A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2009, vol 5 no 1

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Colette Jonopulos


Six rules written for a new paradigm, 2009: Break the door into two neat pieces. Bring water to the river. Eat only powdered donuts. Call your mother. Paint honey on your face and stand in the woods. Yodel.

A thousand years from now, two shepherds (there are always shepherds) will discover the six rules written on good paper, penned by a woman, six rules preserved in a cave (it is always a cave). The shepherds will yell to their neighbors that something valuable has been unearthed. What wisdom, an old woman will say. This is exactly what we needed, a young father will say, hefting his fat son onto his shoulders. The six rules will be copied and passed from village to village. Doors will be broken exactly in half, rainwater caught in buckets and carried four miles to the river. Scholars will look for the foodstuff: powdered donuts, in cookbooks saved in museums. Everyone calls his or her mother. Most paint their faces. Few wait in the woods. When the sun rises, the people bow to the earth to give thanks to the woman who penned the rules. Yodel, they'll say, we honor you.

we are deep
within the well of history

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