It’s barely noon. Mornings are typically slow. Clients don’t show up until mid-afternoon. Miss Lilian helps Ernest set up his camera in the sitting area of her bedroom on the second floor. She raises a small glass of Raleigh Rye whiskey—a gift from an admirer. To your health! She knocks it back and quickly pours another. In front of the camera Ernest is tongue-tied and clumsy. Behind the camera he’s patient and kind. He doesn’t judge her livelihood as a woman of negotiable virtue. He grew up just a block over on Conti Street. She’s flattered to be one of Pap’s girls. She thinks her best asset is her legs because she was a dancer when she was younger. Ernest says it’s her eyes when she smiles and laughs. And now he’s ready to shoot another frame. The light is best here and now.
Girl With Striped Stockings (circa 1912)
Photograph, glass plate negative
By E. J. Bellocq (1873-1949)*
lives in northern California among seventeen thirsty redwoods. Her short prose and poems
have appeared in 100 Word Story, KYSO Flash, Mid-American Review, MacQueen’s
Quinterly, Modern Haiku, Moon City Review, Quarter After Eight, SmokeLong Quarterly,
Unbroken, and Wigleaf. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize
and widely anthologized.
Recent anthologies include Nothing Short of 100 (Outpost 19, 2018), NOON:
An Anthology of Short Poems (Isobar Press, 2019), and Contemporary Haibun
17 (Red Moon Press, 2022). Her recent books include a prose poem e-chapbook,
Qualia (White Knuckle Press, 2017), and an award-winning collection of short
poetry, for Want (Ornithopter Press, 2017). A new collection of short poetry,
Miles Deep in a Drum Solo, is forthcoming from Backbone Press in late spring
42R Mill Street, haibun by Cherie Hunter Day which was nominated
by MacQ for the Red Moon Anthologies, and selected for publication in
Contemporary Haibun 17 (Red Moon Press, 2022).