The current issue of Haigaonline has a theme of found haiku and contains all sorts of interesting and innovative work. I’m a featured artist, with a series drawn from Orwell’s 1984 (there are four pieces besides the one above). This was one of the more interesting projects I worked on at the end of last year. Must remember to do more haiga. Sigh. So much poetry to write, so little time.
I can’t remember whether I mentioned that I am now, along with Johannes S.H. Bjerg and Aditya Bahl, one of the co-editors of Bones, which is one of the most exciting, innovative haiku journals around. I’m thrilled to have this chance to work with Johannes and Aditya, two of my favorite poets, and to read so much great poetry.
Our submission period for the next issue starts tomorrow (May 15) and goes through June 15, so please do take a look at some of the previous issues if you haven’t already, check out the submission guidelines, and send us some poetry if what you see looks congenial to you.
For the information of anyone within shouting distance of Madison, WI this weekend, check out the announcement below the line. Tl;dr: On Sunday afternoon (5/17), I, and several other excellent haiku poets, and a whole bunch of other poet-type people will be reading our work at one of my favorite places in Madison: Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The haiku will be going on from 2:15 to 2:45.
I’ll also be reading (very) briefly at some point between 12:30 and 1 because, and I cannot emphasize this enough, being shallow and easily thrilled, they are going to put one of my poems on a city bus, and all of us bus poets are going to peddle our wares together. Don’t worry, if I ever actually see the bus in question I’ll take a picture so you can all share the thrill.
I’d love to see some of you there, but I realize the vast majority of you will probably be busy being in other states and on other continents and stuff. Enjoy whatever you’re doing!
The 23rd Madison Poetry Annual at Olbrich Gardens Poetry Reading will take place Sunday, May 17th, Noon-4 p.m. Organized by Madison poets laureate Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman, the gathering features winners ages 7 – adult of the Metro Bus Lines 2015 contest, as well as spoken word, haiku, and poetry arranged by this year’s guest curators. Breaks between sets to socialize & trade books. Bring your chaps, full-length collections, broadsides, journals and other ephemera! Readers include Melissa Allen, Gayle Bull, David Mckee, Aubrie Cox, and Brent Goodman (haiku); Anna Vitale, Megan Milks, and Oliver Bendorf performing embodied experiments in queer-ish writing across multiple genres; Wisconsin Poet Laureate Kimberly Blaeser reading with Toby Wray and Soham Patel; and Dasha Kelly with Wisconsin winners of the Brave New Voices contest. Free Admission. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I started this blog five years ago today. For those of you who don’t know, I actually started the blog at the same moment that I began to learn to write haiku, and both endeavors had the same cause: I needed to write regularly, and I needed to find something to write, and somewhere to write it.
These were things I’d been trying to figure out literally my entire life (okay, maybe literally my entire life minus about the first four years), and within about two weeks of starting this blog I knew I’d finally got it. It wasn’t just haiku the literary genre that made me feel at home, it was haiku the literary community. Instant friends! Constant support! Artistic fulfillment! No wonder I’ve stuck this out about ten times longer than I’ve stuck out any other writing project of my life.
This is also actually my one thousandth blog post (and please don’t ask me anything about the complicated calculations that went into making sure the two events would coincide because I’m already embarrassed enough about my OCD). Over the course of a thousand posts the blog has evolved a lot–I’ve discovered not just haiku but haibun, haiga, and tanka, and experimented with a lot of random weird stuff that might not have made sense to anyone but me but made me happy at the time.
Through it all, to my amazement, you people have kept coming back and saying nice things. I would just like to state here for the record that I have NEVER received a mean comment on this blog, which considering that we’re talking about the Internet is probably worthy of a mention in a history book somewhere. Basically, you’re all saints and I’m incredibly lucky, and I would like to thank you one thousand times for the welcome you’ve given me and the sense of purpose and excitement about art and existence you’ve all helped inject into my life, by being out there, by reading, by responding, by reaching out.
I’d like to get more eloquent and profound than this, but I find myself kind of mute with gratitude and awe and also I don’t think it would be fair to reward you for your faithful support by boring you to death. Happy May Day, is about all I have left to say at this point. Happy
I forgot to say
in one flower
The guest of honor is a famous writer. Wherever she goes words trail behind, whether dropped carelessly or deliberately discarded no one knows. This reminds me of a story. I begin to tell it but someone stops me, intimating that someone else would be offended. Smoke signals. Finger spelling. I close my mouth and climb under the table, where I count legs and try to make them come out even but it never works so I conclude that someone has only one leg. Having conducted a further examination I conclude that the one-legged person is the famous writer. I guess I never noticed she had only one leg because of the words, so many words, camouflage for every disability, balm for every wound.
the last word in the book bittersweet
Yesterday—this is the kind of day it was;
this is the kind of season it was—
I was Persephone,
and I ate whatever seeds they gave me,
despite whatever warnings I had heard,
despite being disappointed, in the dark,
by the scent of the pomegranate.
No one can keep track for long
of what they’re not supposed to eat.
No one can imagine what small acts of will
will follow them from one season to the next.
Nothing, in the dark,
tastes as real as the dark itself.
Free verse: here, now
Haiku: Modern Haiku 42.3