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Haiku Corner

Hakiu Exchange [by David Shapiro and David Lehman, 1/22/03]

Piotr Sommer

DL to DS

NY Unstuck Exchange (Hi, koo!)

Three drops of blood on
a hill of snow: signal for
rebellion to start.

Two snakes intertwined
around a tree: signal for
couple to have sex.

One touch of Venus
and I will marry the world
with my stiff penis.

I know we knew what
was coming. Of planets who
can resist Venus?

How about a new
school of poetics? OK,
but what to call it?

Do you suppose these
haikus will be published and
read on a glad day? [DL, 1 / 20 / 03]

David ShapiroDS to DL

I have one reader
in mind, but probably she
will be glad elsewhere!

this is my haiku
to the addressee slipped way
beyond the world's wake!

Call Poetry Mind
Call all else stupidity
Call squirrel there squirrel!

To pronounce squirrel squirrel
In last stanza change accents
Squirrel is still same squirrel!

Oh nominalist
Oh Zeno halfway there, let
her read us one day!

Here I am at school
In front of blue computer
Fairly serene Fool—         [DS, 1 / 21 / 03]

DL FelverDL to DS
Monocle, Mon Oncle

Good afternoon, my
friend. Um, how would you define

To define the word
in one haiku seems a task
worthy of your skill.

What did Stevens mean
by writing the “clashed edges
of two words that kill”?

This is my haiku
to the world that never sent
one to Emily:

In January
I always think of David
Shapiro’s first book.   [DL, 1 / 21 / 03]

David Shapiro with two portraitsDS to DL
Haiku no explanation but a vision of Wally and the Liberty Dime (coldsnap)

Only the word lives
for the nominalist -- words
clash: no cold ideas!

Just two words breaking
in Stevens' cave, no fire --
just words -– fireflies -–

Thanks for the memries --
the buried 15 yr old
now lost in old years —

Near Plato's highway
Wallace walks with his wife, but
only words they say!

They go opposite
each other and are happy
Pigeons stay indoors!

That's what the Times sez!
Pigeons indoors! Spouses! Crimes!
Criminals! Ideas!

Well, David, this is
not the complete Clash or edge
just nominal fee --- !

I know that words kill
Because blind History taught
blind Homer they will----

But haikus could be
little consoled birds inside
warm ferries flying--!      [DS, 1 / 22 / 03]

DL to DS
Time for one more haiku

In my sleep I wrote
haiku of wonder but then
the bird flew away.

Nor raven nor crow
yet that blackbird made circles
in the sky and snow.

No nominalist,
That bird was lordly, a sir,
Yes: Sir Realist.

Stevens and wife walked
to end of street and he turned
left and she turned right.

Two swords that kill do
so with greater skill than two
words that kill, n'est-ce pas?    [DL, 1 / 22 / 03]

Photos: (1) top left David Lehman with Polish poet Piotr Sommer; (2) David Shapiro (3) Lehman (4) Shapiro

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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