summer haiku series: cancelled / postponed

Just dropping in to say that I’ve decided to withdraw from my Summer Haiku Series. Perhaps I’ll pick it up again next summer, but for now, the form feels more constricting than freeing, and since this project was self-imposed, I have the freedom and the right to abandon it. I realized quickly after starting the series that limiting myself to a topic per week inhibited the free-flowing creativity I experienced with my haiku-a-day project. It felt too academic, too restrictive; I want my writing here to feel not like a chore but a portal through which I can escape—detach from the cruelty of the world to explore fully the wildness of sentiment.

And that’s what I plan to do, what I will do. But I will do it in the form I feel most in the moment. I have the rest of my degree to abide by imposing rules. So, to the few of you who visit this online diary every now and again, you can expect more prose and longer poems, short reflections, recapitulations of memory. I might also share some photos I’ve taken, and although I’ve just spent a paragraph griping about it, a haiku or two. It was through this form, after all, that I rediscovered my longing to write not only creatively but consistently.


summer haiku series: nature

I intended for this category to be about the natural world, but somehow it morphed into a reflection on human nature.

July’s sunshine blinds
Cloaks me thick like muggy fog
I melt, gleam, glisten

By nature consumes me whole
Alone I am free

III.  Smile
The predator hunts
The prey cowers, then defends
Don’t be a rude bitch

Two generations
Of drinkers course through my blood
Second day sober

Outstretched before me
The skinny shadow beast glides
Son of the stark sun

summer haiku series: love

Pair with this album.

Violet evening
In your eyes, the warmth I seek
Soul of my solstice

Not a feeling but
A place, the space between you
And me: a repose

Moments before sleep
In my grandparents’ side room
Cocoon of covers

IV.  Emily
She captivates me
How she lives, perceives, creates
Integral ally

True intimacy
Exists not through limbs fusing
But devotion voiced

summer haiku series: identity

Your long, bony nose
Like a woodpecker’s, they said
The sting that made me

Secondhand clothing
I don to invoke the past
Assume former selves

III.  Caucasian (Steal)
Lacking tradition
Appropriate to belong
The rootless privilege

Two thousand fifteen
The year I poisoned myself
With drink and grave men

Mere leaves on a tree
Uniform yet specific
We are each other

summer haiku series: youth

From the beginning
You and me: free, safe to be
Because of their love

The smell of roses
Drifts through a weak-hinged screen door
My first memory

Ripe with bright promise
Lemonade and endless play
Lawless summer days

Since growing older
I yearn for youth’s innocence
The crimeless lilac

I’ve found this new method of composing—deliberately choosing a subject to write about instead of writing about a moment in the day, letting it come naturally—to be more difficult. It is an exercise I will continue to pursue, however. Part of combating writer’s block is writing even when you’re not inspired.

Writing about my youth made me feel sad, nostalgic, like I wasn’t quite capturing its essence. I must return to it again, refine it, explore it further; it made me who I am. But how do you capture who you are, how you were made, in a mere 17 syllables?