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Chenou Liu


A Man Who Read Basho


A Haibun


he dies
under the staircase
an old dog

He often came to the library shortly before it opened and wouldn’t leave until the chief librarian kicked him out. He spent most of his time leafing through old encyclopedias and vintage copies of The Paris Review. He wasn’t much of a talker, but occasionally he did the monologuous talk-to-the-audience speech on what he had read or thought about.

The week before he died, he stopped me on the way out and surprised me by saying, “I've enjoyed reading some of your haiku and quotation tweets. My favorite is ‘to write haiku is to create an imaginary pond with real frogs in it.’” He then slipped a piece of crumpled paper into my hand and left.

lotus pond...
all that remains
of frog song

Submitted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Edited: Thursday, April 18, 2013
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