Issue > Poetry
Christopher Stephen Soden

Christopher Stephen Soden

Christopher Soden received his MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts in January of 2005. He teaches craft, theory, genre and literature. Christopher’s poetry collection Closer was released by Rebel Satori Press in 2011. His work has appeared in G&L Review, Chelsea Station, Glitterwolf, Collective Brightness, A Face to Meet the Faces, Resilience, and Ganymede Poets among others.

Little Bird


Imagine you are one step removed
from the boat, from the Lower
East Side, maybe two from the shtetl.
Imagine you started making your chops
at nine, pisher climbing a wobbly tower
at Repertory in Pittsburgh. Imagine
the old soft shoe, hopping so lightly,
serenading the audience like a sparrow,
delivering shtick like a pro, making
friends with spotlight and shadow. Gradually
you move from Hog Butcher to Citrusville
to Alligatorland to Catskills, appeasing
the goyim late into deep black morning,
when hoofers and comics tuck in
to their breakfast, too stoked to crawl
into bed. Imagine long conversations
with others who swim the river of knack
and revelation. Imagine the first time
you realized the elevator guy wanted you
to cradle his shmeckel. The gorgeous,
lithe, humming taste of flight,
however brief. Imagine the transformation
from performer to fearless actor, the wife
who would not understand, the revulsion
of the gatekeepers, the ease of responding
to secret radio code. Imagine pioneering
a role without an actual name, rouged,
leering marionette, sop to Nazi degeneracy.
Feygeleh disguised as Aryan emcee
to a night club, decrepit and tref.
Imagine the realm of the secret unsecret.
Wilkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome.

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