KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Haibun: 324 words


by Jeff Streeby

Indian Summer, winter’s false flag. A record 80° and a few late wildflowers. These trees going off all at once in colors of embers and this crisp crush of new leaf litter bright as firecoals underfoot are the only things giving the lie to fall’s pretty fraud. Of course, it’s all downhill from here. I suppose to some people maybe that might mean an easy run, a few effortless changes of scene one after another then the home stretch wide open with the finish line only a few strides away. It could just as easily mean exile from Eden, Furies descending, barbarian hordes battering the city gates, plague years. Fulfillment and oblivion.

Time and time again
that inconspicuous onset of corruption

It is still argued in some circles that Wallace Stegner plagiarized Mary Hallock Foote’s diaries to create Angle of Repose. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972. It has since been praised by a couple of generations of strictly academic readers and critics as the best novel of the American West ever written. A ripoff? Looks like. But it can’t have been as simple as that. It never is. The deception, if that’s what it was, overtook him gradually, one little impulse, one little rationalization, one little encouraging outcome at a time. Then he was caught up. Is it still a Masterpiece? In its narrow niche, maybe. Doesn’t matter really. Nobody reads it anymore.

regret and inertia
then a sky swirling with starlings

Did you know that if everything is very, very still, you can hear a leaf fall from the canopy, hear the click, tap, clack it makes as it strikes bare branches on the way down? It is a comfort, too, to realize a stone can only roll so far. On those shallow slopes near the bottom, things cease to slide away. And moss has its chance.

all reds
sifted through thin cirrus
an evening sky’s welcome colophon
Jeff Streeby
Issue 6, Fall 2016

is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a nominee for Sundress Press’ Best of the Web Anthology. His haibun “El Paso: July” was selected by Robert Olen Butler for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions 2015 (Queen’s Ferry Press). His new collection An Atlas of the Interior: Small Narratives and Lyrics will be available from Hyperborea Publishing in 2016. He is a Senior Lecturer in English at Assumption University of Thailand in Bangkok.

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