This bartender doesn’t like me. I used to enjoy reading great literature and could recite poetry…“what happens to a dream deferred?” – might still help me make enough of an impression that someone sitting at the bar won’t mind making up the coins I lack to pay for my beer.
sweet brown lacquered tones
shoulders elbows, eavesdroppers
ring marks – hops on grains
hops on trains, buses, and brains
fingerprints, the smell of coins.
Tanka inspired by Leslie Reese’s prose, with my kami-no-ku (first 3 lines or ‘upper phrase’) and Leslie’s shimo-no-ku (last 2 lines or ‘lower phrase’). We both had a lot of fun and were inspired further by Langston Hughes’ cameo. Leslie is a gifted storyteller, published poet, and social justice advocate. She shares her passion for the written word on folkloreandliteracy.com as well as through literacy work with children. Thanks for joining me in this Leslie, it was a true honour and I appreciate the introduction to Harlem.
Half a Haibun is an ongoing (and occasional) feature here at 10000hoursleft. A collaborative project with bloggers I admire- they write the prose that I then use as inspiration for a tanka or haiku. The intention being that together, we’ll create a whole; 2 halves converging to add a richness and complexity to one another, in the form of a haibun. Others in the series: