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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 7: March 2021
Haibun: 147 words
By Matthew Caretti

Drinking Pálinka With Attila

 

A Hun, yes. But not him of myth and history. Rather, the father of my sweetheart. A good man. A kind man. In the likeness of Einstein but with less hair. Shorter cropped. His daughter says he looks like every other Hungarian man. Yet I find his eyes, smiling always, different. In a land where pathos defines the national identity.

bells at noon
our first drink
to the past

He returns from his basement with a special bottle. Dust as its label and a marker of its aging. Its strength. He smiles and pours another shot. Then another. The spirit inspires our tongues. My rudimentary Magyar becomes fluid in my floating mind. His discourse on the apricots and pears in his orchard, of this special autumn peach distillation, makes perfect sense. Warrants one last toast.

tulip-shaped glass
the saccharine burn
still to come

Matthew Caretti
Issue 7, March 2021

began publishing his poems in 2009, though his fascination with Eastern short-form genres began much earlier. In 2017, he won the Snapshot Press eChapbook Award for his collection of haibun, Harvesting Stones (published in 2019). His poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals such as Poetry Canada, Contemporary Haibun Online, and Haibun Today, among others, and are anthologized in Volumes 11, 12, and 16 of the Contemporary Haibun series (Red Moon Press).

Caretti has engaged deep contemplation about the human condition as a monastic and during periods of both retreat and pilgrimage, and continues to cultivate those same musings in his writing. He is inspired by the myriad ways humans seek happiness, and is intimately aware of his own leanings toward writing, cycling, and travel.

 
 
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