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...