The Island of Capri

Carlton did not know quite what was coming over him when he rose in the darkened theater. He’d been gazing forward across the rows of velvet seats at the young boy for the better part of this Italian picture, transfixed. So absorbed with those delicate features was he that the twenty-something found himself entirely unable to follow the abstract, obtuse plot, indeed had difficulty even tracking the subtitles cursorily. So he found it an immense relief when the lad suddenly rose and excused himself from the rest of his party, a veritable family affair involving what Carlton presumed to be his sisters and mother, or some combination of cousins and aunts. He was certain neither of the two charming young ladies could be dates, that the youth – Consenting age? Carlton squinted to make out telling characteristics, acne or peach fuzz through the shadows… Eighteen? He struggled hopingly to verify, though knew perfectly well the object of this admiration was more plausibly on the way to graduating middle school than college – was like him, and enjoyed doing what people like he did in their leisure time…

The moviegoer understood these things implicitly, powerfully sensed them. But regardless, the excruciating distraction had been compromising, nay ruining his screening experience completely, and a momentary break (been just draining that vat of soda, slurping away in an uncouth manner that did not help matters whatsoever, rather exacerbated the fixating maddeningly) from his dark allure would make for a refreshing, much needed breath of fresh air, Carlton though to himself at first. So he was quite startled to discover his legs acting as if on their own accord to lift him up out of the stiff discomfort of the old, hard seat and carry the somnambulist out through the swinging doors and around a corner toward the circular staircase leading up to the lavatory on the balcony level.

through the sewers
hero gives chase
dauber stamping card

How did Carlton know the young man was not occupying the closer, single-occupancy stall beside the concessions stand, easier accessed, more private? Call it a hunch. The solo cineaste was convinced the boy had given him a look as he jogged past, you see, ‘come hither stare’ he’d recalled such being previously termed elsewhere. Carlton got a distinct feeling he might find the fledgling in fact waiting for him up there, eager and ready for anything, itching for it with the same tingling and warmth he intuited forming around his own nether regions, those tropical climes clustered at the equator. So when he shoved the door open, other hand hurriedly unfastening calfskin belt, there was no shock at observing this stripling frozen, just inside, before running faucet. That look in his eyes couldn’t be fear, surely. Carlton was only there to provide him with what he’d been begging for, after all. The boy took a step back. The adult advanced toward him.

duckling unattended
when muskrat comes calling
field trip headcount

Jerome Berglund

The Island of Capri

Backwards

What good is it if the timer goes off when you’re not listening and burnt chicken sends out cries to the universe of animal spirits roasted on the spit of eager bellies. Feed them sunflowers, proclaims the witch of the west. We dine on a red-checked tablecloth, mouths too busy munching to talk, bodies too spent from hidden affairs to offer the usual convivialities.

butternut clouds
the wind knocks down
a spent wave

Pris Campbell

Backwards

A Haibun in Town

I woke up in a basement with a headache somewhere in middle America and you were tightening your coat and planning to throw away my underwear. Outside, the Zeros Donut sign was creaking as the wind pushed it from both sides. America, I walked down Decatur street in Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and wondered who this Decatur guy was and why I never learned about him in any classroom. I just want to come back to a chair, a desk, and a drink.

During rush hour,
we look for a place to sleep.
We soak images.

William Allegrezza

A Haibun in Town

Some Shun the Word

Wicked. For fear of God, some shun the word.
You ride it like a broom. You circle the moon
each dreary October, while glistening thunder booms.
You scratch out spells with a stick, eyes and voice
smokey as a hex. Unsexed, your tone faded jade
like a granny smith apple, you dazzle. You sizzle,
jazzy to dizzy . . . You came from a land of darkness.
You crept from a grove of shadows, a place
of dying and disorder, where light is midnight—
Circe’s pet, last of your league.

a black rat
nibbling at a rotten pumpkin
owl calls

Anna Cates

Some Shun the Word

The Old Stones

“just look with an open mind and you’ll see the movement of the stars and the phases of the moon…the archaeologists haven’t got a clue…our bones are the rock, our flesh is the earth and our skin is the grass…this place was a fucking hippie commune before my ancestors arrived…”

orcadian dusk –
wind wolves running
away from the sea

Stephen Toft

The Old Stones

Brendan Slater in memoriam

Having just learned about the death of Brendan Slater, poet and editor, The Other Bunny re-presents a few of his works that can be found on this site. Rest in peace, my friend.

Brendan’s footnote:
the Fixer is Jimmy Savile, a prolific English paedophile who hosted a programme on TV called “Jim’ll Fix It!” in the 1970’s and 80’s. The Milk Snatcher is Margaret Thatcher who put a halt on free school milk for under 11’s as soon as she gained office. Sir Glitter of Glam is Gary Glitter (a.k.a. Paul Gadd) a pop star from the 1970’s as well as being a prolific paedophile. Mrs Jackson is a reference to Michael Jackson the youngest of the 1970’s US band The Jackson Five and believed by many to have been a prolific paedophile.

Our Father;
the sins of man
beaten out of him


    This morning, like every morning, returning home to a cold empty flat along the cinder packed towpath, under lichen covered bridges and across frictionless rancid-black footboards from one side of the lock to the other and back again, holding tightly to the gate rails to prevent slipping into the cut and being pulled down with the swell and through the paddle into the chamber to almost certain death.
    I passed a young man wearing a red raincoat, speaking as if to Himself in a timbre that told me His adolescence had been drawn out, and I thought, that thought, that one, that one day He will be dead, and what will be left of Him will simply be graffiti in the minds of the ones, if there were any, who had loved Him.
    In His name, Amen.

Rain

After three sub-zero mornings it is relatively mild at 4°C. I put on one too many layers for my trip to the chemist, arriving home ringing wet. Though, so long as the rain holds off I don’t mind the cold, the relative mild, or the sweat, because the rain doesn’t “cleanse me”, as a friend describes his relationship with it, but attempts to drown me in my own guilt.

half-life…
sleeping the rest
away

Title: Guilt.

Brendan Slater in memoriam