Thursday, August 30, 2012

central park & all that

Tony Kushner, Central Park, and a recent batch of haiku

This recent burst of haiku began in Provincetown last week when I recognized Tony Kushner on the street but was too shy to say hello, ask for his autograph, have a photo taken, and behave like a starstruck tourist. A tanned, scantily clad young man sitting on a street corner, and talking loudly on his cell phone, as I shyly walked along the street toward The Red Inn cocktail bar, with Tony just yards ahead of me, hollered audibly to his phone mate, "and Tony Kushner just walked by!!!" And then the young man, with what appeared to be an open bottle of rum at his side said to Tony, "Oh, I'm sorry. That was probably kind of rude." Tony seemed amused, smiled at the gushing, apologetic fellow, and just kept walking, as he chatted to a friend walking with him.

Later in the week, when I was in Central Park, I took out my map as I wandered toward the Bethesda Fountain, where Tony Kushner sets one of the final scenes in Angels In America. 

                Jed & Greg kissing in front of the Bethesda Fountain - summer of 2011

me and Marie-Claude not kissing in front of the Bethesda Fountain last summer - we like open displays of affection in public, but only when it does not include us

Strolling through the park, as I drew closer to the beautiful iconic fountain I like to visit each time I go to Manhattan, I was suddenly possessed by the spirit of haiku and out came these five new haiku about Tony, Esther, Julie, Tammy and Marilyn. I think Tony is in good company here.

   the Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir in Central Park

I scribbled them on my map of Central Park, with the first haiku printed in the middle of the Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir. Here they are, transcribed for your reading pleasure, or lack thereof...

and i must thank my traveling companion Jonathan Chandler (in very small print of course), for contributing his knowledge of the Ukraine to the Julie London haiku, as well as his quick witted construction of the last line of the Kushner haiku (damn, I should have thought of it first!)

synchronized swimming haiku

you have never heard
of Esther Williams? get out
of my pool right now!!!

starstruck name dropping haiku

saw Tony Kushner
in Provincetown, had cocktails
but not with Tony

sex symbol haiku

you think Marilyn
Monroe was over rated
I want a divorce

queen of country music haiku

Tammy Wynette not 
a feminist? you are a 
complete idiot

wishful thinking

Julie London bridge
does not cross the Crimea 
River, wish it did

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