I got two batches of haiku off by email this week. Just making the reading period for one magazine, smack in the middle of the reading period for another. I said to Kent, “OK. I’ve set myself up for disappointment.”
I don’t think I’m a great haiku poet. I think I’m better with wild, twisting sentences that gulp at the world and battle with their insides. But haiku has been good for me as a practice this spring/summer. Whenever I have trouble writing one I remind myself that it’s only about the present moment, the here & now. If my brain won’t break into blossom, I just have to look out at the world’s existing blossoms, even if they happen merely to be a pile of socks or the cracks in paint. I put down a few words. A few words is all a haiku can consist of. They’re never terrible. At worst, they’re just blah. Just a note about my environs, maybe my emotion of the moment, maybe the writing.
“Thousand” is a practice. The haiku and “Thousand” help keep me steady, I think, help distract me from difficult things that are going on right now. Maybe they help me deal with them. I’m not sure. I think they do. When I consider not doing them, it makes me nervous. They’ve become a structure for me, and, of course, I end up with something, a created thing, art, which continues.