I wrote this little guy way back in 2008 in my first quarter of grad school. It got published in the short-lived Maverick Magazine (or I think sometimes they were called Project Maverick. It’s so hard to keep track of these things).
The process for this guy was pretty cool. I wrote a series of haikus loosely related to what had gone on that weekend, and then wrote some more frenetic linking lines in between the haiku.
I got this idea after we studied Jorie Graham’s Sea Change in class. We listening to an interview with her talking about the form of the book, and she talked about how she was interested in “exploding the haiku.”
This was my response to the style found in that book, and my own interpretation of whatever it means to explode a haiku. I also tried to emulate her varied use of the “and,” the “ampersand,” & also the “also.” Sorry, I had to say that last thing. It’s my favorite title for a paper that I’ve ever written.
Here is the poem:
Daylight Savings Sky: An Excuse to Stay Inside With Laptop Sunrise
you are an anomaly
in your profession.
Everything sounds profound when set to line breaks
and syllable counts, also to drinks, a loss-of-equilibrium celebration
of broken syncopation, & this melancholy freestyle of walk-home saxophone
freezes me, each note
multiplies the ice.
A meditative wind-chill
fragments the sky
& it’s a fall-asleep-to-a-bad-action-movie-while-eating-chips-and-salsa
kind of night, bonding contacts to my eyes & this scene is scratched; the
dialogue pixellates in such a self-important way…
Faultline migraine mind,
this Pabst disaster,
this down comforter remorse, & if any self-reverential soliloquy accidently made
me—for the time being—magnetic, I’m positive of our negative charge,
repelled into bed while trying to bond, in metaphor, my head to a poster of
this pop denigration,
dorm room sensation—
because everyone wants to feel important once in a while, to
bask in the luminescent glow of 23-kiloton black and white incineration, but
I slept with the closet door open again last night, woke to the fallout of
laundry on the ground.
No washer/dryer on site,
will have to do, & if I can sustain this cycle any longer I can sustain a thought,
also motivation, as it’s a get-shit-done-by-the-deadline-so-avoid-going-online
kind of day the kind that screams for this
ponderous beard stroke,
this bristled babyface’s
& I can fake this until something sticks like cooked spaghetti but who can get
anything done on an empty stomach, who has money for groceries, who knows
any decent recipes, &
who has time to cook?
A boatload of leftovers
is always the goal…
Grunge shuffle playlist
in a listless Sunday bliss,
a wistful mood set
by the familiarity of time-ebbed angst, & against power chords and reverby
kick drums my fingers find the beat—a steady 4/4—but can’t find the rhythm
of my waltzing mind & 3/4 of the next line is formed before, frustrated, I call to
Jesus, king of pop,
(lyrical fallback plot) to
“save my writer’s block!”
& the missing quarter, the Pac-Man mouth of this pie chart blips onto the screen
in the form of a wut-r-u-up-2-2nite-if-your-not-busy-we-shud-hang-out kind of
message, the kind to which the only sensible reply is
Google Chat junkie:
would it kill you to try out
& I’m too fascinated by the collective brain freeze of words underlined
in green and red squigglies to realize I’ve brought a knife to a gun fight, for there
is simply no comeback against a classic, and I’m disarmed when she replies
Your mom writes haiku.
Her syllable count is off.