hi from Nara, Japan
sitting with MIZUHIKI branch
from Nagaye’s garden
I become ikebana
Haibun for Robert Pinsky
Richard Moore, Victor Howes, Allan Bowhill, Anatol Zukerman are thoroughy educated poets.
They may talk at length on medieval Europe, Ben Johnson, Shakespeare, Dante, ancient Greeks,
Pushkin, modern science and architecture…
All four refused to come to listen to Mr Pinsky.
Facing the audience R. Pinsky talks easily about red haired Germanic invaders chasing dark
haired Celts, about cowboys resembling the people they exterminated, about Adolph Sax, the
inventor of a saxophone.
When he talks he lifts his left foot in a sandal and performs sometimes like Balkan dance.
I am the only one in a first row and Pinsky’s blue blazer is draping the adjacent seat.
The public is invisible to me but the voices ask for poems, “Read Ice Storm, please.”
“Allusions!” “The Night Game!” “Shirt!” I become a little sleepy.
my steppe is rising
in easy waves
Mr. Pinsky muses a little on “how to juggle life of art and earning bread.”
“Genuine problem. Everybody is different,” he says and adds, “I could have been a better
father, if not poetry.” “Bishop’s work was made possible by her small fortune.”
From time to time Robert glances at me. He really sees me, I gather, and I walk to him when he
leaves the podium. Flaunting my knowedge of history I request his autograph of a short poem
by W.S. Lands just recited by him:
ON LOVE, ON GRIEF, ON EASY HUMAN THING
TIME SPRINKLES LETHE’S WATER WITH ITS WING.
He writes those two lines for me in my “MADE IN ITALY” leather-bound notebook and I feel
even more emboldened. I fetched my Haibun for Christine Sterling, Ahmed Zibadi’s piece,
something else, and give my writings to him.
A shadow falls on his forehead and glooms a bit his face. But he takes my papers and sticks them
in his folio.
He will never get back to me on our road to oblivion.
new phone card
my old girlfriend Pinsky
takes my call in Moscow