Softe Coo Haiku:
In this section, you will find an entire
chapter from my book, Please, Lord, Make Me A Famous Poet
Or At Least Less Fat. This is the section that deals, rather
unseriously, with haiku. It is, appropriately, the shortest
chapter in the book, 17 pages (one per haiku syllable). If
you like this chapter, you may want to buy the book. If you
want to buy it, it may even be possible for you to do so.
This chapter has end-notes (footnotes
in the book itself). I've colored the end-note numbers blue
in the text below:
Chapter 5: Softe Coo Haiku!
A Few Proverbs and Anti-Adjectives:
Next on "All Things Being Equal":
The poetry imbalance between the United States and Japan,
or how the Japanese are winning the real war.
The Perrier of poetry: "It is good...but it is not haiku."
"I like this haiku but Id like it better if it
were just a few lines shorter..."
The poet pointed
somewhere else, but my eye stuck
on his jeweled ring.
Easy to write lots of poems: I dont throw back the little
A short poem should be an event, like a flamingo lifting one leg
and putting it down.
the start of too many poems
and too few changes of heart.
When every other words an adjective or adverb, the nouns and
verbs cringe and complain like children being dressed up for a party.
Softe Coo Haiku!
And splasheth bogge
Softe sing haiku!
First person croppeth,
Softe sing haiku!
Bright leaf soarth high
A butterfly! 2
Softe sing haiku!
Quite ad naussom
Softe sing haiku!
Haiku! Haiku! Softe coo haiku!
Haiku! Haiku! Haiku!
"Sorry to be so short with you,"
said the haikuist.
This chapter deals with the delicate art of haikuing and such
related subjects as haikuism, haikology and haikolatry. Haiku is,
of course, a Japanese form, but English-language haiku have become
a thriving industry within the vast American poetry cartel. Here
are some questions and answers designed to clear up the many misconceptions
that have accumulated in this country about the haiku form:
1. Are haiku always exactly 17 syllables long? No. They grow longer
during the heat of the afternoon and shrink in the cool of the evening.
The seventeen-syllable requirement is not set in concrete: Haiku
are still syllabic, not slabic. But the 17-syllable form (three
lines of 5, 7, and 5) is the most common, as explained in the following
classic by the great DeanOH!:
with pen skewers seventeen
silly bulls...MU sound.
Note that "mu" is a Zen concept. It is often defined
as "nothingness," that definition followed by many paragraphs
that explain how it isnt really "nothing," just
not "something," which is closely akin to the Greek concept,
"mu pi," or, in plain English (pardon my French), cow
2. Must every haiku include a word to indicate the season (or "seyasonu
worodu"), and if so, does it count against the syllable limit?
Yes and yes, but it neednt be as obvious (and disyllabic)
as a season name (like "summer"). Thus, for example, "frost",
"ice", "Tiffany", "witchs tit",
"of" and "the" are all words traditionally used
to suggest the winter season, while "crisp", "harvest",
"rake", "wild geese", "tooth decay",
"toilet paper", and "moreover" are among the
many indicators of autumn. In the following examples, the obvious
season words are actually unnecessary, the season in each case,
being conveyed by other words in the poem:
Spring. The old horse
vomits on the baby sparrow
after nibbling cherry blossoms.
Winter. Old crow
on a bare branch reading
the Wall Street Journal.
New Years. My little
daughter wants more rice cakes.
With my axe I chop her to bits.
And of course, this tradition gives some an unfair advantage:
in L. A., which shortens
We have cats, dogs and
urine smell in every season
of the haiku.
The haiku has
many seasons, all of them
3. What is a death poem? The Japanese are a very poetic people.
For example, when they crash their planes intentionally into a battleship,
they are not crazy; no, they are "kamikaze" or "divine
wind". When they fart...but you get the idea. This national
poetic sensitivity is displayed in the tradition of writing a death
poem (usually a haiku) shortly before (well duh!) death. Here is
an example from Lord Bozo (with Bimbo, Boozin and Dumbo, among the
great thanatographists or death writers):
Sting of winter air
Bah! Show you something sharper?
Sigh! An arrow!
Note that "Bah! Show" is a hidden message to his contemporary,
Basho, whom he acknowledges to be "something sharper"
than himself; also note that the last line is his way of saying
4. Can true haiku be written in any language other than Japanese?
No true haiku cannot be written in any language at all, for
haiku transcends mere words. Language is but the tea bag dipped
into the seething water of individuality to produce the subtle infusion
we call haiku. "He who speaks, knows not; he who knows, speaks
not." Haiku represents a Zen moment, wherein... [Weve
had to cut this answer short for lack of space. For further understanding
of how haiku transcends language, please refer to R. H. Blyths
four-volume work on the subject.]
5. Can haiku be understood outside the context of the Zen experience
of Satori (enlightenment)? Yes, for haiku can also be grasped in
the context of the Yogic experience of Samadhi. As the 69th Zen
Patriarch aptly remarked, "Everyone love Satori night and Samadhi
morning." Basho expresses his view of Samadhi in the following
Over the rainbow
Note: In this haiku Basho is said to have achieved Toto enlightenment.
A friend points out that Basho expressed his hope for salvation
as follows: Samadhi/ my Prince/ will come.
6. Is it true that all haiku express an absence or emptiness of
self, a transcendence of the competitive, ego-based dualism of most
Western poetry? Yes, as is beautifully expressed in the following
first-prize winner in a recent national haiku contest:
My leaves fall better
than your leaves do.
7. Can haiku express personal human suffering? Yes. For example,
in the following highly personal classic, Issa poetically expresses
his frustrations: As water commissioner of his village, the frustration
of finding all his resources frozen; and more deeply, the disappointment
(after finally marrying at age 82) of discovering himself impotent:
little horse can be led to it,
but not made to drink.
8. I keep hearing that, in haiku, the perceiver becomes the perceived.
Please explain this. Lets let one of the masters of haiku
explain it again, the great Issa. In the following haiku,
Issa, viewing a rose, contemplates the breaking down of distinction
between subject (Issa) and object (a rose), achieving Satori in
the final syllable, where subject and object unite. This haiku is
also a classic Zen Koan (or riddle), named after Zen Cohen, Len
(or Leonard) Cohens younger brother. 4
Zeonard became a Zen master (during the Meshugganah Shogunate) after
giving up guitar, having immobilized both hands with repetitive
motion syndrome after years of rapidly closing fingers upon palms
in an attempt to hear the sound of one hand clapping. But I digress.
Here is Issas haiku of convergence:
[Translation from the Japanese by G. Stein]
9. Isnt a haiku just 17 syllables of nature description?
No! No no NO! It is more so MUCH more! In haiku, natures
presence points to a razor-keen crest of awareness of...
well, here is how the great haiku poet, Snupei, expresses it:
Dark and stormy night
not one creature is stirring,
not even a mouse.
Snupei tells us he wrote this while sitting on the roof of his
tiny house, having earlier talked to his only friends, the small
birds who alit at his feet unafraid, and with whom he shared the
last crumbs from his bowl. It is all in those few syllables, his
spiritual isolation that somehow unites him with all creatures great
and small so that his dark and stormy despair becomes a "good
grief", as he waits for the sun to rise and life to stir in
the mud-red, barren landscape in the shadow of his "Masters
House" (for Snupei was a very religious poet). 5
10. Must haiku always approach the non-verbal? Verbs are OK. Just
go easy on adjectives, adverbs, articles and first-person pronouns.
Especially eschew first-person pronouns. For example, dont
Trees hung with ice.
No one cares about me anymore.
I am not happy.
Trees hung with ice.
No one cares about Bob Dole anymore.
Bob Dole is not happy. 6
Some poets rebel against this prohibition. Here is an opposing
Clear fall day;
even the evergreens
want to change.
No, no, this wont do:
I want to say I.
I want to want.
I have no damned seasons.
Nothing is precious
but what can come out and play
I am no more a lie than spring.
I can say I seventeen times.
It is I who wants to change,
11. Can haiku deal with social and political issues? Of course,
although usually haiku-length poems emphasizing social issues and
human relationships are called "senryu". While today haiku
and senryu are considered separate genres, originally they were
simply different regional pronunciations of the same phrase, "thank
you." Both began when the first English speakers came to Japan
and offered gifts to the people (beads, digital watches, etc.).
The Japanese gave, in return, short poetic notes of gratitude inscribed
with exquisite calligraphy on painted scrolls. These notes, the
Japanese called (after the English) "thank you notes"
or "t-hankyou". In Eastern Japan, the natives called these
"haiku", as in "Haiku velly much!" In Western
Japan the pronunciation was, first, "sankyou", then, "Senryu
velly much". To further complicate the picture, in Western
Japan, the natives pronounced another English borrowing in such
a way that it sounded like "Haiku", as in "Haiku
and the horse you rode in on!" or "Haiku! You AhSo!"
This led to much misunderstanding and eventually a bloody war between
Eastern and Western Japan, when an Eastern lord said "Haiku"
(or thank you) to a Western lord, who, misinterpreting it, took
offense. But I digress. The following haiku, by Boffo (who called
the form "sicku"), shows this form used to comment on
the human condition by contrasting the harmony of the seasons
with mans inhumanity to man (usually based on misunderstood
pronunciations), while yet showing how nature assimilates that inhumanity,
as the ocean swallows a droplet of rain:
Full summer moon,
hushed crickets. Over Hiroshima
a large mushroom cloud.
The difficulty of dealing with human issues in haiku form may
be better understood if we simply replace animals with humans in
familiar haiku, for example:
The old pond.
A lawyer jumps in.
Sound of splashing. (better "Sound of cheering")
On a bare branch
sits an old lawyer.
In Bashos originals, a frog leaps into the pond (not a car
pool) and a crow occupies the branch (not a branch office). The
closest thing to a lawyer in classic haiku is the scarecrow, who
in many haiku is out standing in his field, threatening crows with
little more than a suit.
12. Many argue that 17 syllables is too long for an English-language
haiku, that Japanese haiku in translation seem padded when rendered
in 17 syllables. Is this true? Possibly. "Basuboru" (or
baseball) is NOT a two-syllable word in Japan. Basho wrote (according
to some translations):
The old pond
a frog jumps in:
but in Japanese, its 17 syllables, because Basho, a hippie
(into Zen, you know), used lots of hippie "cutting words"
(a term for the Ohs and Ahs and Ah-Sos of traditional haiku)
"cutting" because Basho was a Nippy Hippy. A full
literal translation (doing justice to all 17 syllables) reads:
You know, this old pond?
Well like this frog jumps in, right?
Like, Oh WOW! SPLASH, man.
13. Must a haiku be witty or aphoristic? Must it deal only with
lofty or picturesque subjects? No to both: Haiku is a direct pointing
at what is. Aphorism is a distraction, a blurring layer of conceptualization
interposed between viewer and nature and is to be avoided or touched
upon by the most delicate allusion only. And haiku is at home with
the commonplace, frogs, scarecrows, taverns, but treats these subjects
so that they become, somehow, part of a totality and the expression
of that totality. Thus, for example, in the following classic haiku
by DeanAh! (DeanOh!s grandmother), we see a girl making soap
in the spring, stirring the pot full of wood ashes and bones, aware
that she has no lover. The smells from the pot are so strong that
she cant smell the cherry blossoms. This poem combines many
traditional elements of haiku, but in an unexpected manner. For
example, the usual swooning over cherry blossoms, associated with
spring and young love, is here undermined (and yet suggested) by
the homier pungence of soap in the making:
Lye, fizz not a beau. Love?
Cherries hard to smell.
Adding to the richness of this vignette is its evocation of an
ancient Zen aphorism, which you may hear for yourself by pronouncing
the last two lines carefully (excluding the last three words). 7
14. In the West (e.g., Wyoming), we often think of poetry, especially
formal poetry, as a difficult, painstaking art. Are you trying to
tell me that something like "The old pond, a frog jumps in:
SPLASH!" is poetry? My 3-year-old can do better than that!
Bashos classic loses much in translation. First of all, the
last line is better translated, not "splash", but "sound
of water" or "water sound" or, more profoundly evoking
its deeper Zen significance, "auditory manifestation of a deep
penetrating impact with the aqueous surface." Second, Basho
was only TWO years old when he wrote it (so there!).
Thirdly and finally, it is a little known fact outside Japan that
in Japanese, the traditional haiku must be, in addition to all other
requirements, a perfect palindrome. That is, it must read the same
backwards and forwards like the sentence "Able was I ere I
saw Elba" or the name Otto. It is this bi-directional form
that gives the haiku its timeless quality, for its beginning is
also its end, like the great serpent that swallows itself.
This is VERY difficult to achieve with any degree of spontaneity
in English. Here are three noble, but alas, failed attempts at full
Who Leaps Into The Old Pond?
Is "I" true to Basho?...
Hero Frog? IVE vigor, for...eh?
Oh saboteur tis I.
[Basho concludes that it is HE who leaps into the pond and sabotages
Gentle Issa Is Charming, But Perhaps
Not For All-American He-Men
Was I ass? Inane?
Meek? Nay! O no YANKEE men
An ISSA I saw!
Consummate Artist, Buson Refutes Critics
Eh? Badrap Buson at arts!
"Buson no substrata..."
No subpar dab, he!
As you can easily see, it is almost impossible to produce a truly
traditional haiku in English. Palindromes are easier in Japanese,
with all its reversible exclamatory vowels (e.g., Ah So! O Sha!).
The Japanese have always, after all, been rather backward. As Kikaku
says of the klutzy Subaru Van: "Subaru, U R a bus!" Later,
chiding his rival, Buson, he adds, "No, Subaru, U R a Buson!"
Issa later exclaims, "A toy! O! Toyota!" Sober Shiki bitterly
replies, "Nissan a van as sin!" (Shiki yearned
for the ancient traditions and considered sinful all attempts to
be in the van.) Issas retort (typically, accepting the sin
as his own) is: "In Issa, Nissan: I!" Buson, ever the
optimist, tells of his spring motorcycle tour: "Was I Yamaha
dude? Dud? Aha! MAY I saw!" After a religious experience in
which he realized that all such spring pleasures were illusion or
"Maya", he rewrote this as "Was I a Yamaha dude?
Dud? Aha! MAYA I saw!" As usual, Basho gives us the ultimate
Zen summation: "I saw race car; race car was I!" (It is
indeed fortunate that these particular palindromes could be thus
translated into roughly equivalent English palindromes.)
Nonetheless, even in Japanese, the palindromic requirement makes
haiku FAR more difficult than any Western form. This aspect of haiku
has, hitherto, been held secret from notoriously lazy Westerners
lest they lose interest in the form. You have driven me to indiscretion
with your impertinence.
15. Is it possible to modernize and Americanize the haiku in theme
and setting? Certainly. For example, why not deal with the immutable
seasons of the air conditioned business world:
Summer at full speed,
talking on the car phone LOOK
OUT! ITS A
You see, work has its own seasons: Superbowl season when you jump
into the old office pool (sound of money changing hands), end of
fiscal, first quarter, etc. personally, first quarters are
my favorite, that smell in the recycled cubicle air of new money;
all the tight little customers slowly unfolding like spring buds;
and, stretching above us, reaching almost out of sight, our quotas,
ah, yes! And end-of-quarter, the shredded memo that turns out to
be the report you worked on for two weeks; the boss giving you a
bad, unfair review Ah so! Third quarters, too, have their
special tang, the crisp directives, all the changing part numbers...
why are there no business season haiku? For example:
First Quarter shortstaffed
branch office; an old salesman
While some traditionalists feel that America must be saturated
with traditional haiku, featuring cherry blossoms, frogs, temple
bells, scarecrows and some sort of bird called a hotogisu, at the
opposite extreme are those who feel invaded:
Why this American dotage on haiku? Are the Japanese
reading and writing sonnets? No! They wont TOUCH
our huge gasguzzling, chromeblazing, tailfinned
Western poems, while our poetry mags are flooded with
cheap compact efficient haiku. Americans! Fight the
poetry trade imbalance: READ AMERICAN!
Now that the most commonly asked questions have been answered,
to further clarify the range of haiku, here are some haiku and haikuesque
poems (Hiccups? Lowku?) that deal in some way with the nature of
phenomenon, I respond with
a certain feeling.
Hanging to five sounds
by one hand, I swing to the
seven line and back.
Four a.m. wide awake,
I grab for a sonnet,
catch a haiku.
The next several poems are all tributes to Bashos seminal
haiku about the old pond into which the frog jumps:
Plopping into a pond
Who knows what that frog meant?
How can you tell the sound
Of a haiku from a fragment?
What a subtle satorist was Basho,
Who, while watching a bullfrog, sneezed "Hasho!"
In frog and pond fashion,
These met with a splashin,
And "Ah So!" said Basho, "My gosh O!"
Triangle jumps in
An acute sound.
The new highway
a frog jumps out...
(Note: A more proper evocation of the Zen spirit of this poem requires,
in place of "squish", "the sound of the rubber hitting
the road with frog intervening" or "sticky macadam sound".)
"We accept only
PURE haiku..." kerplunk in the
a triangle falls in!
Sound of circumscription.
The new movie
Titanic goes down;
Water sound, water sound, water sound, water sound...
The old pond
my wife jumps in...
Where did the pond go?
The middleaged husband
a chip dipped in sourcreamonion jumps in,
a handful of peanuts leaps in,
three dipped corn chips jump in,
a piece of cake and two cookies and three
carrot sticks (to propitiate) and a bowl
of vegetarian chili and four curry puffs and
two more dipped chips and a finger full
of frosting from the side of the cake tray
and a glass of sparkling cider hurtle in...
no sound...no sound...no sound at all...
To be Followed by the Worlds Greatest Disguise Artist
The Butterfly That Looks Like a Leaf! but First...
"And now, ladies and gentleman,
the worlds most remarkable frog
will make his timedefying leap
into the old pond! Drum roll...
SPLASH! Hes done it!
Good show, Basho!
The next four poems allude to the many haiku in which what appears
to be an autumn leaf or petal turns out to be a butterfly:
I mistook that butterfly
for a leaf. All us haiku poets
Chuang Tze just flew across the yard,
dreaming that a poet on a lawn chair
mistook him for a butterfly.
This gives a Haiku twist to Chuang Tses dreaming he was
a butterfly and finding it so vivid that later, as Chuang Tse, he
wondered if he might not be a butterfly dreaming itself Chuang Tse.
"O see! That red leaf...butterfly!"
"Oops! Drop it! a SNAKE, not a stick!"
More myopic with each passing tick,
If Im not doomed untimely to die
From the bite of a poisonous stick,
Then, Basho, Buson, just like you
Ill turn my mistakes to haiku
Leaf to butterflys sure a neat trick!
But a stick for a snakes a mistake
Of the sillier sort that theyll take
For a joke in Boys Life kids will laugh
Themselves sick at the poisonous gaffe
(Unlike Pharaoh, whose staff were his servants
Till Aaron turned staves into serpents,
And the Queens servants could only gasp
When Cleo cried out "O! My Asp!" 9)
Well, blindness has ever to Vision
Been kind and as kind to derision.
If the eye chart shows three and I get a four,
Ill make poems of it else whats a metaphor?
The remaining poems in this chapter are probably here for some
Toccata and Tanka for Kikaku
Mischievous Kikaku, it is said,
wrote that if you tore the wings
off a dragonfly, youd have red
That, said Master Basho,
is not haiku. Haiku would say:
Add wings to pepper pods and get
Sagely (and Blythely 10) nodding,
the critics pass this tale down to us,
and its moral: Poetry should fly.
(And so, I suppose, should pepper pods,
red ones, at any rate.)
To this extent I agree:
Any sadistic brat can tear the wings
off a dragonfly,
but only the imagination
can attach wings to a pepper pod
and on them soar.
A poet! Tear off
his wings and you get a critic
or a scholar.
Now thats poetry, for who
Could tear the wings off a poet?
Note: The last 5 lines above almost constitute another Japanese
form, the tanka, lines of 5, 7, 5, 7 and 7 syllables. "Tanka"
is how the natives of Southern Japan (who wrote longer thank you
notes) pronounced "Thank you". Imagine the confusion!
It made the Japanese want to "renga" the necks of the
English. (Note: "Renga" is another Japanese form...)
Song Sung by Basho at the Funeral of his Disciple, Kikaku
(to the tune of "K-K-K-Katy")
Youre the only Haik-k-ku poet we adore!
Sorry youre not k-k-k-kickin any more.
Poor tulips bloomed
into a frost. Froggie
instructs them: Bud Wiser." 11
On the toilet, trying
To write poems....I keep
Picking hair off the floor.
Reading haiku: "The
old pond..." startled by the sound
of turning the page.
Spring walk, trying for
poems. "Wordy wordy wordy"
scolds a cardinal.
I need a fine-edged
probe to touch the sweetness in
this pain: Haiku, please.
Clothes in the dryer
permapress, just time
to write haiku.
I stop typing.
A clear autumn night. I wonder
who my neighbor is? 12
From across the bed,
a hand: The bed acquires
Shed wake up clinging to fragments
of haiku lost with her dreams,
so she began to keep a notebook by her bed
ready for things that go
Boomp boomp boomp baboomp
boomp boompity boomp boomp boomp
Ah! boompity boomp!
in the night.
Final note: In this chapter, the names Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki
and Kikaku refer to actual, much admired haiku poets, R. H. Blyth
indeed left us a magnificent study of haiku, and occasionally the
"facts" related above bear some tangential relationship
to what is elsewhere recorded (for example, the discussion of dragonfly
wings and pepper pods), but the great "DeanOh!" is responsible
for all of the poetry (if any) in this chapter except the famous
frog poem by Basho (in italics). I leave it as an exercise for the
reader (or perhaps it has already been done?) to produce versions
of Bashos frog/pond haiku as written by Henry James (a 2-page
version "A diminutive watery gleam which, while scarcely
meriting the name pond, yet, in its quiet fashion was
not without a certain fluid je ne sais qua..."), William Faulkner
in The Water Sound and the Fury ("Not a leap, no, nor a convulsion
of amphibious joy, nor...") and from Ernest Hemingways
The Old Monk and the Pond: "It felt cool and good. It had been
a good splash."
1 A takeoff on a medieval lyric, "Cuckoo": "Lhude
[loud, with hint of lewd] sing cuckoo," where the cuckoos
song suggests spring and the likelihood that some husband has just
been cuckolded, probably because cuckoos lay their eggs in other
birds nests, much as Japanese haiku poets have laid their
literary runts in Western nests that is, nests for the West
ern, a very ernest bird that lays its eggs mainly in Grecian urns.
2 Haiku poets frequently are astonished to discover that petals
or leaves are really butterflies. But only Joanie Mitchell has tried
to turn war planes into butterflies. Ugh! Stubby shit-brown butterflies!
3 For the deplorably young among you, "Nip" was a nasty
word for Japanese during WWII from "Nippon," a
Japanese word for Japan, which, economically, was nippon at our
heels, though lately they have fallen nippon hard times.
4 Students of Zen are said to meditate for months on a "koan"
such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Leonard
Cohen was erected in Canada, but taken down by Suzanne ("Suzanne
takes you down/ to a place by the river
"). Since he is
sometimes considered a poet, I should have written about how you
can lead a horse to a place by the river and give him tea and oranges,
but you cant make him drink. It might conclude: "If you
dont drink, Ill have to shoot you, but, hey, thats
no way to say goodbye."
5 Snupei is, of course, Snoopy, the creative dog in "Peanuts."
Hence the "red barren landscape" (Snoopy often dreams
hes a WWI pilot hunting for the Red Baron) and so forth. When
Snoopy decides hes a writer, his stories always begin with
Bulwer-Lyttons famous lead-in, "It was a dark and stormy
". Note to my fellow pseudo-intellectuals in high
school: I still say "Pogo" was a lot funnier!
6 In case this book is being read long after Bob Dole is otherwise
forgotten say, five years from now he, like many politicians
("You wont have Richard Nixon to kick around any more")
often spoke of himself in the 3rd person. Presumably this is because
so many politicians are sick of being themselves, Bob being particularly
7 For the exceedingly pun-impaired: "Lye, fizz not a
beau. Love? Cherries" strangely suggests (by most delicate
allusion) "Life is not a bowl of cherries." (My jokes
are either so good or so bad that explaining them cant harm
8 Chuang Tse was Chinese, not Japanese, a great Taoist writer.
This poem is too wordy for haiku, but IS a twist on the "mistaken
butterfly" theme of many haiku, the second most common mistake
in literature, the most common mistake being that of all the Americans
who mistake 17-syllable nature descriptions or 17-syllable ANYTHINGS
9 Cleopatras asp was on her breast, not her ass, and came
from (and put her into) a hole in the ground. But first, she addressed
it as an old friend. Cleopatra might, thus, be considered one of
the few queens who ever KNEW her asp from a hole in the ground.
10 R. H. Blyths four-volume study of haiku is a classic reference
on the subject. For a four-volume classic reference work, its
unexpectedly fun to read unless you expect four-volume classic
reference works to be fun to read.
11 Wheres that water sound (FLUSSSHHH!) when you need it?
12 This is a twist on a famous haiku by the originator of the form,
Basho. He wrote centuries ago, when people still knew who their
neighbors were. He wondered, instead, what his neighbor was doing.
In our day, you could lie drunk and bloody by the roadside for days
before you found out who your neighbor is especially if you
dont carry an insurance card.