koi sidebar
koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 2, June 2014


Matthew Paul
Isleworth, Middlesex, England

Umberto at Large

The twilit hooded crow always calling in his head, his coat collar turned up against the north-east wind that renders his complexion a spat-out olive stone, Umberto frog marches himself towards the sea-front, where a Roman statue's battered torso’s beached. At breakfast in his Mitteleuropa, Art Nouveau hotel, he regards his fellow guests: black, satin, shoulderless jumpsuit for her; check shirt worn outside navy linen shorts for him; eyebrows either sculpted to death or as bushy as Birnam Wood come to Dunsinane; the papers they read (Süddeutsche Zeitung; International Herald Tribune); their white plates molehilled with buffet selections—rolled-up ham, eraser-sized blocks of Emmental, apple-filled croissants, rye bread smudged by pallid butter and faux-English apricot jam; all washed down with Turkish coffee or Lipton’s tea and glasses of flat Prosecco. As Umberto turns his gaze to the black-and-white photos laid out before him, his thoughts dilly-dally towards the old gelateria across the road, where high summer—un cono piccolo di lampone—awaits.

a scent of bay
lovers squabble over
who should poop-scoop



| contents page | next haibun |

koi sidebar r
koi sidebar r