Responses to link #8:
With 20+ poems on offer for this link, I don’t feel I am able to do them all justice in a single response, so instead of responding to each poem, I felt it would be best to first, share some of my own thoughts on gendai haiku and then share the 3 poems that elbowed their way to the final shortlist.
First of all, here is another enlightening link with regards gendai haiku: http://gendaihaiku.com/.
To quote from Shiki, ‘Haiku advances only when it departs from the traditional style’, and so it is that gendai haiku provides one way forward for the form, welcoming innovation and encouraging writers (as Martin Lucas so elegantly put it in his essay, Haiku as Poetic Spell) to embrace the ‘little awkwardnesses’ and to resist the pressures towards conformity, complacency and mere competence. As well as the wealth of information that is available at Gendai Haiku, I also recommend immersing yourself in journals such as Roadrunner and Presence. Both journals continue to publish groundbreaking work; work that challenges the traditional paradigm.
And for me, reading has always been the way forward… to read and have an awareness of groundbreaking work is to be one step closer to writing it.
What I loved most about the offerings for link #8, was the freedom of their spirit. I thank you all for your innovation and sense of playfulness… to me, both are vital to the art of haiku.
While many of the poems here would add a richness to the Junicho – Rachael’s wildly stitched together words and Trish and Lee-Anne’s intense use of colour – there are three that continue to pull me deeper into their realm. The 3 poems, in no particular order are, Andrew’s ‘global autumn’, Dhyan’s ‘damn!’ and Cindy’s ‘remorse’. Each of these embraces the spirit of gendai and offers a unique way forward for the poem. They are playful, provocative and brimming with possibility.
So which way did I leap?
I couldn’t resist flying into the swirling genetics of Andrew’s ‘global autumn’.
This means link #9 is now open! For link #9 We remain in the world of gendai haiku, so keep the freewheeling words coming… this time, we are looking for three lines.
Between Thistles: A New Junicho
Started: 12 April 2013 – Finished:
Written between: Ashley Capes, Simon Kindt, Chloe Callistemon, Chris Lynch, Trish Reid, John Wainwright, Lee-Anne Davie
Link #1 (3 lines) – hokku / shasei
Link #2 (2 lines) – waki / cultural (literature)
the noose of a circling skein
called down by Carver’s barreled goose
Link #3 (3 lines) – daisan / cultural (film)
fan rotors beat
to the smell of napalm
Link #4 (2 lines) – verse / shasei
recycling at 2:30am
moonlight on bitumen
Link #5 (3 lines) – verse / shasei
moth seeks out
only dark spaces
tired I turn off the light
Link #6 (2 lines) – verse / cultural (art)
Caravaggio fades in from black
is that a pallet knife?
Link #7 (3 lines) – verse / cultural (religion)
he makes the sign
with crossed fingers
Link #8 (2 lines) – verse / gendai
Link #9 (3 lines) – verse / gendai
Link #10 (2 lines) – verse / cultural (politics)
Link #11 (3 lines) – verse / cultural (music)
Link #12 (2 lines) – ageku / shasei
* shasei – sketched from life – lived experience, observational, uncontrived.
* gendai – modernist – atypical structure, tone or content.
Responses to Link #7:
Again, I have been swept away by the energy of this poem and the poets who have stepped up to the ‘link #7 plate’ and had a swing…
Vuong starts proceedings with a small handful of poems, beginning with the warmth of dawn and a blessing, moving to the chill of winter and the exposed garden angel and arriving at, for me, the finest of his three poems, ‘searching for truth’. This image continues to resonate with me; the gentle movement of a page lifting in the breeze shows us that ‘the truth’ reveals itself when we too are open to its arrival; Chris offers a quietly playful image. The idea of a beanie itching the head of the old jizo (protector of deceased children) during meditation put a wide smile on my face; Phillip’s offering has a harder edge; in reading this, I sensed the watchmaker had lost his faith, after losing his sight; John engages in an inner dialogue and in doing so talks himself into having a little drink; Rachael drifts off during mass and despite being roused by a sharp elbow to the ribs, continues to question what it is to believe… the final line filled my head with the possibility of what she was dreaming about; Trish presents an image of beauty and devastation, where deaf men sign their cries; something (delightfully) wicked this way comes in the form of Lee-Anne’s poem, as she questions her faith by crossing her fingers while making the sign of the cross; Cindy gives us an image of vast natural beauty and locates us in the upper air of the Himalayas; and Andrew watches as the dog makes short work of the holy book… couldn’t help but think of that age old homework excuse, ‘my dog ate it.’
So many stepping stones, each one providing a solid platform for the poem to move forward. Before I make my decision, let me thank you all again for making this such a joy.
Now, to choose that stone. Four particular poems have had a jostling match in my head, but for link #7, I have gone with Lee-Anne’s satirical take on the sign of the cross.
This means we move into the gendai phase of the poem and the call is now open for link #8… 3 modernist lines that will take the poem in the direction of left field.
Embrace that risk-taking feeling!