Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An Irregular Pulse

Summing up an intended three hundred-odd day project remains difficult. Over a year’s time, the development of a daily haiku may prove in itself to be inconsistent. An irregular pulse. An inconsistent moon.

For the most part, although presented in sentence form, the intentions of the verses were to follow the traditional formula for haiku: seventeen syllable count broken into 5-7-5 phrasing, a reflection on nature rather than the self, promotion of a theme of witness rather than participation. At first, I rarely stepped outside of the restrictions. Gradually however, a shifting of purpose fell into play. Despite their hasty structure, often what generated was the sketchy beginning of a larger piece of work. The initial short sentence became the foundation of tone or image or language later used in a multi-stanza poem.

In addition, the full collection developed its own personal sense of commonality; with all three hundred and sixty-five entries differing series of under-currents developed, some themes concentrating more on abstraction of a mood, others promoting the fragmentary nature of memory and recollection. Yet, all together a selection of similar attributes can be seen. This of course is the expectation of sudden writing, the emphasis on immediate response and impulse reaction cultivating unexpected results. The material develops its own pattern of behavior. Such writing is not a static process.

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Ten of my personal favorites:

373/ With threatening skies— a hummingbird stitches up the midmorning hour—

404/ barn swallows rebuilding their mud nests under the state highway bridges

408/ An abandoned field— here, the ghost temple bells peal— only crows listen.

427/ Fat housefly beats against my closed office window: a lonely haiku.

459/ Tonight I learn a fox in disguise has been shaving my head weekly.

498/ A ghost of the past walks into my poem— carries bundled sunflowers.

547/ Tonight, while carrying my small son, he calls the halfmoon an apple.

576/ the drone of a fly, sounding in an empty room— unclear memory

599/ a heavy metaphor of silence descending— my hands lie empty

602/ before sleep sets in, my boy clings tight to my hand— apple-scented breath

646/ at first: a shadow cracking nuts against the wall— and then the grackle—

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