Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Given my regular forays into the realm of Vile Doggerel, and given my affection for things Japanese, one might suppose that I am a fan of the quintessentially Japanese verse form known as Haiku.

And one would suppose correctly, although it is a form on which I don’t spend much time. Don’t need to. Haiku are short and sweet; as a bonus, they can be pithy and (sometimes) elegant. Further, they must follow a strict format: three lines, the first having five syllables, the second seven, the last five.

Kinda like a limerick, but without the dick jokes. Mostly.

I first learned about haiku back in...could it have been grade school? One of those English classes in which they attempted to teach us about the concept of blank verse. Poetry without rhyme. Haiku is a great format for teaching the concept of blank verse, because it has a rigidly prescribed you know it ain’t prose, unlike some more esoteric forms of vers libre.

Sparrow, of All Atwitter, runs a weekly Haiku Wednesday contest, in which she posts a theme and solicits submissions in the Comments. I’ve had a lot of fun with it...and perhaps you can, too!

Meanwhile, here are a few of my haiku, presented in no particular order...


Some people say that
Home is where the heart is. No.
It’s in your ribcage.

All my possessions
Fit neatly in a knapsack.
My home? The wide world.


Oh, how romantic...
My hand entwined in yours, love.
Now, take off your pants.


I moved to Texas
In ’seventy-four. It was
Hot as a bastard.

Want to imagine
Houston, depopulated?
Think: No More A/C.


Rich foods, fast women,
And strong drink, all Satan’s tools.
Get thee behind me!

Temptation tests me
Ev’ry moment of the day.
It’s the Human Way.


Glorious quiet!
Christmas brings a hush to town.
Let’s catch a movie!

Now that the goyim
Have discovered our secret,
The theatre is packed.


There’s a small café
Where the Georgia bloggers go -
The Troll, in Helen!

My blog is my home.
You, who come to visit me,
Don’t crap on the floor!

Although it’s the ‘Net,
Manners are not optional.
Were you raised by wolves?

And here are a few older ones, previously posted here, on the Odd Topic...

On Science Fiction Movies

“Go to him and say,
‘Klaatu barada nikto.’
Or we are all fucked.”

On Jerry Falwell

Jerry Falwell’s dead.
Now he gets to see Jesus
And, boy, is he pissed.

On Timothy Treadwell, Nature Lover (and Grizzly Bear Dinner)

Oh, Mr. Choc’lit -
Hold me in your warm embrace.
Nibble on my face.

Bears are so cuddly.
Look at that one, cuddling Tim
In his intestines.

Bears shit in the woods.
It’s their nature - what they do.
Tim Treadwell: Bear Shit!

On Pamela Anderson

She has big titties.
They’re her only claim to fame.
It sure ain’t her brain.

Watch the tape: you’ll see
Tommy Lee look at her. A
“Penetrating” stare.

I like reading books
That are packed full of typos.
Did someone say “titts”?

News bulletin: Flash!
A shortage of silicone!
Where did it all go?

Our sources reveal
That Pamela Anderson
Cornered the market.

Look out! She crushes
All in her path. You could say
She’s a “Jug-gernaut.”

And, just for fun, here is...

A Non-Standard Rhyming Haiku

Strippers strike poses
For drunks with ruddy noses.
Gives ’em stiff hoses.

Haiku! They’re ever so much fun. Write one today!

Update: Commenter Og points out - correctly - that pretty much all of these poems are not haiku in the strict sense; they are senryū.

What’s the difference? According to Wikipedia, “senryū are often cynical or darkly humorous while haiku are more serious.” In addition, traditional haiku generally incorporate a seasonal reference; they also include a kireji - a cutting word - at the end of one of the lines. This is only possible in Japanese (English has no kireji), so any attempt to write haiku in English involves some degree of compromise.

Since most English speakers have a vague idea what “haiku” means, whereas they are clueless about “senryū,” I’ll follow convention and call the damn things haiku.

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