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Haibun Story
206 words
SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016


by Dan Gilmore

for Steve Kowit

On my walk I took a shortcut through a boarded-up part of town & saw a man sitting at a bus stop. Ballistic hair, swollen feet that tested the strength of his down-in-the-heel Birkenstocks. “This isn’t a bus stop anymore,” I said. “The bus has stopped coming this way.”

He pointed across the street. “Mary & I used to live up there, just above the Wind Chimes Bar: jazz, blues, poetry. Ginsberg dropped by once.” Then, as if giving me advice, he said, “Important stuff, this remembering. Cherish it.”

I asked where he lived now. He pointed up, “Paradise,” he said. “Better than L.A. Not as good as Ocean Beach. I miss that lady there who sells apples. Apples don’t taste the same in heaven.” He stood, straightened his back & navigated his way through broken glass, over chunks of cement & bricks, past boarded-up doors. He paused to give a stray dog a pat before disappearing around the corner. The dog followed him. In the stillness I heard the far away cry of a saxophone, the fiery staccato of a poet, & then...the tinkle of wind chimes.

has anyone seen
the man who pounds out lightning?
I need to be struck

—From New Shoes, Gilmore’s collection-in-progress of haibun stories, scheduled for release later this spring by KYSO Flash Press

SHJ Issue 14
Spring 2016

Dan Gilmore

has published a novel, A Howl for Mayflower, and four books of poetry. His flash fiction, Happiest Black White Man Alive, was nominated for a Pushcart prize and selected by novelist Robert Olen Butler for publication in The Best Small Fictions 2015 anthology. His most recent collection, Just Before Sleep (KYSO Flash, 2015), includes 23 tiny works that represent a fusion of narrative prose poems and American haiku.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury