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Posts tagged “haiku

An Impasse, but a Wub – 13 July 2014

I’ve come to an impasse in writing my novella—a bit ‘o the old writer’s block, it seems. It’s probably the dozenth time it’s happened in writing the beast. That means it’s time to take a step back and use this time constructively, polishing and rechecking and polishing even more.

And that’s okay.

Last week, I stumbled upon an honest-to-goodness wub (refer to my first post if you’re confused as to what a wub is). It’s something very, very precious to me—a flash drive, a 1G piece of plastic and stainless steel I’ve had for five years, and thought was lost to me for good. It’s full of un-revised short stories, and haiku and sonnets and free-verse poetry I’d scrawled down in the margins of class notes, sometimes in lieu of class notes—but only when the lectures became insufferably boring, of course. And even though most of the stuff on it isn’t anything special… (yet), it’s important that I came across it again. It’s a litmus test of sorts, a watermark that shows me where I’ve come from, but also where I want to go. I thought I’d share one of the more interesting pieces with you all.

It’s an experimental piece—something I’ve termed a haiku cycle. It’s something akin to an outline of a scene in a short story (and I’m pretty sure the idea began as a short story), but it’s told completely in haiku stanzas, three to a part. Now that I’ve read it again it may be a format to revisit, I think.

 

Queen of the Subway—Haiku Cycle No. 1

 

I.

Sunshine streaming in,

And a line of blind-shadows

Slices the air. Their

 

Slashes line up in

A neat row. They draw my eye

To their marching, and my thoughts

 

Again return to

The “what-might-have-been,” though it’s

The why that stymies

 

II.

I spotted you on

The rush-hour J train. It

Was your hair, lifted

 

In an afro, the

Queen of the subway. My gaze

Traced your length, along

 

The hem of your tight,

Clingy dress, down to your hand

Steady on the pole

 

III.

Three weeks pass. Not once

Do you desert me. You pulse

Through my muscles, my bones. My

 

Mind fogs over, my

Spirit is broken by mere

Thoughts of you. I knew

 

That you were meant to

Be mine, and mine alone. I

Needed to find you

 

IV.

Again I see you

On the J, queen regent of

Brooklyn, and as sure as we’re

 

Magnets, as sure as

Two always comes after one,

We are drawn across

.

The space, together.

Mixed in amongst the Others

A burning will lies

 

V.

I steel my nerve, and

Push my way through them to you.

We’re finally there.

 

The crown up close, it

Draws breath, quickens pulse, distracts.

Advance arrested.

 

Then I find your hand.

I reach out for it… but an

Other gets there first.

 

 

Sunshine streaming in,

And a line of blind-shadows

Slices through my heart.