3 haircuts tanka — July 10

my retro haircut
watched by a half-draped
from another century 
— her weary smile

my usual haircut 
barber’s clippers buzz
at my neck
reminds me how you...
i stifle my pleasure

my standard haircut
for a few dollars
johnny pushes my hair
about as we chat  
— you don’t do that anymore 

Image: Two of the first female men’s barbers in Sydney, Miss Dolly House and her sister, c.1927 photographed by Sam Hood c/- State Library of NSW on Flickr. Yes, it’s time for my ‘short on the sides and leave a bit of length on top’ once more, so I was musing on haircuts, an oddly intimate necessity. After Jeanne Lupton, Eucalypt, 32, 2022.

And for music today, here’s some bluesy jazz from 1960 Chicago: the John Wright Trio with South Side Soul (Youtube) (maybe start with La Salle St After Dark (Youtube)

5 variations tanka — July 2

I ask you
a dozen questions
                             — as expected —
it’s not your words
that hold my attention * 

I ask you
a dozen questions
then forget
            every answer
                           — just the sound of your voice...

I ask you
two dozen questions
tho I forget
a dozen answers
               — your laugh a complete snowfall 

I ask you
a dozen questions
tho I forget
a dozen answers
              a plate crashes to the tiles

I ask you
a dozen questions
tho I lose
all the answers
                 — the river in flood

Image: My photo, vacant dressmaker’s shop, Globe Lane, Wollongong. * this line borrowed from Patricia Prime, Eucalypt, 2010, p. 21.

And for music this morning, something from Afrique. Here’s Malian singer and guitarist, Afel Bocoum with his 1999 album Alkibar (youtube), recorded in an abandoned school near Niafunke a small village on the banks of the Niger River. “Alkibar set finger-picked guitar melodies and soulful vocals, in the Sonrai, Fula, and Tamashek languages, to a musical tapestry of lute, monochord njurkle, calabash, spike fiddles, and a three-voiced choir.” 

A sudden gust of wind

It was our first lunch out, our first restaurant meal after isolation — and it seemed so rushed. The waiter hurried to seat us, pushing the menus in into our slow clumsy hands, the traffic hurtled by, the arms of the municipal clock spun in their course. 

Then came the wine and the bread and we had at it, as if we had never tasted anything as wonderful — this ordinary crust, this cheap carafe. 

Continue reading

The umbrella

Blue wall

[Dear WordPress readers, this looks way better on my site. Come visit or here’s the PDF if you prefer]

…like people living in a country whose language they know so little that with all manner of beautiful and profound things to say, they are condemned to the banalities of the conversation manual.

Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence.

the wife is in the garden.

he has her umbrella. Continue reading