Political Haiku

Politics is

out of the question I've learned

talking to chickens

What is the question I’ve learned talking to chickens?

This is a revision of a post-Trump election haiku posted today. The original was “politics is / out of the question I’ve learned / to talk to chickens.” But a friend raised some issues and I reconsidered the last line, which is to mistakenly name it: not the last line, but the independent line. Talking to chickens is one of those absolutes: it’s always possible, just; a sort of utopian gesture. Having said that, I do enjoy calling to these chickens in the photo. I HAVE learned to make the plaintive guttural sound they make back to me. It’s taken a while to get it right.

So I think the rewrite makes it a better haiku. The narrative is the world of contingency: though there’s a lot of talk in politics, politics is action, not talk; politics is “out of the question” if that idiom stands. It COMES out of the question of the good life, and we learn that by doing politics, but we also learn that it is not just talk, there’s an abyss separating politics and talk. Perhaps this is a theme “out of” Yeats.

Well, talking to chickens is not politics, on one level; if you take “chickens” as a figure for something subhuman, I suppose . . . ..

We’re back to the question, again.

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