Sunday, January 15, 2023

Absence: Presence - new book of poetry - available January 17, 2023


Absence  Presence

will be available on January 17, 2023


You can order it here.




“Christien Gholson's ability to use language to surprise and enthrall me on every page gives me the calming knowledge that poetry will always be important. When a writer is able to bring the mundane world of working behind the cash register at a small country store to life in ten pages, I know that there will be poets among us till the sun implodes. Gholson tackles all the important themes in new ways: life, love, nature, house fires, seasons, grief, death. ‘All the different worlds inside us never really leave us . . . ’”
—r soos, poet

“Absence Presence offers a window into how all things are connected across space and time; the view from Christien Gholson’s window is disturbingly clear, and the view stretches beyond every horizon. Gholson’s metaphysical craft rewards readers in ways that linger long after his poems leave their lips. Gholson works where the fabric between worlds is thin and translucent; his vivid imagery, and distinctly New Mexican voice, work in tandem to tenderly and unflinchingly shine the light of darkness into all our hearts.”
—Sky Island Journal

“Absence Presence reads like a gorgeous koan, fitting because many of the poems are inspired by or written after Zen and Daoist master poets: Li Bai, Du Fu, Han Shan. Gholson’s voice is almost painfully aware and full of heart. These poems attempt to make sense of our modern world as seen through the eyes of an ancient soul. Despite all odds, the soul finds redemption by witnessing, naming, and appreciating those aspects of the world that still have meaning, are lasting, and can’t be bought and sold.”
—Lissa Kiernan, author, Two Faint Lines in the Violet, Glass Needles & Goose Quills, and The Whispering Wall


 You can order it here.

You are getting sleepy, you are buying the book.

You are ordering it here.



From the book:






This canyon tricks the ear by its

tricks of space: stone ridges, corridors,

echoes inside a labyrinth of stone cul-de-sacs.

Somewhere, a trumpet plays Summertime.

Summertime rises from a hidden blue room

or falls from a falling orange sky. No way

to find the point of origin…




Years ago, I listened to a ghost

play sax between the back of an abandoned

gas station and a rail line embankment.

Never seen, never seen, held together by

half-memorized Coltrane solos. Music

that pulled loneliness from my body, showed

it to my face, like the still-beating heart

to a grateful sacrifice.




Coyotes sing over a kill a half-mile off.

Their voices mingle with the trumpet, sound

as if they are just beyond the fence. Once,

at midnight, while I let stars crawl in and out

of my coat, my coat, I heard a woman

whisper to someone: I'm sorry, I love you, but…

It could have come from anywhere on earth.




Summertime ends. I shout into the night.

No words, just a voice full of joy, of joy,

trying to reach itself across time and space.

When it returns, it sounds like a raven's head

laughing at the bottom of an empty well.