Written for:  dVerse Poets:  Haibun Monday #23, “Contemporary Cityscape”  (posted by Bjorn)

This week I thought we would take the haibun to a contemporary haibun. It will be making a few diversion compared to the traditional haibun.

Still I would like you to write it in first person, present tense. Make the prose sparse but this time bring in the cityscape, look for the bad part of town, the lightworms of commuting cars, skylines, the beat from faraway nightclubs.


Walk down Sixth Avenue. Head for Minetta Lane Theater,
West Village, New York City. See crowded basketball courts,
with games in progress. Sweat, balls bouncing on concrete,
cheers from onlookers. Strollers and shoppers fill the streets.
Right before we turn, there it is–small grungy triangle known
as Father Demo Square. Congregation of cast-outs. Homeless
man with wool cap, mentally ill woman dancing
in sneakers and screaming obscenities, druggies buying
and selling their wares. Music blares.

sweat mingles with perfume
quick peeks at displaced folks
music of the city


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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25 Responses to Avenue

  1. ZQ says:

    Yup! great snapshot!


  2. kanzensakura says:

    Very vivid pic of a section of NYC. The haiku at the edties this up excellently.


  3. kim881 says:

    I’ve only ever been to New York City once, but this is how I always imagine it. Your haibun appeals to the senses, Sara,


  4. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    I can picture NYC through this beautifully gripping haibun 💜 Kudos 😀


  5. Brian says:

    A rap song for NYC. Vivid and potent.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “sweat mingles with perfume” A fine way to encapsulate NYC


  7. Many have written of the homeless – as human as any of us.


  8. Yes the music is both dissonant and sweet

    Liked by 1 person

  9. lillian says:

    oh this is so well done….the juxtapositioning……the varied “music” of the city in its oh so difference scenes — sometimes just a block away.


  10. Even small cities like mine have those little enclaves that kind of smack you in the gut. Very well described with a perfect haiku to finish.


  11. Glenn Buttkus says:

    A terrific poem that captures the brisk walk on the wild side, piercing, honest & personal. The mentally ill woman dancing while screaming epithets haunts me. I live in Sumner, suburbs of Tacoma; nice to know you’re a neighbor of sorts. So many of the dVerse poets are from far-flung corners of the country & globe.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A realistic snapshot of your experience engaging all the senses. Good ‘ku too. 😊


  13. Bodhirose says:

    I’ve never been to NY city and only have seen these parts from movies but even this very small town of Sebastian on the Indian River has smaller versions of what you speak.


  14. Mish says:

    Your description gave me some strong visuals of colourful characters. Made me think of the the city as an orchestra, a blending of different folks, somehow harmonious.


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