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Beneath Cherry Blossoms - The Lilliput Review Blog

Monday, 30 July 2007

New issues, a broadside and a chapbook ...


Today, the first batch of new issues goes out in the mail.  It takes nearly a month to get all the issues out, as there is much mail that needs attention.  The new issues are #'s 157 & 158.  157 is a standard anthology issue and #158 is a broadside by Mark Hartenbach, entitled Butterfly, Corkboard. 

In addition to the new issues, there is a brand new chapbook by Gary Hotham in the "Modest Proposal Chapbook" series, entitled Missed Appointment.  What follows is a taste of each.  From #158, a poem by Yosano Akiko, translated by Dennis Maloney.  For details on her life and career, click here for an informative Wikipedia article.




   Lying with my lover,

   From the bed I see

   Through the curtain

   Across the Milky Way the parting

   of the Weaver and the Oxherder stars!


Yosano Akiko (translated by Dennis Maloney) 



From the broadside Butterfly, Corkboard, issue #158:



   i will settle for lachrymose

   nostalgia is unaffordable



   i will scratch out lines

   that i don't feel responsible for


   i will squeeze in an interesting ancedote

   now & then



   but for the most part

   i'll sit in silence




   i won't be noticed



   there are no questions


   to jar me

   from this compromise


Mark Hartenbach


Gary Hotham is one of our finest contemporary haiku poets.  From his new chapbook, Missed Appointment, the following poem :


careful steps

rocking the boat

rocking the top of the ocean


Gary Hotham




Posted by donw714 at 06:32 EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007 09:20 EDT

Friday, 27 July 2007

Gary Snyder ...

I've always felt attracted to the work of Gary Snyder, particularly his subject matter and philosophy, but I've never really connected with him in a big way.  While reading some of the nature work of Mary Oliver, I found in a pile of poetry books a small chapbook of Snyder's work, entitled Songs for Gaia.   This set of poems was later reprinted in Axe Handles, under the slightly different title of "Little Songs for Gaia."  Once again, I didn't quite connect with the work, except this opening poem of the sequence:


across salt marshes north of

San Francisco Bay

cloud soft grays

blues little fuzzies

illusion structures¾pale blue of the edge,

sky behind,


hawk dipping and circling

over salt marsh


ah, this slow paced

system of systems, whirling and turning

a five thousand-year span

about all that a human can figure,


grasshopper man in his car driving through

Gary Snyder


From the Lilliput archive, #107, two short poems:


December Dawn

   The sun comes up,

   reining a bleak wind,


   Love is never enough.


   Love is all there is.

Jeanne Shannon



Any day

any moment


Cid Corman


Posted by donw714 at 12:11 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007 09:28 EDT

Thursday, 26 July 2007

War's good business, give your son (or daughter) ...


One of the anomalies of this war that has now gone on longer than WW II is that, though the majority of opinion is against it, there has been very little by way of protest.  In addition, the press has ignored this issue and the reason why and so the war drags on.  The reason is simple: there is no draft.  The people in the streets in the past were those whose skin was on the line or those related in someway to them.   Now the people who are putting their life on the line volunteered to do so.  Does that make it any less heinous or, in some perversity of logic, right?  No. 

So, too, there are, it seems, very few war poems.  At Lilliput, I see virtually none.  Does it bother me?  Yes.  Does life go on?  Sure.  For us, the privileged, the protected. 

For lack of other fodder, here's a poem by Wilfred Owen, with an outcome no less biblical for its divergence:



Parable of the Old Men and the Young

So Abram rose, and clave  the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretch\ed forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him.  Behold,
A ram caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son. . . .



And from the Lilliput archive, issue # 106, September 1999, before the war:














Joe Staunton


best, Don



Posted by donw714 at 06:42 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007 09:27 EDT

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Albert Huffstickler and Cid Corman


You will be reading a lot of the work of Albert Huffstickler in coming postings - before he died in 2002, Huff had become my favorite "unknown" poet of the small press and remains so 5 years later.  Huff simply cut to the heart of things and in the longer form especially was wrenchingly lyrical.  Though I believe he was being overly generous, he once told me he learned to master the short poem working on things to send to Lilliput.   He certainly mastered the resonance I look for in short works.  A homepage of his work and tributes to him may be found by clicking the "Small Press Links" in the right hand column of this page.  There are some fine poems to be found there.

From LR #105, here's one from Huff and a poem by another premier poet who is gone, Cid Corman:



Something random

in the morning air.

Something not

to be named.

Something that starts

where music ends.

Albert Huffstickler



Finding the poetry

living in it.

 Cid Corman





Posted by donw714 at 10:38 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007 12:56 EDT

Saturday, 21 July 2007


This morning's Writer's Almanac features a poem by Percy Shelley well worth repeating:


Love's Philosophy

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine? —

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another,
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother,
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?

Percy Bysshe Shelley



Lilliput Review #104 was a broadside issue by the poet John Elsberg, entitled "Small Exchange."  Here is a little gem from that ten poem collection:


And O,

how he loved his tenderness

when he touched her

John Elsberg





Posted by donw714 at 08:26 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007 09:26 EDT

Friday, 20 July 2007

Weather-Beaten Trees ...


Generally, I plan to be posting a new entry once a week, more frequently when time allows.   Currently, I'm reading a recent translation of Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil, Verse by Adelaide Crapsey and a selection of the art and poetry of d.a.levy entitled The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle.

I first ran across the work of Adelaide Crapsey in one of those inexpensive anthologies of poetry produced by Dover Publications entitled Imagist Poetry.   I have since discovered that she was the inventor of the cinquain, a form I often see in poems sent to Lilliput.  The Imagist movement was greatly influenced by one of the first waves of interest in all things Eastern in the West, and the cinquain as a form owes much to the East in its striking imagery and precise condensation.  Though not a cinquain, the following is my favorite poem by Adelaide.

On Seeing Weather-Beaten Trees

Is it as plainly in our living shown,

By slant and twist, which way the wind hath blown?

Adelaide Crapsey


From Lilliput #103, April 1999, two poems:


One Breath

One of your breaths contains

          all the air

               a Mayfly breathes

          in its life 



Poetry is that

conversation we could not

otherwise have had.

Cid Corman 




Posted by donw714 at 06:44 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007 09:25 EDT

Thursday, 19 July 2007



If you want to know what the ugly underbelly of the 60's was truly like during this 40th anniversary celebration of "the Summer of Love," check out d.a.levy and the mimeograph revolution, edited by Larry Smith and Ingrid Swanberg.  The city of Cleveland's betrayal of its would-be poetic savior, d.a.levy, makes Peter's denials of Christ in the garden look like small potatoes, indeed.  A compilation of biographical articles, interviews and analysis, along with a generous selections of the poetry, collages and concrete work of levy, this volume is one of the saddest, most gut-skewering stories ever to be told in the small press (that, god only knows, has had more than its fair share).   For more info on saint levy, check out the "Small Press Links" in the right hand column of this page.

I've always believed that wisdom can come in small packages as well as large.  From Lilliput Review #102, January 1999, the following:



Fact of Life


driven into green wood

will loosen

and back out.

Graham Duncan


Posted by donw714 at 09:15 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007 13:01 EDT

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The Big Picture


Today's poems open up issue #101, originally published in January 1999.   They speak to some larger issues ...


the circle so large

the curve imperceptible

we think we're moving

straight ahead

Julius Karl Schauer


Alpha Centauri

Light years separate us now,

Once horse and human!

Lynx Quicksilver




Posted by donw714 at 16:11 EDT | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007 13:02 EDT

Tuesday, 17 July 2007



Welcome to the new Lilliput Review blog, Beneath Cherry Blossoms.  I will regularly be posting poems from past issues to highlight what goes on in Lilliput and letting folks know what's new and what's forthcoming.

Right now, issues #157  and #158 are in the final stages of preparation and will be mailed out to subscribers during the month of August.  In addition, #17 in the Modest Proposal Chapbook series, Missed Appointment by Gary Hotham, will be published next month.  More info will be forthcoming.

From issue #100, a broadside featuring the work of the late poet Cid Corman, the following poem:


After all


this meaning

would be a


farce.  Accept


this moment

beyond all



    - Cid Corman 



Posted by donw714 at 15:16 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 22 July 2007 07:49 EDT



Beneath cherry blossoms, 
there are no strangers.

                                           - Issa


Posted by donw714 at 09:23 EDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 22 July 2007 07:49 EDT

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