind reading process, you will not include a byline/signature on a haiga when you submit it.

Image Guidelines:

Black and white images only—no color images.

Printable space on a page will be 4.4 X 7.25 inches. A vertical haiga might take up an entire page. A horizontal haiga will be limited to the width of our page; we will not rotate a page 90° to accommodate a horizontal image.

Digital Images:

Minimum width for an image: 1320 pixels.

Scanning images:

· Scan non-digital photographs at 300 dpi or higher.

· For pen and ink, line art, or type as line art, scan in bitmap format at 600 dpi or higher.

NOTE: If one of your haiga is accepted, you will need to submit separate files to us—one for the image itself (without the text) and one for the text itself (haiku and byline/signature)—so that we can work with our printer to achieve the best possible print quality. At this point in the process, you will include your byline/signature on the haiga.

NOTE: Managing Editor David Meischen works with our printer to achieve high quality images. If you have any questions about how to create the image file you submit, please contact him:

Save files as: jpg (use high/best compression level) or tiff

NOTE: Before you submit an image, be sure that the file extension is .jpg (not .jpeg) or .tiff (not .tif).

Dos Gatos Press


what delicateness!
a snake too sheds
his worldly robe
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 135 songs

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ida Freilinger and Chen-ou Liu: Wednesday Haiku #82

Photograph by John Harrison

Cedar waxwing
lingers near the burning bush--
fruit-setting time
Ida Freilinger

Photograph by Russell Lee

spring campfire
the smoke curls around
Father and me
Chen-ou Liu

Photograph by Wallyir

father's steady glare
another thing
in the mist 
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 135 songs

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"I'm Shakin'": Issa's Sunday Service, #135

Click here in case above does not work

It's time the Sunday Service rocked out, and who better to turn to on the contemporary rock scene than Jack White to hit the wall?  His new album, Blunderbuss, from which "I'm Shakin'" is taken, fits the bill nicely. The Samson and Delilah reference gets the song on the lit list - booty call makes it rock and roll.

Push the furniture to the walls and roll up the rugs, 'cause it's party time tonight ...

I'm Shakin'

Yeah, when you touch my hand and talk sweet talk
I got a knockin' in my knees, a wobblin' in my walk
And I'm tremblin'
That's right, you got me shakin'

When you take me in your arms and talk romance
My heart starts doing the St. Vitus’ dance
And I'm pantin'
Ohh and I'm shakin'

Early in the morning time
Late in the middle of the night
Whenever this chill comes over me
I wanna hug you with all of my might
That's right and I'm sweatin'
Oh, yeah you got me shakin'
Mmm, you got me sweatin'
Ohh, yeah you got me shakin' girl

A chill and a fever, so I've been told
Makes your head spin around and your feet run cold
I got fever, yeah
Fever, yeah, I burn forsooth

I feel like I've been run right through the mill
And I can't move around and I can't stand still
I'm Bo Diddley
Oh, you got me shakin'
I'm so jittery
That's right, you got me shakin'

Well Samson was a mighty good man
Strongest in his day
(Then along came Delilah and clipped his wig)
And it looks like you took me the same old way
So I'm nervous
Oh and I'm shakin'
Alright, you got me nervous
Yeah I'm shakin' and jumpin'

A storm rocks a ship on a sea (A storm rocks a ship on a sea)
The wind shakes the leaves on a tree (The wind shakes the leaves on a tree)
And I'm a nervous wreck and I'm all shook up
And that's what you're doin' to me right now
And I'm jumpin'
That's right, you got me shakin'
Ohh and I'm jumpin'
That's right, you got me shakin'
Ohh, you got me shakin'
That's right, you got me nervous
But now I'm shakin'
Ohh, you got me shakin'

I went through a spell back in the old days when I used to have regular nightmares about Victor Mature. Go figure. I'll leave it to the Freudians. They all kinda went like this:

Sheesh! Thanks, Jack White. For almost everything.


young buck--
shaking off the butterfly
then back to sleep
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 135 songs

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gary LeBel & Kala Ramesh: Wednesday Haiku, #81

Star Atlases depict Rigel as the left foot of Orion the Hunter 
Via the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

old staircase:
each step closer
to Rigel
Gary LeBel

Rain Clouds in Cameroon by Trees for the Future

the rain clouds
beyond darkening trees
a cuckoo sings
Kala Ramesh

Cuculus optatus via Wikipedia

he even scolds
the tree planter
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 134 songs

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Way is Not Difficult: from Inscribed on the Believing Mind

Amida Waterfall by Hokusai

While deeply engrossed in the work of R. H. Blyth, I ran across this quote he took from Seng-Tsan:

 "The Way is not difficult; but you must avoid choosing!"

Curious, I tracked down the document from which it was taken, though not the same translation. So here is to sharing some sage advice as the seasons begin to turn once more:

Seng-Ts'an: author  from the Self-Discovery Portal
  Translated by Richard B. Clark

Hsin Hsin Ming
from Inscribed on the Believing Mind

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood
the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.


The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other
you will never know Oneness.
Those who do not live in the single Way
fail in both activity and passivity,
assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things
is to miss their reality;
to assert the emptiness of things
is to miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it,
the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking,
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the meaning,
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world
we call real only because of our ignorance.
Do not search for the truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.


Do not remain in the dualistic state;
avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace
of this and that, of right and wrong,
the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One,
do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend,
and when a thing can no longer offend,
it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise,
the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish,
the thinking-subject vanishes.
Things are objects because of the subject;
the mind is such because of things.
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.


To live in the Great Way
is neither easy nor difficult,
but those with limited views
are fearful and irresolute;
the faster they hurry, the slower they go,
and clinging cannot be limited;
even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment
is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way,
and there will be neither coming nor going.


Obey the nature of things [your own nature],
and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden,
for everything is murky and unclear,
and the burdensome practice of judging
brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefits can be derived
from distinctions and separations?
If you wish to move in the One Way,
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully
is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise man strives to no goals
but the foolish man fetters himself.
There is one Dharma, not many;
distinctions arise
from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the mind
is the greatest of all mistakes.


Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
They are like dreams or flowers in the air:
foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong:
such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.


If the eye never sleeps,
all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations,
the ten thousand things
are as they are, of single essence.
To understand the mystery of this One-essence
is to be released from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally
the timeless Self-essence is reached.
No comparisons or analogies are possible
in this causeless, relationless state.

Consider movement stationary
and the stationary in motion:
both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist
Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality
no law or description applies.


For the unified mind in accord with the Way
all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage;
nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,
with no exertion of the mind's power.
Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination
are of no value.
In this world of Suchness
there is neither self nor other-than-self.


To come directly into harmony with this reality
just simply say when doubt arises, 'Not two.'
In this 'not two' nothing is separate,
nothing is excluded.
No matter when or where,
enlightenment means entering this truth.
And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space;
in it a single thought is ten thousand years.


Emptiness here, Emptiness there,
but the infinite universe stands
always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small:
no difference, for definitions have vanished.
and no boundaries are seen.
So too with Being and non-Being.
Don't waste time in doubts and arguments
that have nothing to do with this.


One thing, all things:
move among and intermingle,
without distinction.
To live in this realization
is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,
because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.


The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is
     no yesterday
          no tomorrow
               no today.


Photo by Jorge Stulfi

the way things are--
the bark-stripper's plum trees
are in bloom
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 134 songs

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Power and Glory: Issa's Sunday Service, #134

Painting by Peter Paul Rubens

(Click here if above link doesn't work)

There is a lot in this beautiful, intimate little song by Lou Reed, who is making a fourth appearance on the Sunday Service. The reference to Leda and the Swan is what lands the song on the list, though there are other nods to literature, too, including the title itself.

Power And Glory

I was visited by The Power and The Glory
I was visited by a majestic hymn
Great bolts of lightning
lighting up the sky
Electricity flowing through my veins
I was captured by a larger moment
I was seized by divinity's hot breath
Gorged like a lion on experience
Powerful from life
I wanted all of it--
Not some of it
I saw a man turn into a bird
I saw a man turn into a tiger
I saw a man hang from a cliff by the tips of his toes
in the jungles of the Amazon
I saw a man put a red hot needle through his eye
turn into a crow and fly through the trees
swallow hot coals and breathe out flames
and I wanted this to happen to me
We saw the moon vanish into his pocket
We saw the stars disappear from sight
We saw him walk across water into the sun
while bathed in eternal light
We spewed out questions waiting for answers
creating legends, religions and myths
Books, stories, movies and plays
all trying to explain this
I saw a great man turn into a little child
The cancer reduce him to dust
His voice growing weaker as he fought for his life
with a bravery few men know
I saw isotopes introduced into his lungs
trying to stop the cancerous spread
And it made me think of Leda and The Swan
and gold being made from lead
The same power that burned Hiroshima
causing three legged babies and death
Shrunk to the size of a nickel
to help him regain his breath
And I was struck by The Power and The Glory
I was visited by a majestic Him
Great bolts of lightening lighting up the sky
as the radiation flowed through him
He wanted all of it
Not some of it

Leda and the Swan

    A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
    Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
    By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
    He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
    How can those terrified vague fingers push
    The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
    And how can body, laid in that white rush,
    But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

    A shudder in the loins engenders there
    The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
    And Agamemnon dead.
                                          Being so caught up,
    So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
    Did she put on his knowledge with his power
    Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
W. B. Yeats

Here is Mr. Hughes with a spirited reading of what he, perhaps, admired most in nature, or man, or both.

Or neither.


Photo by Yashi Wong

in the lightning
how he laughs...
translated by David G. Lanoue

With this post, the regular Sunday Service is back. In fact, there will be a little more activity around here once again after a bit of a working hiatus. Perhaps more on that at a future date.

We'll just have to see. Meanwhile, Bix Beiderbecke beckons.


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 134 songs

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Susan Diridoni & H. Edgar Hix: Wednesday Haiku, #80

Photo by Bill Anders

a journey
       cancelled         impermanence

       Susan Diridoni

Photo by Xandert

The stink of roses
around the mail box holding
my divorce decree.
H. Edgar Hix

Art by Samuel Hubbard Scudder

dancing butterflies--
my journey forgotten
for a while
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 133 songs