Free Verse by Michael Escoubas

Summer Haircuts
There wasn't much money
for small things in the 1950s.
Dad's welding and repair business
paid the bills, but that's about all.
Come the end of May along
about Memorial Day, my brothers
and I were long overdue. Unshorn,
our curls fell gently on our collars,
like a Breck Hair Spray commercial.
All the girls looked on us with envy.
They would have killed to get our curls.
Our buddies, the lucky ones, already
had their summer cuts—
the West Point look that featured
a burr in back with a small shock
of curl smack in the middle-forehead.
Each West Point cost a quarter,
a lot of money back then—
how refreshing the scented talc felt
when old Gabe soft-brushed our necks,
how clean and cool and new we felt
when May breezes kissed our naked heads.

by Michael Escoubas (USA)
Quill and Parchment, May 2019

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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6 Responses to Free Verse by Michael Escoubas

  1. robertertman says:

    Hi Charlotte, I’m teaching a Zoom haiku class & would like to recommend your daily haiku email but I don’t see how to sign up. Can you remind me how it’s done? Thanks, Bob

    • Robert, thanks! Either people can sign up for their free blog, without posting anything, and that will allow them to get notices of my blog by following me. Or, I think they can click the “Reader” button without signing up for their free blog. Otherwise, they just need to use my link Your readers are probably more savvy than me in figuring this out! Wish I could be more helpful. Maybe my followers have some technical knowledge that I don’t and can comment?

  2. MaryJo says:

    I enjoyed your poem, Michael. I don’t remember those hair-cuts but can visualize them from your description. What an interesting slice of life. Thank you.

  3. Michael Escoubas says:

    Appreciate the response, Jo. Yes, West Points’ were in style for boys in the 50s. It was basically a burr-cut with a small shock of curl that rested on the forehead.

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