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The One-bun

Jim Kacian

I can’t claim to have invented monoku, but I can make such a claim for one-bun: a haibun where the prose element must be contained in a single line (but so much latitude is left therein) . . .


    a long trip

is promised, and this just the beginning, and i don’t know where it is exactly i am to go or how i am to get there, just that the going is what matters, and i have agreed to go, and am going

into my dream the gentle rocking of the ship



its sap leached away carrying the endless waters, burns now with a noiseless fire

pleasantly drunk fireflies come out of the moon


    the light

of the most distant stars, which describes for us the size and age of the universe, won’t reach us for æons, leaving us to imagine . . .

dark space the red shift of my mind


    the second week

traveling by myself i cross the continental divide, and everything that once ran in one way now runs in another, down and down

on the surface of dark water my face


    beneath a waxing moon

I pare my nails and toss the white crescents into the fire, scenting the air faintly, unmistakeably human.

camping alone the crackle of dry twigs in the fire


    never been much good

at having fun, even fun always has to have something of work in it, like this hike, trudging steady without a break for these few hours, but the regular rhythm breaks down the barriers and lets the words come, as now, easily, and that, that is fun . . .

all morning to get above the tree line the sun


    by the Flat River

on a patchy day in September as i stop for breakfast on the road to New Orleans, love bugs at the first drops of rain in this droughty season begin to mate

traveling alone the smear of the wipers



centers us in the dark, bakes us orange—an excuse for staying up late, for extending the day for something not useful, for fun, for stories, for the hell of it

night clouds gone the supply of infinity


    and me

a couple pounds of fortified soil, enough perhaps to pot a geranium, sluiced by nutrient waters, jazzed by a thin electricity and aerated regularly—

one foot in the surf impossible to tell where I leave off