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Martin Walls
Poet
I teach at the downtown YMCA. I was returning from a summer class there on writing haiku, and there was a summer jazz concert in Clinton Square. A summer storm also was approaching, and so I could see the distant lightning and at the same time hear a lap guitar.

It was as if the steel guitar was the sound of lightning. That was a moment of synesthesia, as when the sight or sound of something produces a reaction in another sense.

This is fitting for haiku—in fact one of Basho’s best haiku is very synesthetic, in which he describes the sounds crickets soaking into rocks in summer.

Jazz in Clinton Square:
Here, the lap steel guitar—there
Summer lightning strikes

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