EN340 / IN350 Global Haiku Tradition
Dr. Randy Brooks
Spring 2003
Previous Home Next

Billy Flowers

Alan Pizzarelli:

Selected Haiku

Billy Flowers

I am a business major who began studying the art of haiku just four short months ago in January, 2003. I am not the most in tune with nature, although I have come a long way this semester in being able to visualize and enjoy the beautiful moments nature has to offer. Most of my influence comes from the art of senryu: namely, Alan Pizzarelli. Most of my senryu are written from two perspectives: being a kid, and being intoxicated. This original work has a little bit of everything: haiku, haibun, and, of course, senryu.

Reader's Introduction

Upon reading Billy Flowers' haiku, you immediately get a sense of what kind of person Billy is. This is not only because he writes primarily out of personal experience—his senryu, usually involving midgets—are written from imagination. This is also because his haiku is infused with feelings of humor, love of good times, and a carefree character. Billy uses events from his own life, like cracking beers to the setting sun or leisurely swatting flies from hamburgers, to create the relaxed atmosphere that permeates the majority of his work. Those haiku that do not share this feeling are regardlessly saturated with Billy's own perspective on the moment. By putting himself into a moment, such as wishing for gloves as he scrapes off a windshield, Billy also places the reader into that moment in time. Thus, a reader can easily relate to the feeling he is trying to portray. This is a hallmark of excellent haiku, a hallmark fround frequently in Billy Flowers' work.

—Alyson Ludek

we crack beers
to a half-sunken sun
a wave rolls up to our toes

August night
a train whistle
half lifts my eyelids

summer afternoon
we swat the flies
from our hamburgers



hands over my eyes
the perfume
gives her away

one strand of her hair
on my bed sheet



scratching plastic
across icy glass
I should have worn gloves

hang over
indents of Mardi Gras beads
on my face


©2003 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors