The rubber was doing the dead man’s float in the bowl. He pulled the chain and said maybe it broke but I’d be all right. He pointed to the bloody sheet and laughed. Said I’d bled something fierce, same as his girlfriend. Girlfriend?
Later I was late. His friend’s missus would see me right as rain and not to worry, he’d drive me.
On the way it’s pouring. We pass a dead cat. Its mouth open, the white fur matted.
You’ll be all right, he says as he drives off. Before I ring the bell, the big red door opens.
She strips off her gloves. I sit up. Say, can I rest a minute? She shakes her head. Points to the fancy toilet.
You’re not quite done. Have a good sit-down, and when everything’s right as rain, knock on the door and I’ll help you.
Her posh accent doesn’t fool me. Still, I settle my bottom on cold porcelain. Close my eyes so I can’t see it. But I do, right there and when I get home. Every day after and every night except for when I’m asleep. Lying in the road, its mouth open to the rain.
—From the author’s book-in-progress, a collection of fiction (micro and
flash): The Years Go By in Single File
second collection of short poems, Carousel, is co-winner of the Snapshot Press
2019 book award contest. Her first short-form collection, The Unworn Necklace,
received a finalist book award from the Poetry Society of America. Her collection of
prose poetry, Deflection (Accents Publishing, 2015), was named a National
Poetry Month Best Pick by Washington Independent Review of Books.
Long-time haibun editor of Modern Haiku, Ms. Beary is also co-editor of
Wishbone Moon: An Anthology of Haiku by Women (Jacar Press, 2018), and she
recently judged the Sable Books Haiku Contest for Women Book Award.
Her writing has appeared in Rattle, KYSO Flash, 100 Word Story, Cultural
Weekly, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and The New York Times, and is also
featured in A Companion to Poetic Genre (John Wiley & Sons, 2011) and
Haiku In English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton, 2013).
Ms. Beary lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, Frank Stella,
and tweets her photoku and micro-poetry on Twitter [at] shortpoemz.
Featured Guest: Roberta Beary on Rattlecast 133 hosted by
Tim Green, editor of Rattle poetry journal (YouTube, 28 February 2022)
Featured Author: Roberta Beary in MacQueen’s
Quinterly (Issue 12, March 2022)
Roberta Beary, haiku poet and editor, on writing Haibun, interview
with Mike Rehling, editor of Failed Haiku (YouTube, 8 February 2021)
Tiny Love Stories in The New York Times (8 January
2019); scroll five stories down the page for Roberta Beary’s “Now
It’s All Fresh Fish” and her photograph of lobster traps in Clew Bay,
art of brevity, an interview by Ciara Moynihan in Mayo News
(22 January 2019)
Lunch Break, a haibun by Beary in Rattle (#56,
Summer 2017), Tribute to Poets with Mental Illness; includes audio (17 July 2017)