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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 6: January 2021
Haibun Story: 190 words
By Roberta Beary

This is Just to Say, or Carly Calls Me for the Fifth Time on Her Birthday


My hair is falling out. Last week I dyed it green to match my eyes. I got a Celtic cross inked on my back. Do you think that’s weird, a big tattoo at 45? Do you think I’m weird? It turns out, which is so strange, Alexander the Great and me share a tiny segment of DNA. Did you know he conquered the world at 23? What was I doing when I was 23, do you remember?

asylum moon
the twisted trail
of chromosomes

I don’t shower anymore. It’s too much trouble and I don’t trust the way the water feels on my skin. Plus I can’t take off my headphones. For when the angels sing. Do you think that’s weird? I didn’t tell the doctor. He still gave me a new prescription. I asked if it would help with the iron. I’ve got all this iron churning around. In my blood. That’s why I don’t sleep. Alexander the Great never slept. That’s where I get it from. I’m okay though. Thanks for asking.

Roberta Beary’s
Issue 6, January 2021

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.

Author’s website: https://robertabeary.com/news/

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

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, Ireland.

The 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)

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