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August 5, 2002

Brooklyn Haiku
Posted by Teresa at 07:47 AM *

We dream of closets,
high ceilings, rows of windows,
but wake in Brooklyn.

The Slope ends at Fourth,
unless you’re a realtor
and have an angle.

Union Street station:
the R is the Right train,
the N is Not.

Turn the front-door key,
then four more, in two more doors.
It’s good to be home.

Sort out your bottles.
The mayor says not to, but
that’s hard on the bums.

Time to move my car —
eight to eleven, Mondays.
Alternate Side Rules.

The sky’s a cool gray.
It lies. The day will be vile.
Heat. Humidity.

Move it. Your mother.
Your grandmother. Yeah, bite me.
And have a nice day.

How long you’ve lived here
is what counts with my neighbors,
though Italian helps.

Cops appear at eight —
I slide between their fingers!
Ticket this, brownies!

Fire’s gutted three floors
above the bagel place. Them?
They’re making bagels.

Orange slips on windshields.
They’re nailing double parkers.
The war continues.

Unwanted bookshelf
vanishes from the sidewalk:
instant recycling.

Big marmalade tom
hunts birds in my yard. That’s fine.
He catches rats, too.

I check my mail queue:
Cash Only Home Based Business!
I wait. You’ll come home.

Comments on Brooklyn Haiku:
#1 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 11:39 AM:

Afraid you forgot
the glory of Brooklyn is
three AM bagels.

#2 ::: Scott Janssens ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 12:00 PM:

Seattle (ok Renton, really) haiku

Hippies you'd expect.
Where did the red-necks come from?
They drive me crazy

#3 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 12:19 PM:

Genuine Seattle haiku

The sky is cool grey
And this one is not lying
It is cool and damp

#4 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 01:10 PM:

One from the north country:

Nights are cooler here.
But wise tourists remember:
Brake For Moose In Road.

#5 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 01:50 PM:


Hot, hot, humid, hot
Did I mention it is hot?
We hate Seattle.

#6 ::: Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 02:36 PM:


In Summer swelter,
Home at last from baking heat:
A power failure.

Hoboken? Ooo, I'm
Dying, say the New Yorkers.
(We still recycle.)

#7 ::: Scott Janssens ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 02:39 PM:

A Mf8f8se once bit my sister... No realli!

#8 ::: Elise Matthesen ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 03:33 PM:

[Minneapolis haiku]

Woken by coolness,
the lawnmower next door is
chewing on its lawn.

It was hot. Then cool.
Rain, wind. Warmer. Cool again.
State Fair soon, I guess.

Ah! The mysteries!
Deep-fried cheese curds. Butterheads.
Walleye on a stick.

OK, but where else
can you see crop art depict
Jackie and Samo?

Juan makes sure we see
the Tina Turner chickens
in the poultry barn.

It's the playing that
I like. Stuffed animals are
just fringe benefits.

Dang it, they tore down
the Cattleman's Steak Dinner
and Beer Garden. Dang!

[and one spontaneous tanka:]

In the Fine Arts show,
people await the moving sculpture.
In the milking parlor,
they do the same. All one.
I love the State Fair.

#9 ::: Rivka Wald ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 05:00 PM:


Ready rock, dope fiends,
Charming red brick rowhouses,
Minor-league baseball.

Lovely harbor views
From the miles-long traffic jams
Eastern Shoreward bound

Old Bay Seasoning
Long after the crab feast ends
Still scents your fingers.

#10 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 06:14 PM:

After winter's wrath,
Trains rattle briskly along
Beneath snowbound streets.

Smoked salmon's nova.
Only the connoisseurs know:
Lox is brine-pickled.

Guns strictly controlled,
Abortion rights protected --
New York's G.O.P.

If you're a black man
Don't show the cops your wallet;
Forty-one reasons.

City asks question:
What should replace Twin Towers?
Eight million answers.

#11 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 06:54 PM:

I'll write some Alameda haiku when I get the chance. In the meantime, check out:


#12 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 07:04 PM:

August on Mt. Tam
Remember to bring raingear
To the wedding picnic.

Twain's observation
On summer in San Francisco:
All too true, alas.

In Alameda
Gardeners love the sandy soil
But fear "The Big One."

#13 ::: Ulrika O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 07:11 PM:

Trailer Life Haiku

Circle the wagons.
Our fort of rust and chaos
against a beige tide.

Gray clouds each morning.
It may burn off. Noon will tell.
"June Gloom" means summer.

Our redwing hawk left.
Harassed, perhaps, by old crows
guarding gum tree nests.

Sarah loves tall grass:
rolling, stretching. Grazing.
Vomiting is fun.

Sweet William in pots,
bindweed cresting the chain link:
Trailer Queen bouquets.

#14 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2002, 10:03 PM:


Saint Louis sweats now
as it does every summer
Midwest summer murk

But one can't give in
There are porks steaks to grill up
and baseball tonight

So we trudge through it
waiting for thuderstorms to roar
and bring cooling winds.

Or to the Ozarks
camping, swimming and hiking
the land's oldest hills.

Or floating cool streams
spending all the day afloat
doing just about nil.

There are days we wish
for Colorado mountains
or sweet sea breezes.

But we have no such
So we go on, in the heat
waiting for autumn

When the trees go gold,
fiery red, orange -- rivers rise up
and breezes soothe us.

And we are happy -
until winter's harsh teeth urge
us into summer arms.

Again. Is there nothing
that will make us content with
the weather we have?

Ha! We are picky
And we remember that day
high: seventy two.

#15 ::: BCNielsen ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2002, 02:33 AM:


Opening the door
I greet the predawn morning;
97 degrees.

Gnarled century-old
olive trees offer to shade
the homeless sleeper.

Hopping barefoot out
to water the young ficus;
douse whose feet first?

Run across the pavement
from the flooded front yard;
my footprints fade fast

Kids running, laughing
in the midst of a summer storm
which breaks its promise.

Thick dust clouds followed
by lighning, thunder, and wind;
please, God, a rainstorm.

#16 ::: Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2002, 12:07 PM:

I was telling my trainer my two Hoboken haiku, and pointing out that they're not technically good haiku, because they don't mention a season or time of day...he wryly commented "No, 'power failure' is a time of day in Hoboken!"

#17 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2002, 10:40 PM:

It cools off at night --
Toronto splendid-skyed, fine
must know I'm leaving.

#18 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 12:14 AM:

You're leaving Toronto? What?

#19 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 09:05 AM:

employment offers
occur in far Vancouver
not elsewhere this week.

#20 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 12:50 PM:

Imagine a world
Of haiku conversations,
Each word considered.

#21 ::: Ulrika O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 12:58 PM:

Vancouver lies close
to coveted Seattle.
Next year at SeaFair.

#22 ::: Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 01:18 PM:

It is wonderful,
This idea suggested
By Janet Lafler.

It might be better
If we used blank verse instead.
But wait! That's Shakespeare.

#23 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 07:05 PM:

More langorous than haiku, trailing lines
Of Shakespeare's cadence might give birth, I fear
To long, sweet speeches with the burnished gleam
Of richly caparison'd metaphors -- but see:
I've lost control already. I concede.
Though Mamet says blank verse is but the natural
Rhythm of spoken English, we're not all poets.

#24 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 07:57 PM:

Hmm. How about:

I've lost control already. I concede.
Mamet says blank verse is the natural beat
of spoken English; still, we're not all poets.

I'm half-impressed at my own temerity, given that Mike Ford, Elise, and Graydon are hovering nearby.

#25 ::: Janet Lafler ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 10:27 PM:

Yes, that's better. My hat's off to Shakespeare -- I had enough trouble squeezing out 7 lines. It's a lucky thing that blank verse doesn't have to rhyme.

#26 ::: Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 10:48 PM:

I like writing blank verse. I once wrote a whole parody-description of a going-away party for a coworker as a pseudo-Shakespearean dialogue...I'd post it here but a) it's too long, b) it's full of in-jokes, and c) it has footnotes (the annoying kind that are in HS Shakespeare texts).

I called it A Purgatory Revel, or Party 'Til You Puke.

#27 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2002, 11:37 PM:

Five beats, one line
set speech's nature only
in young habits talking
horse-striding, city-walking
talk, that goes the way
long known, foot-measured, bounded.

Five beats are emphasis
desperation, haste of hitting
point or strong conclusion
in the oar-rhythm, ox-following
woods-wandering stresses of older
tongues and tales and thinking.

(which is almost as to say that I cannot
speak as Shakespeare spoke, and make it real
or ring or hold the thoughts of anyone's attention
where the words wander and want to lift
into the memory of older trees than these,
that plot how to twist the concrete all apart
and drink what went to water lawns, when
by roots widespread such pump-thieving serves.

All the world's with and five hundred's count
of years amased of speaking holds it not
or so I find it not to hold one English.)

#28 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: August 09, 2002, 11:43 PM:

So, Graydon walks upon the stage
eschewing simple verse, and wielding
Shakespear's glorious voice! I'd try to match
in glorious pentameter, but I fear my attempts
would fail, as did my six syllable line, above.

#29 ::: Fred ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2002, 07:16 PM:

Do only I hear
this Japanese form of art
beat like Old English?

(Do only I hear this Japanese artform
beat like Old English or am I mistaken?)

#30 ::: Fred ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2002, 07:19 PM:

Argh! I put spaces
bisecting the second one;
Goddam computer!

#31 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 13, 2002, 11:25 PM:

Sharp words, short lines, and
the universe of real things:
yes, they're similar.

#32 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2002, 10:21 AM:

Stupid computers
Freeze, crash, network down (again)
Where is my pencil?

#33 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2002, 01:40 PM:

Call Systems again --
maybe they'll fix it this time.
(Who am I kidding?)

#34 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2002, 03:41 PM:

Systems department
Trail of voice mail runs silver
Down into a void

#35 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2002, 05:00 PM:

I yield; I can't match that.

#36 ::: Christopher Hatton ::: (view all by) ::: August 15, 2002, 07:40 PM:

She says "can't match that" -
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Yields with a good grace.

#37 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 16, 2002, 10:17 AM:

(bows silently)

Smaller type (our default)
Larger type
Even larger type, with serifs

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