A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2005, vol 1 no 1

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Zinovy Vayman, USA


University Day

the stroke of noon
varsity team
resting on oars

The talk at the library is about Frank Lloyd Wright's temple in suburban Philadelphia. In the market of religions this pyramidal structure with its thrust towards heaven manifests success. Someone inquires, " Is glamour primarily visual?" It is definitely sacred. Elitist. Sexy. Children are glamourous. Old people are not. Anything glitzy and a show of wealth in the vast American provincialism is an attempt to achieve glory. Architecture casts its spell too. And, of course, the crystal cathedral of Philip l Johnson emerges in conversation again.

grabbing his raincoat
he leaves and drops
a dry yellow leaf

The huge neoclassical foyer is inviting with couches and tall windows.

The lines of Mandelshtam come to the surface.

The nature is Rome itself
Its reflection in it
We see images of its universal might
In the air transparent
As the light blue Colosseum
In the forum of fields
In the colonnades of groves

Today's task is modest. To write about "Haiku Cottage", the book by the Californian architect Karl Ashley Smith. Here is the seam between arts. Not a consumer commodity. A poem to live in. Those elegant homes becoming haiku and vice versa.

a treetop aerie-
we will draw it on paper
and move in

Would be nice to meet this guy. The kindred soul. Perhaps he did build a mountain cabin and did write poetry there. Or designed a new bungalow.

The looming appointment with the university dentist arrives without letup.

The period detail on the face of his office is intact. But inside everything is modern and perhaps even postmodern.

The chair is high, floodlight hue is on a warm side.

dental assistant
her chiselled head
breathes youth

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