Lantern Review: Issue 5

The Hybridity Issue

Kristen Eliason

from Picture Dictionary

Artist's Statement

The following piece is an excerpt from my manuscript entitled, Picture Dictionary. These prose poems are presented in the format of a dictionary—the primary tool I used for linguistic understanding and mis/representation while I was living in Japan. Each section follows the Katakana syllable that most closely matches the word’s pronunciation and the manuscript as a whole follows a Katakana syllabary table (Ka, Ki, Ku, Ke, Ko, etc.). The illustrations in a picture dictionary serve to simplify communication, and this version (all of the pictures are referential) serves as a vehicle for exploring cultural and emotional aphasia. The false English/Katakana structure further explores issues of translation, the fragmentation of cultural meaning, and the disintegration of memory in the wake of grief.

This piece also serves as an elegy.