Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Cool Announcement: A Freebie, Human All Too Human

My Dear Friends:

I just published a book of senryu, Human All Too Human,  in an e-book form for your reading pleasure.

This book is dedicated to Edo period haikai poet Senryu Karai (1718-1790), whose collection Haifuyanagidaru launched the genre, senryu, into the public consciousness.

And to Makoto Ueda, Stanford Japanese literature professor and author of Light Verse from the Floating World: An Anthology of Premodern Japanese Senryu

"Senryu differs from haiku in its rhetoric, too, since it seldom uses the common haiku technique known as internal comparison. Whereas a haiku often juxtaposes two disparate objects challenges the reader to make an imaginary connection between them, a typical senryu presents one unique situation and asks the reader to view it in the light of reason or common sense. The reader who does that will usually experience a feeling of superiority, or of incongruity, or of relief, which in turn lead to laughter." (Preface, p. vii-viii)

S elected Senryu:

oh, you're a poet ...
her rising tone
in the last syllable

Editor's Choice Senryu, Cattails, 3, 2014

(Comment by Senryu Editor, Mike Rehling: Every poet has been there, it happens a lot. If you say you are an accountant, or a gas station attendant there is immediate understanding of your role in our complex society. It just happens, but if you toss out the poet card you can never quite tell how it will be received. The other folks don’t have an easy way to relate to us poets. This one nailed it with the tone of the woman being unmistakable in her confusion as to how to react)

the pumpkin carriage
makes its first appearance:
her New Year's dream

A Handful of Stones, December 31, 2010

first sunlit morning
I recycle
last year's resolution

Cattails, December 2013

midnight argument
giving me the middle finger
she blocks out two stars

Failed Haiku, 1:7, July 2016

divorce talk
each sip of tea more bitter
than the last

Kokako, 24, April 2016

first day after layoff:
my Chinese take-away
without a fortune cookie

Cattails, September 2015;

recession ...
the care giver he hired
doubles as a mistress

Prune Juice, 6, 2011
Selected Senryu, "Senryu: Definition and Origins" (by Kris Lindbeck), Simply Haiku, 10:3, Spring/Summer 2013

between street lamps
a sex worker
and my shadow

Prune Juice, 17, 2015

a night off
the hooker plays with herself
in her sleep

Failed Haiku, 1:9, Sep. 2016

spicy chicken …
this impulse to ask
if she's married

Editor's Choice Senryu, Modern Haiku, 43:1

I'm married ...
ice cubes shifting
in her wine glass

tinywords, 16:2, 2016

a fork in the road …
she opens the map
while I read GPS

Third Place, Senryu Section, 2014 Haiku Poets of Northern California Contest;

lover's quarrel ...
she stoops down to draw
a line in the sand

 A Hundred Gourds, 2:1, December 2012

Valentine's Day alone
the neighbor's wife runs naked
through my mind

Failed Haiku, 1:9, September 2016

back from the washroom
her blouse buttoned lower:
blind date

Failed haiku, 1:10, 2016

bullfrog chorus...
I practice saying
I love you

Third Prize, 2011 Senryu Contest

a paper cut
from her dear john letter
Friday the 13th

Failed Haiku, 1:9, September 2016

blah blah blah...

Haiku News, June 12, 2010
(Editor's Comment: This is an incredible piece of work Chen-ou! This is actually one of my favorite poems submitted by you. The juxtaposition here is outstanding. The use of “blah, blah, blah” really illuminates the image of snowflakes. Lovely work my friend!

James Tipton's Comment: Another nice one. I particularly like the “blah blah blah” of the politicians set against the more real and more beautiful world of falling snow. It reminded me when I first read it of Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer Speak,” in which a person patiently listens to the verbose professor:
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars)

noonday heat
a white man staring at me
me staring back

Kokako, 25, 2016

he lies
in a gold-plated casket…
just my size

Selected Senryu, Haiku Pix Review, 1, 2011

red light  --
the driver of a hearse
smiles at me

Notes from the Gean, 3:3,  2011

Happy Reading!


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