John Freeman

is the editor of Freeman's, a literary annual of new writing, and author of several books, including Wind, Trees, forthcoming from Copper Canyon.

Nation Poetry

Windbreak Windbreak

  In hurricane season the old trees suffer. Especially the ones standing alone. Their roots no match for a summer wind churning at sea, inhaling slights and salt air, then rus…

Oct 13, 2022 / no-paywall / John Freeman

Barber Barber

From the hotel in Martyrs’ Square we drive west into Achrafieh in search of a barber, where I learn there are four words for barber— three of which are spit out, the last of which—coiffeur—anoints the tongue with its mellifluence, like the milky coffee served by the small African woman who never stops bending and refilling. We sit with a group of men wearing three-piece suits fingering their prayer beads and crosses and watch a man, larger than most, giggle through his haircut. He has some advice for what I ought to do with my sideburns. They are too long, and my beard, it is not good, there are ways to fix this, and so these men, who in another time would have other advice, and other things to offer, gather around to officiate as my coiffeur takes a blade to my neck, and gently trims until my head is as smooth and perfumed as a past which is not past, but present.

Dec 16, 2014 / Books & the Arts / John Freeman