JERRY DIES AFTER EATING
112 PENNIES ON A DARE
a collection of haiku
There is a certain sense of the traditional in haiku. Traditional haiku focus very much on nature and our place in it, and tend to be very focused on the sensations of a moment in nature. I choose not to follow this route. I think there are so many wonderful, small moments that are more social in nature, and are simply about people interacting with people, instead of great mother nature. I think that these social moments are more powerful to us as people, as our entire days are composed of these small situations. Most of us interact with each other more than we interact with nature, and I think that traditional haiku almost ignores these interactions in favor of a more solitude-based philosophy, which really doesn’t try to help us figure out how we act as people. Isn’t that really what poetry should be doing?
As I read through Mark’s collection, I decided that one haiku stuck out to me as the most representative of his style:
car in the shop
bicycle built for two
This haiku is great—it sets the scene in the first line, starts an image in the second line, and then finishes by twisting that image in an amusing way. But what I love most about this haiku is how great it sounds read aloud. The pause between “for two” in the second line and “for one” in the third line is integral to the proper delivery of this haiku. Mark is excellent at bringing new life to haiku with his readings, and I can clearly hear in my head how he would read this one! —Melanie McLay