the wanton tree

A haiku blog. Non traditional ramblings (this guy does'nt count his syllables) of a haiku poet about town. Includes daily haiku from the author and his shady poet friends. Off the cuff haiku book reviews. Writing ideas, gripes, and non categorical asides. Off the beaten haiku path.

Location: California, United States

I often post while wearing a speedo because it keeps me focused.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Getting Even With Haiku

naughty persimmon-
stripping off her leaves
flaunts tart sweet fruit

They say sex sells. In this case, probably not. Haiku may be the least marketable commodity in America today. I can't think of more than maybe two fulltime professional haiku poets. Which is good. Traditionally, poets are penniless and scorned. I've got the penniless part handled. I'm forced to rely on the "goodwill" of others for the scorn.

What does all this have to do with "getting even"? Well, like many of you, I've had some bad breaks. And I have found through this poetic form, a way to avenge myself on the entire human race. Seriously, if you've got score to settle, there are few better ways than haiku. The ancient literary martial art.

I am/was an avid guitarist. Following my obsessive compulsive muse and playing as fast and furious as posible for many hours a day resulted in tendonitis and a drastically reduced regimen. What to do with my overindulgent nature? I remembered that I had written haiku 12 years earlier and took it up again with a vengeance. Since then, I've had some publishing success and found I really enjoy writing and reading these tiny poems.

Suffer with me then, through weary world of a struggling haiku poet. I warn you, it won't all be as "hot and sexy" as the first look may have led you to believe...but then, what is?

bricked over archway-
part of me yet enters
where the pathway ends

a tuneless melody
falls on the hearth

new years eve-
snakeskin skirt girl sheds
her inhibitions

new years day-
this years headache
in last years bed

aunt jemima-
her reproachful look
the morning after

truckstop hooker-
burning rubber
grinding gears

a prostitute
near the used car lot
one at this price

on a somber note:

the prostitute-
after her funeral
sleeping alone

on a different tack,

before the gust
a burst of sparrows
strike the oak

a strip of face
through the fence

During what I felt was a potentially "life threatening" cold, I composed the following. It is a premature death poem. (My wife says I'm a sissy, but women have a greater capacity for pain so what would she know.)

my handprint fades-
the window on this world
becomes clear


these hills fall away
to the lonely valleys-
someone calls my name

I'm pretty sure I'm going to pull through after all. But if you should hear of my demise before I do, please refer back to these and consider them "prophetic."

the windshield wipers
squeak dry

the lower panes
free of frost

nightrain gutterpulse mine

her pointing hand
blots out stars

By now you have discerned, I am not a "three lines consisting of five, seven, and five syllables" guy. Though that is what was foisted upon me in gradeschool. I have since come to discover that is not the way haiku in english is generally written. In fact it is rarely published in that format these days. Most english haiku are less than 17 syllables. Often much less!

My eye opening publication was The Haiku Anthology edited by Cor Van Den Heuvel. Perhaps the best selling engish haiku anthology to this day. (If you know better, let me know) If you are a haiku fan, I strongly recommend buying a copy.

the last low hill-
a dead dark oak
claws at the sky

highway 101-
plastic bag spirits
shriek on barbwire

Much has been written on "What is/is'nt haiku" and I might provide some links in the future to those who still have energy for that debate. I don't count my syllables. But if you want to, that will free me up for other pursuits. I will also be begging some of my haiku poet friends for verses so they can guest on this site.

If YOU have a verse you think would look good on here, send it along. If I post it, I'll credit you, and when the ensuing haiku fame destroys your life with drugs and meaningless sex, you can curse me for giving you a break.


Blogger Prof Yabut said...

wonton soup
wanton woman
-- no MSG, please

What a great idea, Bret: making your haiku and notions easily accessible! I enjoyed my visit this morning and shall return with dagosan and others. best wishes!

January 13, 2005 at 6:11 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

Hello, Nephew! I just found your blog and couldn't just leave without saying hello and happy birthday! You know, of course, that part of my job is editing, so I feel compelled to let you know "English" is typically capitalized and the letter "l" is always included right after the letter "g". Please feel free to write a Haiku for me or about me, as you see fit. Love ya!

June 5, 2007 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Rick Berlin said...

Red and Black Attack
Have my best girl by my side
Rock and Roll will never die!

Dude have you talked to the Knife lately??? Your Baddass Bassist has been looking for you bitch! LOL... call me Brettski

June 16, 2009 at 2:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home