Global Haiku
Millikin University, Fall 2014

1st Place, Fall 2014 Haiku Fiction Contest

Mackenzie Peck
Mackenzie Peck

Mackenzie's Haiku



The Musings of a Girl and her Baggage,
as Written Less-Than-Eloquently by Andrea Louise Ellison

Mackenzie Peck

Judges' Comments:

This piece is excellently written. From the first paragraph, I was hooked, entering the consciousness of this interesting young persona. The haiku that begins, "the scars on her wrist," absolutely stunned me. Of all the entries, some of them quite excellent, this is the one that showed the best balance of skillful prose and memorable haiku, in my opinion. Fine work, Mackenzie! —David G. Lanoue

The first thing that stood out to me was the strength of the main character's voice. I like the way the narrator moves in and out of her personal issues and haiku craft. It's honest and had strong insights on haiku and how cathartic it can be. There was a noticeable change in character and improvement of haiku throughout—things needed in good storytelling and especially haiku fiction. Like David, I was also grabbed by "the scars on her wrist" haiku. I didn't want this story to end. —Aubrie Cox


The Musings of a Girl and her Baggage,
as Written Less-Than-Eloquently by Andrea Louise Ellison

by Mackenzie Peck

May 7

Dear Diary,

I have recently decided (and by recently, I mean that I just decided this now, after writing “Dear Diary”) that I will no longer be opening my journal entries with “Dear Diary,” as it makes me sound like a lovesick twelve year old girl.

In other news, Dr. Orlington has suggested that it might be therapeutic for me to write my thoughts down, hence the reason that I am currently doing so.  I brought up the completely valid point that reading proof of my semi-insane thoughts might actually be detrimental to my mental health, but he just gave me that disappointed parent look, so I acquiesced (look at me, using big words. Yay vocabulary).  Anyway, long story short, Andrea now has a journal. And apparently also now refers to herself in the third person. Which probably means that now is a good time to stop for the day. So yeah. Later.

May 12

Okay, so apparently Dr. Orlington is also a haiku writer (haikuist?) in his spare time, and he suggested haiku as a way to calm my anxiety and to focus on exactly how I am feeling at any given moment. If we’re being completely honest here, I think that that may be the sappiest, least realistic idea ever, but he’s the doctor here, so…I guess I’ll try it? I have a feeling that it’s gonna be a whole lot of sarcasm and angst, but here goes nothing.

Knowing what I know
How can I be calm and act
Like it’s not my fault?

Look at that, I was right. Angst. Shocking, really. I didn’t see that coming at all.

Things I’ve learned today: grade school teachers are pathological liars. I’ve been informed by Doc that haiku is not always 5-7-5. I feel like my life is a lie and I feel betrayed. I also feel hungry, but that’s beside the point. Also, apparently haiku is not supposed to form a whole sentence. Or start with capital letters. I don’t know what he wants from me, and I don’t know how to do this, and he kind of just threw me to the wolves here. I thought this was supposed to calm me down, not stress me out more . . . You know, I’ll bet that was his whole plan all along. Make me even more anxious and messed up so that I would become an even less functional member of society than I already am and consequently have to keep coming here and giving him my money. Doctor Orlington, you sneaky son of a bitch, I’m on to you.

. . . Then again, I seem to be making a pretty solid case all by myself as to why I should continue coming to therapy. Yeesh. Get yourself together, Andrea. Okay, back on topic. Haiku. Right.

flower petals
in the wind
morning sunshine

June 4

Another appointment, another criticism. Not on my thoughts, because, you know, that would be kind of counterproductive for the whole therapy thing. No, he criticized my haiku again. Okay, so maybe “criticized” is a harsh word. I guess he’s just giving me suggestions to make my haiku writing experience the most helpful for me. Sure feels like criticism, though. He said that my flower petal haiku was not very effective, because he didn’t feel like I was trying to make a connection through it. Apparently I “lost my voice with this one,” and I should “write about something that means something to me” in order to help me with my therapy and whatnot. I mean, I guess he’s right. I can’t argue there—I really could not care less about flower petals. I was just trying to write something that resembled the haiku that I’ve read.  Probably not the best strategy, in retrospect. But I hope he really likes sad things, because that’s probably what he’s going to be getting from now on. Here’s another attempt.

the scars on her wrist
beg to be reopened
the memories

Called it. Just saying.

June 12

“Better,” he said. He liked the personal connection, but he said that I should try to make it a little simpler, if possible. I’m not sure what he means by that. My thoughts are not simple; I thought that we had established that through like, the five million hours of therapy I’ve been through. Maybe he wants me to be less specific? I don’t even know. I guess I’ll try that.

missing sidekick
lost now
in this confusion

June 29

According to Dr. Orlington, I am improving my haiku writing skills very nicely, however, it seems as if I am still trying too hard to achieve simplicity.

…Well, yes. Because I don’t know what you mean by simplicity. I mean, I thought that my haiku was somewhat simple. I wrote about Emily, but no one who didn’t know me would ever guess that. There is no reference to a dead sister anywhere in that haiku. Is it because I spent too much time coming up with it? Or is it because it is too heavy of a topic? I was under the impression that I could write about anything I wanted to write about. WHAT DOES HE WANT FROM ME?! You know what? I don’t even care. I’m going to do one last haiku, and if that’s not good enough, then I’m jumping ship. It’s stressing me out more than it should, which is not good for my anxiety. Last one. I’m going to not-so-subtly hint at my frustration in this one. Hopefully he’ll get the message.

Okay, so it’s been ten minutes and I literally cannot think of anything to write about. Is this what writer’s block feels like? Because it’s obnoxious and frustrating.
. . . But it just gave me an idea.

click of a pen
writer’s block

July 6

SUCCESS!! He liked it! He said that he could tell that I had let my thoughts flow out of me, but I managed to keep it simple. So yeah, um…encouragement feels good, not gonna lie. And maybe I kinda sorta like writing haiku a little bit. Sue me.

Okay, another one to end on a good note:

at last
is this what triumph
feels like?

• • •


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last updated: November 26, 2014