Above is a moment of inspiration, gazing at the moon with my daughter last summer. Luckily, my husband happened to snap a picture, as it's also the scene for my haibun"Hexagram 54 of the I Ching" included in Contemporary Haibun Online's spring issue:
I actually learned about haibun while working closely with Every Day Poets. I've been really lucky in terms of finding editors to teach and encourage me. I'm so grateful that I've had so many editors cheer me along the way. In fact, I'd like to dedicate this post to Robin V. Herrnfeld, who was one of my first editors/ readers/ encouragers, and who passed away just before the magazine took a hiatus.
Before they hit pause (which I still hope is a temporary thing), EDP featured a haibun contest in 2012 along with this helpful, explanatory essay on the form, which is really what got me started writing them. I wasn't so sure when I first heard the term. I cannot write haiku for the life of me, and haibun sounds intimidating, doesn't it? A fancy, shmancy term for fancy shmancy poems. Actually, like a lot about what's beautiful in Japanese art, there's a simplicity to haibun. In a nutshell, haibun is just a kind of prose poem with a haiku attached at the end (Somehow I can write haiku, but only when they're part of a haibun. It's part of the weird, haibun magic world.) Of course, there's a little more to it than that. Constance Brewer, another EDP editor, put it really well in the essay I just mentioned/ linked to above:
The prose poem shouldn’t be a piece of flash fiction with a haiku attached, but rather a reflection on a physical or emotional journey the writer has undertaken. The prose poem should be haiku-like in its execution and revelations, and form a juxtaposition with the haiku.
Sounds easy? No, not at all, but they're really fun to write and have helped me access haiku, which I've always admired but, as I mentioned, failed at being able to write. (Little wonder; I'm not known for concision.) What I like most about haibun is you have to read them, not about them, in order to start to really appreciate them. If you are already a lover of microfiction or flash fiction, I can pretty much guarantee you'll love the form.
Here's the link to the whole spring issue. I'm about to grab a cup of tea and read the whole thing myself. Let me know what you think!
Hope you enjoy my piece!
You know the dreams you have where you're failing a test and then you wake up so relieved that you already graduated? No more tests! Well, this poem was inspired by a similar dream. I woke up as if from a nightmare one morning and realized I was no longer in the relationship I was dreaming about. This poem explores where that love goes when it's done, when that person goes from being your whole world to simply being another person in the world. The title and the poem riff on the notion of object permanence, suggested by a post on EDP actually. It's short and NOT too sweet . Please check it out here.
In other news, Every Day Poets is struggling to maintain it's incredible site. Not only have they been supportive of my poetry and the poetry of many writers around the world and inspirational in their essays and suggestions for topics to write about, but they also always gave me detailed feedback and suggestions, even when they rejected a poem. They're looking for contributors to help the site keep going. Please read about it here and pass along this post to any wealthy lovers of poetry (poephiles :)?) that you might know. Thanks!
I just received this beautiful copy of Slippery Elm's inaugural issue in the mail yesterday. My poem "Rolling Stone Papa" is featured in it as well as lots of other gorgeous poems and short stories. I can't wait to sit down with a cup of tea and read it cover to cover. It's snowing... again! Nothing better than poetry and hot tea on a cold winter's day. If you'd like to snuggle up with a copy of your own, follow this link to Slippery Elm's site or mail a check for $10 to the address below:
The University of Findlay
1000 North Main St.
Mail Box 1615
Findlay, OH 45840
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the poem.
I'm excited to share my piece on pornography, poetry, E.E. Cummings, D.H. Lawrence, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Lascaux Review with you guys! I love this publication-- fiction, flash fiction, essays, writing tips-- and I was pleased to work with its editors, crafting this knotty piece that incorporates so many topics in less than a 1,000 words.
Please follow this link to read the essay and take time to check out their other excellent articles, stories, and poems.
Every Day Poets is one of my favorite online journals to work with, and I've been lucky enough to work with them a bunch now. Over the past couple of years, the editors have provided me with lengthy, invaluable feedback, and the site is a daily source of inspiration, essays and poetry. I'm very excited they've accepted another one of my poems, live today here.
"Project Shopaholic" is about the depletion of spirit endemic to consumer culture. Coincidentally, I participated in Anti-Black Friday this past week. It was a fun challenge not to spend a single dollar in New York City in one entire day. I'll be blogging about the experience at Brooklyn, Books, and Babies.
My first attempt to scare you is up at Every Day Fiction. Please check it out here or here: http://www.everydayfiction.com/all-find-safety-in-the-tomb-by-isabella-david/
The title "All Find Safety in the Tomb" is of course borrowed from the recurring line in "Crazy Jane and the Bishop"-- that ghostly, gorgeous poem by Yeats with the most wonderful first line of any poem: "Bring me to the blasted oak". You can read the rest of the poem here.