an old man now

I take a look at myself:
so much more
than that rail-thin kid
who loved the blues


I’ve been reading Machi Tawara‘s mega-bestseller Sarada Kinenbi, Salad Anniversary, a collection of tanka originally published in 1987 and depicting events (apparently at least partly fictionalized) set in 1985-6 — the very time I was in Japan and falling in and out of love myself. So it’s making me reminisce a little. A bit of self-consciousness and the remembered lyrics to Neil Young’s song “Old Man” birthed this effort the other night before bed.

Looking through my folders the next day, I was chuffed to find a snapshot someone sent me from around 1991 — when I was 24, just like the singer of “Old Man.” It is without a doubt too obvious a fit for the tanka, but what the hell. This is after all partly a joke about my current waistline. Unlike Tawara, I’m not aiming to be the next Saigyō or Ono no Komachi.

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