A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2007, vol 3 no 3

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Jim Kacian



There's a telephone pole just outside the parking lot of the local high school. It has the usual carvings–Anne Loooooves Dick, we're told, but by her friends or enemies we can't be sure. A couple weeks ago, on an impulse, she stuck her wad of gum on the pole on her way to class, shiny and pink. In a couple of days it had turned dull and chalky white, but hadn't fallen off.

A week later someone else–Dick?–added a second wad, and then another. Over the next few days, dozens of wads all different colors and sizes appeared. If they were fresh enough, you could make out the loops and whorls of thumbprints in each piece.

Three days ago a girl came by–I watched her–and shaped her lime-green wad into a stringy heart. Not a single new wad has been added since.

on my Walkman
the Beatles are playing
in 1968