Friday, September 9, 2005

Bad Haiku (Warui no haiku)

The landscape of night
Is mapped on your face; your frown--
The street where I live.

The sound of your voice
Grates on my callous heart like
Skinned knees on gravel.

Half-drowned, on the beach--
You swam for miles to rest here;
I sank like a stone.


Just a small sampling of some rather bad haiku I wrote more than 10 years ago--April 16, 1995, to be exact. Despite the obvious as well as the not-so-obvious flaws in what I wrote, my haiku are considerably better than those from a poorly programmed online haiku generator. Computer scientists have been trying for years, but you just can't program good angst!

Finally, a found haiku--if you will--from my days as a "little ambassador" to Warsaw; my colleagues & I "discovered" this brilliant piece sitting on the table of one of our several haunts, Cafe Brama:

Note from Cafe Brama

My translation follows:

It is with deep regret that we must inform
You that for reasons
beyond our control
we are removing
from our menu
sun-dried tomatoes.
The Avocado Salad,
Mozzarella Toast as well as
the Mozzarella Sandwich
are going to be served now
with fresh tomatoes.

After listening to Pres. Bush's recent speeches regarding Hurricane Katrina and his inability to lead the country--or at least the poor part of the country--through this disaster, I was thinking that perhaps the White House could hire the poor counter staff from Poland who penned this beautiful prose: it's much nicer and more eloquent than a grocery list of equipment.

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