Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

martes, septiembre 02, 2014

The Haiku Road

I know how it began. In high school someone showed me haikus by Basho. They were unbelievably profound. So some classmates and I tried writing them.  Eventually, the novelty wore off. We stopped.  Fast forward to the New York Times Haiku contest in 2014. I forgot to enter it.  But in April, fed up with pictures of cats, brunch and boobs, I decided that Facebook was best used for photos of the sky and haikus.  I don’t know exactly how this idea arose. Maybe Twitter was better because then the little poems would disappear in an ocean of words, never to be seen again. Oh well.  After a while, I lost count of how many I had posted, so I put a number on each one, like a upc on an organic tomato.

I continue. Today I posted number 471.

Why do I continue? A great question that deserves a legitimate answer. Unfortunately, I don’t have one.  Maybe it’s a sign of my obsession.  Maybe it’s because there is no logical stopping point. Maybe I’m deriving some special benefit from these.  Maybe it’s simple. I enjoy it. And I was right, Facebook is a great place for collecting Haiku. And it’s contagious: some of the comments have themselves been haiku.  That’s wonderful.

Is there some benefit from this? I hope so. I was stuck on the manuscript for a novella. I haven’t worked on it for a few months.  But I notice that all of the haiku are gently loosening up whatever obstructions there are in the manuscript. We’ll see whether I go back to it, or whether it becomes one of those projects that just gets abandoned.

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