A Haibun for Turning Forty

Wrote a new poem this morning, a haibun for Kimiko's workshop. It is at the end of this post. Checked my email and found a lovely fish ghazal written for me by AH. I am a Pisces. Other friends, like WL, CM and TH, had emailed me earlier their birthday wishes. Read the TLS before having a quick lunch at the local Chinese takeout. Started reading Christopher Ricks's True Friendship: Geoffrey Hill, Anthony Hecht and Robert Lowell Under the Sign of Eliot and Pound. This beautiful book, beautiful in writing and design, is a birthday gift from HS. She loves Anthony Hecht and knows I love Eliot. Both of us admire Ricks's criticism. Mum called to wish me happy birthday. Took a nap because I was out late last night. Checked my email and read that another group of my poems, the Boland-inspired pieces, have been accepted by MS for the PN Review. That made up a little for the disappointment of not appearing on the Lambda list of finalists. Then attended KM's first solo art show at the Community Gallery. A good turnout. I bought one of KM"s recent oils, a portrait of a woman called Fran. KM bought a chocolate cake for me, which was sweet of him. Ran into RK and we went for dinner together, at Georgio's in Hell's Kitchen. The unplanned day has evolved quite nicely. After this, I'm going dancing. RK just called from Singapore.

And here's the haibun, still untitled:

I mark my place in books with bits of my life. A grocery receipt in Middlemarch. An unused bus ticket in The Rape of Nanking. In The Ambassadors a postcard from Paris. It occurs to me this morning while shelving my books that I mark my place in men with bits of my body. My dick in Todd. Big toe in David. Ed, whom I thought I was finished with, has my left elbow. The beautiful stranger last night whose name I did not get has all ten of my fingers holding him open.

You can open a book of poems
at almost any place. I want my life
to be a book of poems in that way.



Anonymous said…
I do like ur article~!!! ........................................
Larry said…
Well happy birthday Jee! 40 is distinguished, it'll do you good.

Liked the poem a lot: funny and serious.
Jee Leong said…
I like what you said about 40. I will remember it. Thanks, Larry. Always good to hear from you.
Happy Birthday, Jee.
Jee Leong said…
Thanks, Patty.

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