Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Image of a squid in a tub ready for sale for dinner. Poor Squid. The title of this image is 'Cthulhu awakes from a bubble bath, ready to pump up the jam; beware... Or maybe this is a gentle reader, eyeing your humble scribe cautiously, trying to determine if he will stay around this time...'.Dear Gentle Reader,

It is 3WW and I am back after another absence (see prior post).

This week the words are lucid, righteous, and salvage.

As usual (when I am present), I offer three haiku (ish), each with an American Sentence title.

For those that don't know, the 'Coles Notes' version explanation of Haiku and American Sentences follow first, with a bit of extra fluff--or dander, and then come the poems...

Haiku originated in Japan, but the English version of haiku is, usually, a bit stricter than the original Japanese haiku format.

The English language haiku generally requires three lines with 5 syllables on the first line, 7 syllables on the second line and 5 syllables on the final line.

Of course, haiku, classically, deal with seasons or nature and use a 'cutting word' (frequently onomatopoeic) to divide the poem into two parts.

I don't normally do that.

In fact, I rarely write haiku, technically speaking.

I frequently write about human foibles, or deviancy, sometimes with irony and, sometimes, humour, which are the subject matter domain of senryu rather than haiku.

Senryu are structurally similar to haiku except for the subject matter revolving around men (and women) rather than nature or seasons (haiku).

That difference is probably irrelevant to most folk; I figure that most folk either know this stuff already, or can't be bothered to know about, or be interested in, the senryu/haiku differences.

The American Sentence is a poetical form far closer, syntactically, to Japanese haiku, in my opinion--and this is readily debatable. This form requires 17 syllables in one flowing sentence and was created by the American poet Allen Ginsberg.

Now, let my verbiage end and the games begin with lucid, righteous, and salvage... (thanks for the words, Thom).

Sleeping on Milton's black gulf, burning with rage amidst sulphur, dreaming...

Lucifer dreams hot,
lucidly, righteously of
salvaging his rank

Eco-warrior, on the margin (of sea and land), finds funds for her cause.

Lucid beachcomber
salvages timber for cash;
righteous tree-hugger.

When brains go snap, and psyche flees, hope follows and soon is lost or trapped...

Psycho-chem'cal salvage--failed.
Righteous wail, despair.


The combination of Lucifer, folk on the margins, or between the margins, neural snapping, and righteous whales made me think of H.P. Lovecraft and Cthulhu.

And Cthulhu is what inspired both the image at the top and this piece of folk on the margins...Canadian gypsy jazz (jazz manouche) meets French disco... by some Canadian, Quebecois confrères...
The Lost Fingers' English language website is here...



Americanising Desi said...

welcome back Chris and a Happy New Year to you!

truly a marvel post!

Lucid Picture

Crystal Phares said...

Excellent post!

David Masters said...

I especially liked the haiku about the tree-hugger.

Teresa said...

Welcome back, Chris. I think you should have subtitled this post "Paradise Lost and Found." Of course, the first haiku is obviously that. The tree hugger salvages funds and thus finds or saves paradise. And the last one, it seems is about losing the paradise of a competent mind and finding that j'ne sais quoi of insanity tinged with genius.

Your lesson on the forms of your art was quite interesting, but I would remind you that true art takes the forms as a foundation and transcends them. Therefore, I would not call your efforts "haikuish." If you really want to be a slave to semantic form, I guess you would need to call them "haiku art!"


Andy Sewina said...

Nicely crafted, the last line of the last one Screams the loudest!

Jay Thurston said...

Enjoyed the haikus, first one is my favorite of them. The "Pump Up the Jam" link was enjoyable as well.

madeline d. murray said...

Hi Chris,

Great post! You've worked the pairing of the American Sentences and the haiku beautifully. I think I am inspired to try it, too. I especially love the Lucifer piece. Thanks for sharing these!

Angel said...

I liked all three this time. Well done.

ThomG said...

Chris, you always turn the words into beautiful thought. Good to have you back.

peggy said...

welcome back! No offense, but I think I like the creative titles more than the syllabic poetry!

Fun to read your words, no matter what. Miss your visits, have to tell ya.

Cloudia said...

Gung Hee Fat Choy!!!!!!!

Sepiru Chris said...

Hello AD,

Thank you very much, and I am pleased that you enjoyed it.

Hello Crystal,

Thank you.

Dear David,

Marginalized they be, but hugging the tree with a tow rope... not so much difference there between the us or them... I had fun with this one, though I struggled with the word parameters. Thanks.

Dear Teresa,

With the first one, I was thinking of working in the rank and file of the renegade angels, newly fallen, into the black defile, but I wasn't sure how many folks are Paradise Lost afficionados. Besides the omnivorous knowledge gourmand (et gourmet) that is you. And I mean that with the utmost in respect and appreciation, as I trust you recognize. :)

Regarding paragraph two, I concur. That structural diversion was more a slight reply to a comment someone left a couple of 3WW ago. :)

Dear Andy,

Thanks. Possibly it screams the loudest as Pandemonium has not yet sprung up (seeing as how that doesn't occur until the next chapter of Paradise Lost).

Dear Jay,

Of these three, that was my favourite too, but I always Milton.

And I am delighted that you enjoyed the jazz manouche from my (originating) home and native land.

Dear Madeleine,

Thank you for reading and commenting! Creation usually loves an audience; even Milton would likely argue for that. I am sure that Lucy would, too.

Dear Angel,

Thank you.

Dear Thom,

I just run with the words. You provide the prompts, the cues... and we all queue up to receive.

Thank you, Thom.

Dear Peggy,

Absolutely no offense taken, Peggy. You know that I prefer honest feedback by far, and poems are, of course, highly subjective.

I have been e-away for a while; I look forward to returning to the rounds and to seeing what is new around town.

Dear Cloudia,

And the same in return, amanuensis of dreamtime and brilliant flowers.

And, sometimes, of Chinese lions.


Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Nicely done, and I like Teresa's insight into these pieces - Paradise Lost and Found.

Tumblewords: said...

Eloquent, as always. It's fun to see three different takes on the same prompt.

Lilibeth said...

I love the variety and the seeming effortlessness for these three pieces so beautifully crafted.

Tim Remp said...

I loved all three pieces. Your creative titles add that something over the top extra.

April Lindfors said...

Very creative how you pair the American sentences and haiku. Each one its own little scenario...I wouldn't want to be around for the first and third. I'd prefer the beach combing with a tree-hugger.

Thomma Lyn said...

Excellent work, Chris! These poems are word-music. :)

murat11 said...

Lucifer gets my vote, with the sly multiple entendres on "rank."

Apropos of Cthulhu and H. P., my finest upper school writer did a magnificent "portrait" of the former last year, but would not grant it a place on one of my classroom bulletin boards until I read some of the latter. I was easily converted: what a world I fell into. Ms LDM turned not of few of her classmates onto HPL as well, one of whom purchased a stuffed Cthulhu "doll," which now sits atop the "flagstick" on my classroom's west wall. Mornings, he receives our syncretic pledges of allegiance.