Tuesday, July 06, 2010

five seven five

I have a fascination with haiku and brief forms of poetry or word-sculpture. Not that I claim to be any good at them but I do create them regularly, mostly as something to do during those times of the day that are pretty useless for anything. Getting coffee at a cafe, waiting for public transport, standing in a crowded bus, etc. Those parts of our regular city lives that are portioned up too small for most meaningful activities.

Other than reading the paper I suppose now that most people have iPhones, iPods & other handheld digital media devices they're able to surf the net or zone out to music or otherwise escape from reality for a short time. Others seem to be able to read books but my transit time is about 10-12 minutes tops which doesn't allow me long enough to concentrate on a book. Yes, my mental faculties are that degraded..

I could read short stories or listen to podcasts more (I've just downloaded a bunch and will be doing that tomorrow - This American Life ftw) but I like to observe what's going on around me and try to create something in words around that. I just don't tend to write these down often. I've gotten out of the notebook habit lately and am embarrassed sometimes when I pull out a battered-looking moleskine full of pristine blank pages. I feel like a fraud.

But I've been emailing with a friend and mentioned about making up poetry and was surprised at the encouraging response. I'd always thought I was just fooling around and that no-one really took haiku seriously (most people don't even know what they are!). Besides which I don't even really like much poetry - a couple of sonnets, a bit of Auden, some Coleridge, Walter de la Mare's The Listeners, ee cummings*, that's about it. Ok, dirty limericks too but everyone needs a vice.

On the other hand the best birthday present anyone has ever made me was Eroica's collection of our recent haiku exchanges which still brings a huge smile to my face whenever I read it. Not sure where I'm going with this.. It's late, I'm rambling. As usual. I guess I might actually start using my dormant twitter feed to actually publish some of these poetry snippets..

If I manage to get the courage.

Well, it's marginally less scary than thinking about showing off my fiction...

* I've seriously been thinking about getting a tattoo of ee cummings' l) a. I'm just not sure I'm cool enough for it... 


Sal said...


bless you

Lou said...

Maybe you should get one printed to replace your brown hoodie 'refridgerator' one?!

Lou said...

ps Poetry's not really my thing either, but Jolisa Gracewood has a review of a book on Emily Dickinson and a visit to her home over on Public Address.

fishboy said...

Sal: *sniffle* Thanks. Must try to work a haiku aroung 'mucus' and 'phlegm'..

Lou: I wrote one around 'hypoglycaemia' which I might get made into a shirt.

And thanks for the link - not sure I'm a fan of Emily Dickinson but maybe I just need to read more.

eroica said...

i am really glad
that you enjoy your present
i loved making it!!!