summer dusk — the boys emerge with robots . (haijinx IV:1, March 2011) _________________________ For a fun time, you should all dial up the latest issue of haijinx. It was just sent out into the ether to seek its fortune yesterday, packed full of juicy and irresistible stuff. And I say this not just as … Continue reading March 23: The Boys Emerge, from haijinx
Anyone who’s been hanging out around here for a while knows that I am a great admirer (OK, a rabid fan) of the classical Japanese haiku poet Issa, who lived and wrote at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries.
geese fly — towing darkness behind them geese fly — change dribbles out of my pocket geese fly — this lover, too, is cold geese fly — down trickles out of our pillow geese fly — haiku etched in the sky _____________________ I wrote half a dozen more of these, but I wouldn’t inflict them … Continue reading October 15: 1-5 (Geese fly), and A Short Discourse on Kigo
I forgot to show you the haiku books I bought at Foundry Books over the weekend. I’m very excited about them… Issa: Cup of Tea Poems by Issa, translated by David Lanoue The fascinating preface of this book begins, “…Issa … is at once the most profoundly devout and down-in-the-mud silly of all the great … Continue reading Oh yeah! My books!
What is the best thing to do when you start taking yourself way, way too seriously? Start acting incredibly silly, of course. Stand on your head. Do a funny dance. Write bad haiku.
I was told that nowhere was the place to go so I Googled it and found cheap tickets. A cruise on a tramp steamer, followed by a balloon ride, followed by a stint on a rickshaw, ending up, naturally, with a five-hundred-mile walk into the interior of nothing. That’s not nothing. I spent six months … Continue reading Travelogue
for Martin Lucas I started out the day spinning my car into a ditch before dawn. When it was spinning I didn’t know where it was going, only that I wasn’t in control of it. There might have been a tree waiting for me, or another car, or a cliff. It was too dark to … Continue reading Off-Road
I wrote a lot of poetry as a young child — aged seven, eight, nine. That may have been the time of my life when I was most confident in my poetic ability. It may have been the time of my life when I was most confident in all my abilities. Once you’ve knocked around … Continue reading autobiographia poetica
Sometimes 26 letters are not enough. Dr. Seuss fans will know what I’m talking about. Anyone who writes seriously at all, I’m guessing, is frequently frustrated by the inadequacy of language to express the full range of things there are to express in the world. There aren’t words for everything. There aren’t even combinations of words … Continue reading Across the Haikuverse, No. 28: The On Beyond Zebra Edition
Sanjukta Asopa is the first of my interviewees (just as a quick reminder, the first three were Peter Newton, Susan Diridoni, and Christopher Patchel) that I have never met in person, and this is because she lives on the other side of the world from me, in India, where there are so many fine English-language … Continue reading The Lives of Poets, No. 4: Sanjukta Asopa
Having, in previous installments of this series, sought wisdom from poets on the East Coast and the West Coast, I decided it was time to hang around my own neck of the woods and spend some listening to a Midwestern poet. Chris Patchel lives in northern Illinois, not too far from me, and I’ve enjoyed … Continue reading The Lives of Poets, No. 3: Christopher Patchel
(For the first interview in this series, with Peter Newton, and a more in-depth explanation of what it’s all about, look here.) After having admired Susan Diridoni’s poetry for a while and gotten to know her a bit online and through email, I had the great pleasure to meet her in person at Haiku North … Continue reading The Lives of Poets, No. 2: Susan Diridoni
A while back I conceived this idea to harass all my favorite poets by sending them an interminable list of questions and whining until they answered them all so I could post the answers here. I immediately sat down and drew up the list of questions and saved it as a Word doc entitled “Questions … Continue reading The Lives of Poets, No. 1: Peter Newton
My kindergarten teacher was worried about me because I liked to read. In those days kindergarteners were supposed to occupy themselves only with playing, and socializing, and coloring in the letters of the alphabet on worksheets just to familiarize themselves with the shapes that they would be introduced to more thoroughly in first grade. But … Continue reading Across the Haikuverse, No. 23: Back to School Edition
So. It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter. (That’s a line from some song we sang at our third-grade choral concert. Amazing that I still remember it.) This is how long it was: Have you ever had one of those dreams where the whole time you knew something really great was about to happen, something … Continue reading Across the Haikuverse, No. 18: Here Comes the Sun Edition
I’m feeling a little bossy this week, maybe because I’ve spent so much of it being bossed around now that I’m back at school and work after my long winter break. “Read this! Write that! Discuss! Answer these questions! Learn this XML syntax! Go to this meeting! Hand in the proper forms! Scan these photos!” … Continue reading Across the Haikuverse, No. 12: The Imperative Mood Edition
A month or so ago I wrote about renga (or renku), the form of collaborative linked verse from which the haiku evolved. Everything I’d read about it fascinated me and I was itching to try it, so I issued an invitation for renga partners. Steve Mitchell of Heed Not Steve was the only one brave … Continue reading July 26: Shared Water: a renga
Shared Water: A summer kasen renku by Steve Mitchell and Melissa Allen June-July 2010 General notes: When Steve and I set out to write a seasonal renku we realized it would be a little odd because, since he is living in Arizona and I in Wisconsin, our experiences of the seasons (and of the environment … Continue reading Shared Water: a renku (with notes)
I wish you’d come see the cat. She no longer sleeps on the guest room bed. This was published in my high school literary magazine, after they rejected (with actual incredulous laughter) the haiku I really liked, which I can no longer find. It featured an upturned teapot, but I can’t remember anything else about … Continue reading 1986