[Haibun developed in seventeenth-century Japan, consisting of a prose passage followed by haiku. Tranter reverses and re-engineers the form.] Snap A rainbow, tinted various pale shades - the green and light brown seem made for each other - curves over the shoulder where leaves whisper and arches into a background of grain and shadow, more the effect of the half-smile than anger or the addiction to rapid speech, or so we think. The subtle check fabric of the shirt speaks of a cultural niche to do with class and brand-names, then the words that shuffle out across the horizontal pages claim large areas of sensual experience and pain thoroughly studied as if by divine right, lit by a glow from the top of the frame above where the house pets and the badgers begin to quarrel, either the lurid cumulus in the sky or a kind of spotlight elevated above the drive-in corral of emotions. There, the voice says gently, every fact is being added up, each colour assigned to bold or pastel, and now here's the postman with something surprising for you to sign. Make up your mind. Now escape if you can, for all this is locked into the past, and has become repetitive and irreversible. In the morning light that you are so grateful for you read the paper, absorbed like a child in the tinsel advertisements and busily unravelling the dramas that weave their plots in the suburbs - but if you looked up, you'd see yourself seated in a cafe in a European town that seems to have moved back to 1934 or thereabouts, while a young woman - your mother - is moving slowly about the room, lighting the lamps, one by one, as evening falls.
|The East Village Poetry Web