Global Haiku • June 2016
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Alexa Duncan

Reader Response Essay:

A Life Made Compact:
The Haiku of George Swede

Twisted Haiku

Alexa Duncan

Artist's Statement

I have not always written haiku. In fact, Global Haiku traditions is my first in-depth experience with the form. I struggled, at first, with the brevity that haiku requires, but once I pushed past the constraints I had inadvertently enforced upon myself, I found that I've legitimately enjoyed doing this work.

Included within this notebook is a collection of haiku inspired by everything from "Cinderella" to "Hansel and Gretel." Fairy tales have always been a source of great fascination for me, and once I started writing fairy tale haiku, I found that I couldn't bring myself to stop. Within the pages of this notebook are little tales of love lost, love gained, and love gone wrong. Our Disney Princesses are not what they seem to be on film. Rapunzel jumps out of her tower window. Tiana refuses to kiss her frog prince. Sleeping Beauty has narcolepsy.
By taking these well-worn character archetypes and turning them onto their head, it is my hope that I've created work that is surprising, dark, and funny all at once.

My haiku works with people, not nature as many misconceptions about the form think it has to be. My interest lies in the complexity of the human experience, in breaking archetypes free of their archetypal statuses. That princess in her tower is not as helpless as she seems to be. Prince Charming breaks Cinderella's heart time and time again.
These tales may be as old as time, but that doesn't mean they can't learn new tricks.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy.


my prince
will go away

magic lamp
twists her words
into curses

cloaked in red
the wolf
plays dress-up

hair grows
out the tower
the princess jumps

frog lips
she scowls
he'll stay that way

toil and trouble
the prince

oh dear
says the wolf

blizzard warming
dark haired woman
pours tea for little men

lonely frog
willing princess

picks her teeth
with child bones

lupine asthma


the dwarves call
poison control

princess in pink
wakes up



© 2016, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.