A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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Contents Page: March, 2010, vol 6 no 1


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Zinovy Vayman

Haibun for Stephanie

Ah, Sabbath is departing. I am left with this BU Bridge stretching from the Allston panhandle to the melting pot in the People's Republic of Cambridge, new granite curbstones and a buzzing Trader Joe’s store with samples of ginger cookies. One per customer; I eat four.

dark night clouds
goose-feathered slope
gleams by the river

Aha! I discover $4 in my pocket and go to the Harvest Co-op where I gulp a cup of tepid water from a huge filtering machine and sniffed in some dry granola. It is my supper. I have something to look forward to, ladies and gentlemen. Out of the Blue Gallery hosts poets tonight. And Stephanie Laforza may show up. Last Saturday she was so gleeful, so genuinely inquisitive and so come-onish. I even can pronounce her last name in Italian, Laforza, Laforza.

white rice cooker—
Chinese has no structure,
learn it grain by grain

I buy lentils, veggies and millet and go straight to the gallery.

Whole Foods emporium
artisan bread
in my side vision

An Asian guy with a pony tail—where did I see him?—catches up with me and I inform him—just in case—about the death of our leader and artiste Kaji Aso. He remarks that he somehow knew that the cause Mr Aso's demise was the cancer of esophagus.

heirloom tomatoes
Confucian disbelief
spreads in my brain

Inside the proletarian gallery I find Stephanie beaming with youth, politeness and gracefulness. And here I am in the warped fields of sarcasm and ribaldry prompted by the presence of Antelope and his new wife from the suburbs.

I keep my papers on my bosom in between my collared shirt and t-shirt and Antelope makes a remark about by convex breast. I crack that I feel my breasts jumping while jogging and add something about sex change in the making. Stephanie calls me “naughty”. Antelope does not approve my joke even a bit, though. And I have done it all for him, I swear.

I hope only the brilliance of my new genre—haibun—sparkling with both haiku and even limericks will present a new me but it does not take me far, I feel it. The applause is out of pity.

weeping cherry tree…
out of thousands tiny blooms
one petal takes flight

I excuse myself to Stephanie and the Asian poet; I am to march to Boston via MIT Bridge. I hurl myself along the Massachusetts Avenue.

On the dimly lit sidewalk I see some stuff and I pick from it some slinky coil and— lo and behold—-a box of tapes on breast enhancing program. Athena-II. Wow, I now believe in divine providence. Crossing the Smoot Bridge I am smitten. I breathe in a vast expanse. I am in elevated spirits. I am creative. I whisper a new haiku. A classic 5-7-5 syllables.

stiff southern wind, yeah!
crests of foam turn into glyphs
floating…floating to…

I race through the edge of the Back Bay. I hide behind the pylon of the overpass ... Communion with nature. .. I am peeing gloriously.

When I almost dry up a floodlight kicks in and I register a full shadow of my body on the pylon. I turn left and right trying to catch the shadow of my manhood’s appendage but nothing, nothing shows up on concrete. How strange! The shadow of my jet has been as solid as my torso and legs.

How come? What happened? Why? I wave my hand. The silhouette waves too.

And in my utter bewilderment I head home to my virtuous wife.

crabapple tree
blossoms and leaves cast
the same shadows

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