Richard Wright

Come now upon an online review of a “new” previously unpublished novel, The Man who Lived Underground, by Richard Wright, published 2021 (written 1941or so), and next thing I knew I was at the library and the book fell into my hands. I read it in a day, it was better than I anticipated in some areas but even in the not quite as good areas it zipped along, furious, in and out of urban surrealism.

Brought to mind Miss Peebles. And it was an iconic university in the middle of a world city. Talking to her before class, talking not about the American writer, Richard Wright, although then we were studying Native Son, because her body had me studying, in and out of urban surrealism.

Back in them days the professor of “Black Studies 410, Harlem Renaissance and Beyond” was all Mister this or Miss that and we students addressed each other similarly, just to be unbelievably clever. Miss Peebles I’m sure had a cool first name.

Come now upon Haiku, by the selfsame Richard Wright, written in 1960 and prior, four thousand of them, from which 817 were collected and published in 1998. Among my favorites:


	In a misty rain
A butterfly is riding
	The tail of a cow.


	To see the spring sky
A doll in a store window
	Leans far to one side.


	A cow is licking
With long slow strokes of her tongue,
	Spring rain from her thigh.


	Settling on the screen
Of the crowded movie house,
	A white butterfly.


	As though sleepwalking,
A gray cat crosses the sand
	In a yellow moonlight.

	The horse’s hot piss
Scalds a fragile nest of ants
	In a sea of foam.


	A flood of spring rain
Searching into drying grasses
	Finds a lost doll


	A wild winter wind
Is tearing itself to shreds
	On barbed-wire fences.


	Before blossoming
A cherry bud looks eager,
	As if about to speak.

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