Sumo Haiku 4: Last (Kisenosato, Abi, Hakuho, Takayasu)

With this last posting day of the month comes my final set of Sumo Haiku. If you’ve stuck with me for all four days of this little event, thank you!

In addition to devoting these days to haiku for NaHaiWriMo, I was hoping to make Sumo interesting in a novel way for those who aren’t fans. I’ve only been a fan for three years, so I know how different it can be to regard these guys as humans among us, out and about. Let’s face it: If you’re not a Sumo fan and you’ve no knowledge of Sumo’s traditions, what you likely see of the sport is a bunch of obese men in diapers trying to push each other out of a sandbox. I hope I’ve managed to bring some personality into this perception, if nothing else!


If you haven’t seen it already, click here to read Sumo Haiku Day One with its introductory, explanatory opening text. I’ll go ahead and re-post the disclaimer part here, though:

[DISCLAIMER: In these haiku, you’ll read purely fictitious portrayals of the wrestlers, simple whims of my imagination as I considered each one. I actually know nothing of the inner lives and selves of these guys.]

I’ll introduce each haiku with the name and photo of the wrestler. The haiku about that wrestler will appear beneath his photo.

That being said, enjoy this last set of Sumo Haiku!


Sumo Haiku 4: Last (Kisenosato, Abi, Hakuho, Takayasu)

(by Kristi Garboushian)




  1. Kisenosato

Satisfying his

pressing need for clarity

requires nine days.




2. Abi

Energy bound in

slim sheets of stationery:





3. Hakuho

He met a guy who

knows a guy who will purchase

his grandmother’s urn.




4. Takayasu

Thunder clouds lifting

the earth on a planet turned

upside-down, shining.


The End, and Happy Friday Eve, my friends!



Sumo Haiku 3: Third (Ishiura, Ikioi, Sokokurai, Nishikigi)

It’s my hope that you’re enjoying these sumo haiku as much as I’m enjoying writing them, even if you’re not a part of a cross-over, niche world of readers who are both haiku and sumo fans. Whether you’re one of those or the other (or neither), I’m happy to introduce you to some of these combat athletes as they appear out in the world – in actual clothing, no less! (Pun not intended.)

Today is the third day of my Sumo Haiku project. Thursday will be the last TALC posting day of February. NaHaiWriMo will be over, my next post will consist of February Favorites, and then I have some newsy-news for you that I can’t wait to share!

If you haven’t seen it already, click here to read Sumo Haiku Day One with its introductory, explanatory opening text. I’ll go ahead and re-post the disclaimer part here, though:

[DISCLAIMER: In these haiku, you’ll read purely fictitious portrayals of the wrestlers, simple whims of my imagination as I considered each one. I actually know nothing of the inner lives and selves of these guys.]

I’ll introduce each haiku with the name and photo of the wrestler. The haiku about that wrestler will appear beneath his photo.

Have at it!


Sumo Haiku 3: Third (Ishiura, Ikioi, Sokokurai, Nishikigi)

(by Kristi Garboushian)




  1. Ishiura

Self-conscious, he keeps

room for flexibility

in his bright jacket.




2. Ikioi


takes out-of-season fables

from spring libraries.




3. Sokokurai

Possesses secret

talent for dance instruction

willed to him at birth.




4. Nishikigi

Goal for the new year:

enchant beasts of granite strength

with handfuls of stars.



Sumo Haiku 2: Second (Terunofuji, Kaisei, Daishomaru, Okinoumi)

Whether you’re a faithful reader or just someone who stumbled into this space, welcome to the second day of my Sumo Haiku project!

I’m enjoying this project. I would love for others to see and appreciate the beauty of Sumo as well as that of haiku.

If you haven’t seen it already, click here to read Sumo Haiku Day One with its introductory, explanatory opening text. I’ll go ahead and re-post the disclaimer part here, though:

[DISCLAIMER: In these haiku, you’ll read purely fictitious portrayals of the wrestlers, simple whims of my imagination as I considered each one. I actually know nothing of the inner lives and selves of these guys.]

I’ll introduce each haiku with the name and photo of the wrestler. The haiku about that wrestler will appear beneath his photo.



Sumo Haiku 2: Second (Terunofuji, Kaisei, Daishomaru, Okinoumi)

(by Kristi Garboushian)



  1. Terunofuji

Ancestral fighter

redolent of sandalwood:

the older brother.




2. Kaisei

No expectations.

He doesn’t want to offer

anything that asks.




3. Daishomaru

…adores reading and

inviting consequences

into rooms of art.




4. Okinoumi

He looks in their eyes

like he’s gazing at his death.

He rarely wears gold.



Sumo Haiku 1: First Four (Mitakeumi, Endo, Tochinoshin, Asanoyama)

In February 2016, I started writing a series of haiku, some of which I posted here in TALC. I didn’t post all 76 of the haiku I wrote between February and August that year, but I did share a few, each accompanied by a photo.

It’s now February four years later. Considering that February is National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) and that the next Grand Sumo Tournament (basho) is less than three weeks away, I wanted to write some haiku about Sumo. Haiku is a Japanese poetic form. Sumo is Japan’s national sport. I’m a big fan of both.

Sumo-related haiku could come from any number of angles, but what came to my mind in a moment of reflection was the idea of imagining the inner lives and selves of Sumo wrestlers (rikishi), like when you’re people-watching and your need for amusement spawns backstories for some of the humans you notice.

I selected my 16 favorite Sumo wrestlers with the intention of creating fictional personas for each of them. Between now and the end of the month – there are four more TALC posting days in February – you’ll see four haiku sets, each containing four haiku about four different wrestlers, one for each of them. The poems are short, as haiku traditionally consist of 17 syllables distributed across three lines. (I personally enjoy working within this tradition.)

Some of you are here for the poetry. Some of you might be Sumo fans, but I’m guessing that most of you are not. For those of you who’ve no special affection for either poetry or Sumo… yes, I went and combined the two! Thank you for bearing with me here today, and, in advance, on Thursday, and also on next week Tuesday and Thursday. [::sheepish grin::]

[DISCLAIMER: In these haiku, you’ll read purely fictitious portrayals of the wrestlers, simple whims of my imagination as I considered each one. I actually know nothing of the inner lives and selves of these guys.]

I’ll introduce each haiku with the name and photo of the wrestler. The haiku about that wrestler will appear beneath his photo.



Sumo Haiku 1: First Four (Mitakeumi, Endo, Tochinoshin, Asanoyama)

(by Kristi Garboushian)



  1. Mitakeumi

Maybe he believes

that evil fairies exist,

love notwithstanding.




  1. Endo

“He’s the pretty one” –

I think, Goth, black eye-liner,

cold night, street light mist.




  1. Tochinoshin

Mountains wake and roar

ten minutes into his sound

sleep. He’ll sometimes dream.




  1. Asanoyama

Perhaps amber ale.

Watery, late-summer fruit.




Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 5

I wanted to do this thing (you know the thing, if you’ve been here a while) where I take to Craigslist’s “Missed Connections” section to find interesting word choices and turns of phrase in the entries’ subject lines. I was also feeling in the mood for haiku tonight… so I did both. I found it necessary to break up some of the lines in order to fit the 5-7-5 syllable limit for the three lines of each haiku; aside from that and some added punctuation here and there, I can claim no credit for these little poems. The lines were written by strangers, simply plucked out and cobbled together by Yours Truly.
Missed Connections Exquisite Corpse, 5
Where is she, the girl
with the galaxy tattoo
cozy at the bank?
Glendale glitters dawn.
We used to ride together –
gift of a lifetime –
You cut my hair. Still
can’t stop thinking about you.
Sweetwater, Sweetheart.
Breakfast! We had two
variations of the same
Looking for you. You
(a girl) were driving on Wow,
driving to Vegas…
Missing you for her,
mutual casino friend.
“Miss our talks, Cupcake.”
Poker player, your
Obama phone was stolen.
The most frightful time.
Walked by you Tuesday.
I hope I see you again.
You liked my – I saw –

From the “new poems” file. (Haiku 18: Regime)

Two years ago, I started writing haiku (poems) in sets of four. I stopped when I started work on my novel, and I’ve picked it up again now that the novel’s finished… in addition to the longer poems I’ve been writing, that is.

These haiku sets adhere to the classic three-line, 5-7-5 syllable count, with the four haiku centering on a single theme. This is just the way I’ve been working with the form. I’ve taken liberties with it. With each theme, I’m basically writing a poem with four stanzas that happen to follow haiku structure.

Anyway! I know I’d said I would no longer publish new work here, but it seems I’ve been doing it again, so here you go – today, I’m sharing “Regime,” one of my recently written haiku sets.


Haiku 18: Regime

Kristi Garboushian, August 11, 2018



Vision: thresholds lost,

kindnesses overtaken,

old pockets ripping.



Possibly, maybe

likely – blind faith severing

children’s daisy crowns.



Redwoods on fire.

Semiotics gone awry.

Glass of cabernet.



Otherwise in thrall.

Spinal columns buried deep

beneath lost cities.


roses (23 August 2018)






“A night with Venus, and a lifetime with mercury” (Haiku 10: Syphilis)

One thing I’ve learned in the last few months is that the mind, left to its own devices, can wander and dwell on bizarre things.


Haiku 10: Syphilis

(by Kristi Garboushian)


Romantic aside:

Keats’ “La Belle Dame sans Merci,”

blown-glass femme fatale.


Dead rose

Dead rose



Hedonism spawns

creation: le maquillage,

acerbic beauty.


Beneath the skin

Beneath the skin



Artists, dictators

(brilliant cast of “The Great Pox”),

poets, writers, kings.


Thomas Hardy's Ale

Thomas Hardy’s Ale



Voltaire’s Candide smirked.

Syphilis an affliction?

Tout est pour le mieux.


Candide, Voltaire's famous satire

Candide, Voltaire’s famous satire


La Fin.

I’m still obsessed with the syllable, infatuated with the value of these units that make words. It’s strangely soothing.

“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!” (Haiku 9: Steampunk)

~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein. Shelley also wrote: “There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand.”

Steampunk happens sometimes. It just happens.


Haiku 9: Steampunk

(by Kristi Garboushian)



mechanics: Mary Shelley’s

gaunt ectoplasm.


Art by Edward Gorey ("Amphigorey Too")

Art by Edward Gorey (“Amphigorey Too”)



Inner workings breed

clockwork postmodernism –

no contradiction.


Antique helmet on antique German trunk

Antique helmet on antique German trunk



Dry leather-bound book

trembling with recovery,

Lovecraftian myth.







yesteryear, macabre air-

ship… gears, cogs, and all.


Antique gears

Antique gears


This was a fun set to write. Venturing into steampunk in my poetic imagination smacks of midlife crisis, perhaps! Finally! Also, I’m still marveling at the unexpectedness of this whole haiku adventure.

Writing Project: Not all who wander are lost. (+ note on fitness routine!)

Er… about that big writing project I started a few years ago. I dragged it off the back burner. Don’t get all excited – it’s embryonic; it doesn’t look like anything yet. Eventually, it will look like a novel. (I hope.)

I’ve put together a loose agenda that includes a loose daily word count goal and a loose deadline. Everything has to be loose, because everything, as Heraclitus said, is in flux. You can’t nail down that which is in flux, and I’m not even going to try.

In my experience, creativity and prioritizing cancel each other out. Maybe it’s better to say that creativity often sabotages prioritizing, and prioritizing sabotages creativity. In the last few weeks, I’ve found that setting myself up for that clash (by attempting to prioritize my creative writing projects) shorts my brain connections and I wind up going around the house like a droid opening the mail, of all things, and organizing my workout clothing drawers and emptying the dishwasher and making playlists on SoundCloud and so on.  You know. A rose by any other name is still procrastination.

So instead of fixed times, my agenda holds broad ranges of dedicated writing time, and I can shift between the project, poetry, and blog posts (which includes taking pics) as inspiration strikes me.

I’m setting my focus on that big project, though. I purchased a Scrivener license to help manage the ungainliness of it. I even did the full-length version of their interactive tutorial. If it sounds like I mean business this time, it’s because I do!

Nenette’s involvement is essential because I don’t have a choice in that matter.


All the water is Nenette's water.

All the water is Nenette’s water.


I’m happy to be in a position where I have to apply time-management strategies to solely creative projects. It’s a new challenge, and a very welcome one, at that.

Also, I’ve been thinking about dragging you along on my journey… any of you who may be interested, that is. Sharing the process with you may come with a side benefit of holding myself accountable for progress. I’ll see how things develop as I establish a rhythm!

Note on training:

In addition to my writing schedule, I’ve been hammering out a workout schedule supplemental to Body Combat three times a week. I’ve started a habit of beginning my days at the gym in order to re-create the daily walk I did when I was transporting myself to a job outside of the house. Getting to work used to involve 20 minutes of fasting cardio Monday-Friday, and my body loved it. Fasting cardio is somewhat controversial and not for everyone, but it works for me, so I’ve added that back into my life by going to the gym and walking on the treadmill (and doing a little on the stair-master) before breakfast every weekday morning.

ALSO-also! I’ve been taking 30-40 minutes out of my lunch hour to lift weights in the garage. New Year’s resolution strength-training finally underway, for real! I’ll still post martial arts/combat sports posts here since some of you enjoy those, but just to check in on that New Year’s resolution – the strength-training has been going well. It’s feeling really good to stick to that commitment.

Unflinching (Haiku 8: Les Mauvaises Herbes)

This week revolved around ulcer pain. I spent time every day sitting outside with Cita the Unofficially-Ours outdoor cat, studying the weeds in our backyard.

Naturally, the weeds became a rabbit hole, and I fell in.


Haiku 8: Weeds (Les Mauvaises Herbes)

(by Kristi Garboushian)



acacia, mesquite, all your

rain shelters, sunsets.


Backyard weeds

Backyard weeds



Troubling beauty,

woodwork hovering above

lichen, strychnine, mulch.


Backyard weeds

Backyard weeds



Nomadic, les mauvaises herbes –

weeds unburying giants,

lost impermanence.


Backyard weeds

Backyard weeds



Subtropical silt

flickering immunity:

adornment and stain.


Backyard weeds

Backyard weeds


Thank you for being strange with me, wonderful readers!

Powers that be (Haiku 7: Power)

Questions I asked myself all week: Does power always, in every circumstance, corrupt? Is power breakable? What would it take to break chains of power, and would it take a super hero or a super villain to break them?

In these new haiku, I explore the correlation between power and corruption.


Haiku 7: Power

(by Kristi Garboushian)


Grand tribulation:

oak doors hewn by elected

justice. Reckoning.


Power of position

Power of position



Preternatural –

czars savoring backfire,

litanies of blood.


Power of risk

Power of risk



Gold, palladium…

lustrous, incorruptible,

soft nobility.


Power of heritage

Power of heritage



Ravishing spittoon:

molten glass posterity.



Power of fortune

Power of fortune


In a lighter vein, the week wound back down to normalcy after the in-laws departed. It was a good visit. We took them to typical Arizona places (i.e. Tombstone, Sedona), and they ventured down into the Grand Canyon. They saw a fraction of what Arizona has to offer… one really needs more than a week to take in all of its splendors. Our guests enjoyed what little they experienced.

Dusting off secrets (Haiku 6: Shadows)

Without preamble, I’ll go ahead and acknowledge that this set of haiku turned out to be just the faintest bit… creepy? Spooky? It wasn’t intentional, I swear. Not that I mind it in the least, though. I’m fond of creepy and spooky, and I like that these haiku came out this way of their own accord. Classical haiku has a way of taking on lives of their own within the 5-7-5 structure.


Haiku 6: Shadows

(by Kristi Garboushian)


Patterns will shelter

the historic, ancestral,

extinguished, entombed.


Shadow tree

Shadow tree



Prehistoric ghost

running Santa Monica

stairs, eyeteeth intact.


Shadow bike

Shadow bike




aging, voiceless between your

guardians… landlocked.


Shadow fence

Shadow fence



Palpable swivel:

alleles in a basin,

suspended in space.


Shadow self

Shadow self


In other news, we’ll have family visiting from France this week. They’re coming in tomorrow. I sense a whirlwind of housecleaning activity in today’s forecast… always a great side benefit of visitors!

My week in Haiku (Haiku 5: Emancipation)

[** This personal haiku discipline I’ve started has become something of a pleasurable habit. Helpful hint, if you’re so inclined: I’ve grouped my growing collection of themed haiku sets here. You can also click the link in the “Poetry” category in the sidebar. **]

I’m coming off of a fantastic and unusually creatively charged week, probably the most so of 2016 thus far. I wrote this set of haiku to sum it up…


Haiku 5: Emancipation

(by Kristi Garboushian)



snakes boiling over it all:

Laissez-moi tranquille.


"The Art of Strategy" (R.L. Wing, new translation of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War")

“The Art of Strategy” (R.L. Wing, new translation of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”)




No secret provocation,

no sly dorsal fin.


Newly created path.

Newly created path.



Bear witness: Too much

blinding white noise, stochastic

resonance. Failure.


Live a great story (and learn).

Live a great story (and learn).



Current volition:

auspices of Minerva,

prosaic temple.


My new office set-up – at home. Blessed.

My new office set-up – at home. Blessed.


There is not a paper on that desk.

Installation (Haiku 4: Car, pendulum, bougainvillea, interactive art)

Callaghan woke me up 25 minutes after the alarm should have gone off this morning. The alarm – my phone – failed to function one time before, and I couldn’t figure out why since I knew I’d set it. I didn’t understand why it happened this morning, either, and I was going to ask Callaghan if he’d heard the alarm and I somehow slept through it, except he was busy reading his email from Cècil the Goat in France (I asked him three times if the guy’s name was really La Chèvre because I was half-asleep and could have misheard him: Is his name really La Chèvre? Yes, it was), so I double-checked my phone and found that I’d accidentally set the alarm for tomorrow. Saturday. I SO wanted the week to be over that I subconsciously set the alarm for Saturday?

Anyway, I wrote another set of haiku last weekend in my mostly muted state (re-occurrence of laryngitis), and I was going to post it on Tuesday, but UFC 196 happened on Saturday night and I wanted to talk about that, instead. So here are the haiku.

This set of haiku was inspired by some pics I took on a stroll around my work campus.


Haiku 4: Car, pendulum, bougainvillea, art installation

(by Kristi Garboushian)


Curved mannequin, all

disintegration, gesture,

all black-framed, rasping.


"Society of Automobile Engineers Formula 1992 Restoration Project"

“Society of Automobile Engineers Formula 1992 Restoration Project”



Brass validation:

rethinking embodiment,

limbic perversion.


Foucault Pendulum

Foucault Pendulum




skeletal recognition



Towering wall of bougainvillea.

Towering wall of bougainvillea.



Critical dissent

momentarily vocal,

avoiding earshot.


Multimedia art installation (Todd Ingalls)

Multimedia art installation (Todd Ingalls)


I must say, I’m enjoying writing these haiku.

French art in Haiku (Haiku 3: Cromagnon, La Tour Eiffel, Les Fleurs, Absinthe)

Food poisoning this week. No details necessary… just to say that yesterday, I rose from the wish-I-was-dead and went around my house taking pictures and writing haiku.

These haiku were inspired by some of the art on our walls at home. The pieces are from France, except the one that was done by Callaghan, who is French. You get the common theme.


Haiku 3: Art

(by Kristi Garboushian)


Déjà vu hunting

blind, agnostic galleries –

counting hours.


Cromagnon detail (original art by Callaghan)

Cromagnon detail (original art by Callaghan)




vapor of millenniums,

vaporous château.


Eiffel tower pencil sketch

Eiffel tower pencil sketch



Rapidly displaced

spectra: brook waters culling

hand-painted headstones.


Watercolor flowers

Watercolor flowers



Slanderous tom-tom!

Axioms, acknowledgments

feigning percussion.


Tin painting

Tin painting


Here’s to a healthier week ahead for us all!

You’ve got… the worst thing in the world.

Our weekend started out great. We went to a basketball game. We went to the fights. We went to the gym for Body Combat. We ran errands and went grocery shopping. I relaxed a little on Sunday morning, and then on Sunday afternoon, I did the usual Sunday things… the laundry, a little vacuuming, a little cooking, a lot of preparing things for the upcoming week. I did not work out in the garage because there were too many random things to be done around the house, and I didn’t want my attention diverted from them.

Finally, at the end of the day, I sat down to do some writing. It was hard to do, though, because some unpleasant, cluttering thing was crushing the part of my mind that does creative writing and other things that I like. Something conniving and surly, taunting and smirking. Something obnoxious and potentially dark, but mostly sarcastic in a bad way. Something that laughs at my pain. Something tediously annoying and annoying tedious. It smelled like a scam, a bully, a filthy nickel, a plot to rip people off, a bundle of lies and waste and ecological mayhem and environmental irreverence and an obscene plunder of mind-numbing, time-consuming nothing.

It was the mail.

I had to finally open it. ALL of it.

This is the part of BEING AN ADULT that I do with the least success, simply because I hardly ever do it at all. I avoid it. I’m terrible with it, and so is Callaghan. It gets to a point where it can’t be ignored because suddenly it’s a 500-pound, four-cornered paper beast that exploded into fragments all over the place and won’t go away until I plow into it.

I loathe opening the mail with a terrible passion. It’s a dreary and slightly depressing chore, and I know that if I just do it the day it comes in, it would be a non-issue. I’m aware that it’s a good idea to open the mail on a daily basis. Honestly, I don’t know what my problem is. What’s so hard about opening the mail rather than tossing it somewhere and forgetting about it?

Sometimes, something important in the mail gets missed because of my negligence, like the bill I found buried in one of the piles of mail I finally went through on Sunday. (Yes, one of the piles. There were four piles in different parts of the house. I know. I know.) It was a gas bill, and I’d forgotten to look for it because for months, the gas bills have reflected only a credit and a big NOTHING in the “amount due” field. Evidently the credit finally ran out and this latest bill was an actual bill that needed to get paid, and it was due yesterday… the day after I found it! I put it in the outgoing mail the day it was due. Fortunately, the payment didn’t have far to go. But what if I didn’t decide to get off my ass to open the mail on Sunday?

Here’s a good adult’s system for dealing with the mail:

1). Get the mail. Open it. Sort it and discard the junk.

Here’s my system:

1.)  Extract the bills (I know when to look for them) and toss the rest of the mail somewhere.

2a). Set the bills on the little metal rack thing that sits on my desk, because whenever I owe someone money and they send me a piece of paper to tell me about it, that’s where it goes. At the beginning of the week of “payment due by,” I pay the bill.

2b). The remnants of the bill get stapled together, marked with “PAID,” and left on my desk in the TO FILE pile. Or on top of the file box, itself. (Don’t ask why I can’t just do the extra little step of removing the lid from the file box and putting the bill summary inside its folder. I don’t know.)

2c). (If the gas bill reflects a credit for several months, I forget to look for it in the mail. This is especially easy to do because it arrives out of sync with the other bills.)

3). When the weight of the ignored mail starts to smother me, I seek out the piles and deal with them. It always feels like my legs and hands are made of deadwood and I’m dying a little.

4). After going around the house and collecting all of the mail, I redistribute it into different piles: Callaghan’s mail goes into one pile, and mine into another.

5). I put Callaghan’s pile of mail somewhere in his office/studio, thinking that he’ll notice it one day and do something with it.

6). Begin the irksome task of opening my own mail: First, identify the generic junk and put it in the RECYCLING pile. Then open all the envelopes and find that 98% of the mail… the overwhelming bulk of it… is junk with my name on it.

7). Prepare the personalized junk to be discarded: Open the envelope. Find the part with my personal information. Tear off that part and set it in the TO BE SHREDDED pile. Put the recyclable parts in the RECYCLING pile. Throw the rest into the TRASH pile. Put the items to be filed in the TO FILE pile. (The mail is still in four piles!)

8). Do the things: Gather the enormous pile of recyclable paper into my arms and haul it out to the recycling bin. Throw the trash pile into the trash. Shred everything that’s left. The shredding part adds some mileage to the tedium because I have to EMPTY THE SHREDDER when I’m done, and then that has to go in the trash.

And that’s it. I’m good for the next three months.

(I always vow to start opening the mail when it comes in, but so far, that hasn’t happened.)

Since I didn’t think I would spend Monday night writing this useless rant about the mail, I didn’t take a picture of the mail or the carcasses thereof. So here’s a picture of Callaghan:


Callaghan (blurry in a candid shot).

Callaghan (blurry in a candid shot).


See? It’s male. Har, har. Lame, I know. So is this post. So is the mail. So am I, for not opening the mail. I wanted to write Haiku for today’s post, but I wasn’t about to write Haiku about mail. You’re welcome.

Sunny winter in Haiku (Haiku 2: Blue Sky)

It’s a new week, and other than some residual congestion, I’m flu-free. Seven days of viral craptastic downtime makes for a giddy return to work. I only went in on Tuesday last week. I went on Wednesday, too, but I was sent home almost immediately, so Wednesday doesn’t count.

(Aside: Remember when “viral” really was just a bad thing?)

Even on Sunday, I coughed so much, Callaghan said, “There’s no way you can go to work tomorrow.” But I felt much better when I woke up yesterday. The whole day felt glorious. It was warm and the sky was extra sunny, clear, and blue – even more blue than usual – so I went outside (glorious!) during my lunch hour and took some pics. I didn’t go far… just to the art museum near my building. The museum and the adjacent little theatre.

I’m sharing some of the pics with a few more haiku, because they go together. I’m feeling the haiku these days, and it feels good. It feels good to pick up poetry again!


Haiku 2: Blue Sky

(by Kristi Garboushian)


To be undulant,

an unfinished votive dream

soothing chess-players.


Blue sky with theatre box office.

Blue sky with theatre box office.




five hundred sodden leaves around

the arctic building.


Blue sky with art museum.

Blue sky with art museum.



Plumage battering

an alternative fossil –

carnage emerging.


Blue sky with fake lava.

Blue sky with fake lava.



A feast of words held:

tense, shy, the gloved telegrams,



Blue sky with art museum, 2.

Blue sky with art museum, 2.


I love how Haiku encourages pictures in 17 syllables.

Kitty updates in Haiku (Haiku 1: Cats)

Kitty updates today! I was feeling a pull toward something different when I sat down to write last night, so I went with it. What ended up happening was I wrote about Nounours and Nenette in haiku. It was a fun change of kitty-update pace, plus I’ve been thinking it’s kind of sad that I’ve written so few poems since getting my M.F.A. in Creative Writing with a Poetry concentration.

If you’re not into haiku or poetry in general, just scroll on down… I added a paragraph of non-haiku kitty updates under the last pic.


Haiku 1: Cats

(by Kristi Garboushian)


Bedtime ritual –

the voyeur of espresso,

wicker ball, a lyre.


Nenette cleaning her feet at bedtime.

Nenette cleaning her feet at bedtime.




His roaring soft self

to curl, melt the desert bright

in pastoral glow.


Nounours in the nest Daddy made.

Nounours in the nest Daddy made.




A swing, a feather

like a river marring stars:



Nenette deciding which toy.

Nenette deciding which toy.




The round vacancy –

morning routine, following

the feral other.


Nenette and Nounours enjoying a sunbeam.

Nenette and Nounours enjoying a sunbeam.


In plain speech, Nounours and Nenette have been happily snuggling down in their special nighttime beds that we put together for them: Nenette on her padded bar-stool (in the bedroom corner next to my side of the bed) that I’d swathed in t-shirts I’d worn, and Nounours in the couch nest that Callaghan made with a serape and random cushions.

Nenette still loves her toy corner in the living room more than anything! She studies her toy basket and paws at the toys she wants, lifting them out with her teeth.

On weekend mornings, I’m home to watch both kitties winter sunbathing in beams on the floor.

They’re doing well.