Have something to say on the topic of expression? And can you do it in 17 succinct syllables? Then head on over to Karl's Place and post your haiku in his comments section. He's this week's host of what some folks have called the best literary meme on the innerness. Ever. And if you don't believe me, take it up with Karl.
I recently read somewhere that the emotions we feel as teenagers are some of the strongest we'll ever feel in our lives. Anger, love, hate, jealousy, doesn't matter: between the ages of around 12-18 we're little more than walking, talking, junk-food stuffing bundles of raw nerves. It's an evolutionary imperative—eventually we outgrow it, but we've all got to go through it.
And one of the most common outlets for this heightened emotional state, at least for teenage girls, is the crush. You remember yours, right? I remember mine—they ranged from my best friend's boyfriend to rock stars to movie stars to characters played by movie stars to literary heroes to the high school wrestling coach. And while each and every one of them were unattainable, at least they were, for all intents and purposes, alive.
Which is more than I can say for these stupid Twilight book and film characters. Little girls, teenage girls, and even worse GROWN WOMEN MY OWN FREAKIN' AGE (ew!), all spinning themselves into fits of hair-rending, mascara-smearing love/lust over characters that are, for all intents and purposes, dead. Not to mention, underage.
And this time around, with movie number three, the Ew Factor is ramped up to eleventy-million, as Edward the Brooding Vampire with the Tragically Hip Haircut finally marries Now of Age Bella the Mumbling Slouch Who Can't Dress. Which means they can also finally have sex (apparently, these are Conservative Republican vampires). Which means Bella ends up, yes, PREGNANT (ew! ew!).
But let's put aside for a moment just how f - - - ed up it is for real live women to rally behind this bizarro union of the undead and their half human/half vampire freakazoid offspring and ponder the logistics of how it could have happened in the first place.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the bodily fluid most responsible for making happen the thing that needs to happen to a dude's you-know, so that he can, you-know, whether in the service of getting his partner knocked up or, you-know, just having a good time, is . . . blood. Right? Which a vampire does not have, because, correct me if I'm wrong again, vampires are dead. Which means that even if it were possible for Edward to get a (you-know), he wouldn't have the lil' swimmers capable of storming the defenses because, well, those lil' swimmers would have to be alive to do so. Right?
Okey dokey, y'all, I have made my decision. It wasn't easy and if I don't mention your haiku specifically, it's simply because of lack of time, not admiration. Each and every one of these had something to recommend them, but as with most things in life, there can only be one winner.
I copied, pasted, printed, and read and re-read—silently and aloud—all your haikus several times. I read them to myself, I read them to the dogs, I read them in the car while waiting at red lights. I read them at lunch over salad and creme soda, but then I got distracted because I thought to myself, self? Why doesn't creme soda get the recognition it deserves? That damn root beer, it hogs all the limelight.
At any rate, I would like to spotlight a few things that struck me:
TROLL: For "Smokey mountain maze," a most excellent and beautifully evocative phrase. Also, "Sucking up to Judge 101" is clever, clever, clever ("Not this year pilgrim!" bwahahahahaha!) and yes, I can be sucked up to. It's spelled: C-H-A-N-E-L. But since ain't none of us has that kind of cash, don't worry. This contest remains, for the moment, honest.
ANONYMOUS: What's this? A love haiku? Doth someone lurk amongst us who is crushing on Mr. Troll? Come on, don't be shy. Inquiring, nosy-ass minds want to know. And this is a most awesome haiku, elegantly entendre-ed.
FLEUR: For Fleur, our resident Kate Bush of Haiku in High Heels, love is a battlefield. A stranger in an open car. A gas. An eventual pain in the ass. And boy, don't Pat Benetar and Debbie Harry wish they'd written "primal shrieks and steamed silence?" I know I do.
CZAR: Our resident Mash Up Artiste manages in only 17 quick syllables to summarize the entire history of mankind from unformed universe to the space race. It's pretty breathtaking, what he does here.
K9: Today's so-called extreme adventurers lack a certain something. I'm not sure what it is. Heart, maybe? Soul? At any rate, K9 nailed it.
SERENDIPITY: A relative newcomer to these here games, Serendipity's "Snow Mistake," reminds us that for every thrill we chase, there's danger, even death, ready to stick its foot out to trip us up.
COREY JO: Wrote a lovely homage to armchair adventurers everywhere who seek their thrills in the pages of books. What I like most about it, is the reiteration of the word bound, which works here because of the contrast it sets up: by virtue of the fact that they are literally bound, books allow us unlimited imaginative movement. Nicely done.
But two haiku stood out for me: Foam's and Karl's second ones, both of which put us in media res of an actual adventure. One of those adventures starts off pitch perfect and then, thanks to the arbitrary nature of Mother Nature, ends up being something else entirely. The other, which was never pitch perfect to begin with; in fact, it was one for which Ms. Foam was most likely extremely ill-prepared. But she did it anyway. As a result, both our intrepid writers ended up not with cracked skulls (thank goodness), but with bruised "bums." And egos. Well, well done.
But the one that won out was Karl's. By a nose and a smidgeon more of cinematic phrasing.
High exit, crisp, calm. Freefall frolic. Winds change, blow. Backward bean field ride.
Congrats, Karl! I have no prezzies to bestow this time around. But then again, when you want presents, they just mail themselves to your door.
A lot of our bloggers have had them recently. Fishy and Aunty just got back from forays to France, Pam from a jaunt around jolly ol' England and Wales, and Chickory inadvertently courted one in the mountains of her own backyard. So I thought ADVENTURE would be a fitting topic for this week's Haiku Contest.
I'd like you to tell me: Do you thirst for it or shrink from it? Enjoy it from the safety of your sofa or out in the great outdoors? From the end of a bungee or dangling from a parachute? Atop a mountain or at the bottom of the ocean? Or is your interpretation something more ethereal or elusive, a feeling or way of life rather than an actual action?
The rules are simple:
• 5-7-5 format
• The word adventure does NOT have to appear in the haiku or the title, but if you can incorporate it, awesome
• Submit no more than two
• Visuals always fun but not necessary and won't affect the judging
• Post here by midnight EST, Monday, November 14
• I'll announce the winner by end of the day Tuesday, November 15
From my trainer, a woman with the tenacity of a badger and the muscles of a ballerina, the kind of person who, upon hearing that you simply cannot go on, that you are about to hurl on your shoes, that please, can we just forget this whole thing and go gossip over donuts and coffee, purses her lips, hands you a towel, and says: "Don't care. Two more sets.":
"It's not the heaviness of the weight that matters most, but the intention with which you lift it."
In spite of the fact that I spend most of my time flipping her off behind her back, I have decided that these are wise words indeed and I just might want to adopt them as my mantra to get me through these next few months as I navigate the holidays, a full workload, and swat away doubts about the wisdom of signing up for my next trail race. (Which brings to mind another of my life's mottos: "Interesting, but stupid.")
So, what about you all? Has there ever been anything you've done for which you were totally ill-prepared but you just went ahead and did it anyway and surprise, surprise, no one died, sued you, or made you go home?
1. As usual, my math is off: For the past seventeen years, I've operated under the assumption that S.B. and I first met on Sunday, November 1, 1994, the day after Halloween. When in actuality, that Sunday was the day after a Halloween PARTY, held Saturday, October 29th, a two full days before the date I've always held in my head.
2. Not that it really matters. I'm jinx-ey about celebrating anniversaries, and S.B. tends to forget stuff unless I Sticky Note it. Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's, bring it. But I've always tiptoed around the whole until death do us part concept for one thing (what if one of us turns into a serial killer? a wearer of Crocs? a democrat?) and I'm a skeptic about anything institutionalized for another. I figure if I don't look it straight in the eyes, it won't be tempted to attack. So far, it seems to be working.
3. I think that I am actually beginning to hate a show about zombies. And I'll watch zombie anything, but Walking Dead is turning out to be such a clunker, not even a busload of meth addicts could revive it at this point. Speaking of which, anyone see the season finale of Breaking Bad? That was awesome. Also: Homeland. If you haven't seen this, it's worth watching the past episodes online to catch up. Very tense stuff. Also, also: American Horror Story. Scary and funny and sexy (Dylan McDermott is FIFTY? Holy moly. Even S.B. had to comment on that one.).
4. I watch way too much television.
5. I actually made my way through an entire fantasy novel this month, Terry Pratchett's Small Gods (at Troll's rec), and didn't want to throw it against the wall. Au contraire, it was very food for thought-ey, and I loved the whole desert-as-metaphor-for-enlightened-thought bit and also the desert as the purgatory across which the newly dead must make their way to the final place of judgment. When I die, I want to be laid (lain?) out on a flat rock in the New Mexico badlands somewhere, left as food for the coyotes and the vultures. Let that sun soak my bones until they're bleached and scattered. This sends S.B. into a mini conniption fit every time I mention it because most likely he'll be the one who has to carry out my final wishes and most likely this is illegal.