Author Archives: Tom D'Evelyn

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 […]

Basho’s Cool Nothing in Jane Reichhold’s Translation

In modernity, “nothing” is zero, nada: nihil. We are most of us born nihilists. We simply can’t “think” of nothing. Jane Reichhold’s (1937-2016) presentation of Basho in her Basho: The Complete Haiku (Kodansha International, 2008) goes to the quick of Basho’s profound grasp of the difficulty of meaning and the power of wonder wondering: why […]

Still Cutting Edge: Mark Harris’s First Book

These comments assume you have a copy of Burl (Red Moon Press, 2012) nearby. This is an intentionally “naïve” reading. It is full of good will and acts of patience with oneself and exasperation too. This naïve reading does not assume anything is already disposed of between the reader and the book at hand. Zero […]

The Unequal

How often I slip on the slick leaves The Unequal pulls me up again   Notes The haiku is a “fall” haiku — the season is the scene of such happenings. Which happenings? The energy is leaving the world — leaving the leaves, which are rotting underfoot. Yet that energy — or is it a […]

nonetheless: just the smell of …

Before I’m awake I make the coffee, the smell alone is enough   Is this worth the trouble of counting the syllables?  Is it more than a finger exercise? Perhaps the subject matter involves one in such doubting questions.  If so, perhaps it’s more than an exercise. Nothing wrong with a little exercise.  Somehow being […]

Critic’s Kitty

AS of 2 AM 20 August, I now prefer the most “objective” version of all   The critic’s glass house all lit up in the small hours the kitty’s playtime   “Critic” draws more context from “glass house” including the maxim “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” which is what the proverbial […]

Haiku and the Comedy of Life

a zig and a zag the little white  butterfly is bigger than life Juxtaposition is the essence of haiku. The two sections are asymmetrical — not only is one section shorter by more than half, the role played by the shorter one is to orient our view of the longer one. This instability of temporal structure […]