A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2005, vol 1 no 2

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Jamie Edgecombe


Chain café's polished mahogany sill, decadent creak of black leather chair. From the window, through thick bluish smoke, yellow neon on red and gold facades. Masses of people wait for green despite the lack of traffic. Tape recorded sales pitches mix with the j-pop seeping from music stores. The window captivates; frames. Winne the Pooh swings from school bags and slaps bare thighs, slowing purposefully, as the spiky haired Burberry check hipster saunters up for telephone numbers and giggles.

Returning to one's own obviousness; the uncalled for Gucci tie adjustments, between puffs of cigar smoke, which shade the air-conditioners' currents. Sip of 600 yen a cup coffee. Hypnotised by the image framed against the Luis Vuitton handbag, the fake-tanned anti-humble teenage need to rebel, for a while, smears on lip-gloss and eye-liner, suffocating her skin with make-up to hide her suffocating skin. Hair crimped and shaped into the all too familiar crown of empty smiles, costly compliments and alcohol burned-up with cigarettes: Susukino's thriving hostess trade. Next to her, her never-touched-a-surf-board surfer-chic friend, hair rust red, Mercedes Benz silver eye shadow, snipes glances in this direction. Japanese features with the look again flash of bright blue contact lenses.

A nudge: across the polished mahogany and scent of stylish coffee, three sets of eyes meet

how not to judge
when in a glance
we already have


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