Month: September 2013

the queen

The Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach, CA

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shipping containers
stacked up on the horizon
hollow cries of gulls

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Haiku North America (which ended two weeks ago) took place this year on the Queen Mary. If you were there, I’m glad to have seen you, and if you weren’t there, I’m sorry. Try to imagine it: A ship full of haiku poets, stalking around the decks with bags full of paper (books, notebooks, free poetry samples, lecture notes) and sitting in grandiose parlors clamoring about kigo and Basho and meditation and translation.

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the jellyfish and
their bioluminescence
a long summer dusk

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I was feeling old-school while on the Queen Mary, which after all is a very old-fashioned ship and reputed to be haunted (by the ghosts of those slain in haiku wars past?), so I wrote some 5-7-5 haiku. I actually find doing this somewhat addictive and oddly satisfying, like doing crossword puzzles. I’m not sure I would call it so much writing poetry as completing a linguistic exercise, but maybe that’s what all poetry is? Hmmm.

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a day with no breeze–
I doodle on a napkin,
forget to keep it

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It’s actually kind of amazing I’m writing anything at all. I hadn’t for months. On the second day of the conference I started writing again and now I can’t shut up. Sorry if you were enjoying the silence.

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late summer. a storm
so far off that all we hear
is our hearts beating.

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