Open Meeting

haibun poem


Standing room only in the community room of a local church on a Friday night. A blonde in knee-high riding boots checks Facebook. The co-chair runs the business portion of the Open AA meeting. A smiling giant invites us to fill the last two chairs — in the first row.

The guest speaker takes the podium.

He wears a white, bushy mustache that hangs inches off his face. His eyes shine with a serenity I’ve seen on too few. He shares his story, which inspired me in two ways.

First, he defines resentment as a “re-experiencing of that which hurts us.” I understand that all too well. Second, the depth in which he needed to make his fourth step — a “fearless and searching moral inventory.”

He had to look at his past, but he had to do his third step — “make a decision to turn our will and life over to the care of God as we understand him” — before he did.

I need to do the same — and in the same order.

shifting in their chairs
walking through cigarette smoke
on our way out


photograph by Jacob Owens

The Writers Manifesto


Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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