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.

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Haiku 18: Regime

Kristi Garboushian, August 11, 2018

 

1.

Vision: thresholds lost,

kindnesses overtaken,

old pockets ripping.

 

2.

Possibly, maybe

likely – blind faith severing

children’s daisy crowns.

 

3.

Redwoods on fire.

Semiotics gone awry.

Glass of cabernet.

 

4.

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)

1.

Romantic aside:

Keats’ “La Belle Dame sans Merci,”

blown-glass femme fatale.

 

Dead rose

Dead rose

 

2.

Hedonism spawns

creation: le maquillage,

acerbic beauty.

 

Beneath the skin

Beneath the skin

 

3.

Artists, dictators

(brilliant cast of “The Great Pox”),

poets, writers, kings.

 

Thomas Hardy's Ale

Thomas Hardy’s Ale

 

4.

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)

1.

19th-century

mechanics: Mary Shelley’s

gaunt ectoplasm.

 

Art by Edward Gorey ("Amphigorey Too")

Art by Edward Gorey (“Amphigorey Too”)

 

2.

Inner workings breed

clockwork postmodernism –

no contradiction.

 

Antique helmet on antique German trunk

Antique helmet on antique German trunk

 

3.

Dry leather-bound book

trembling with recovery,

Lovecraftian myth.

 

Tentacle

Tentacle

 

4.

Subterranean

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)

1.

Aboriginal

acacia, mesquite, all your

rain shelters, sunsets.

 

Backyard weeds

Backyard weeds

 

2.

Troubling beauty,

woodwork hovering above

lichen, strychnine, mulch.

 

Backyard weeds

Backyard weeds

 

3.

Nomadic, les mauvaises herbes –

weeds unburying giants,

lost impermanence.

 

Backyard weeds

Backyard weeds

 

4.

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)

1.

Grand tribulation:

oak doors hewn by elected

justice. Reckoning.

 

Power of position

Power of position

 

2.

Preternatural –

czars savoring backfire,

litanies of blood.

 

Power of risk

Power of risk

 

3.

Gold, palladium…

lustrous, incorruptible,

soft nobility.

 

Power of heritage

Power of heritage

 

4.

Ravishing spittoon:

molten glass posterity.

Inheritable.

 

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)

1.

Patterns will shelter

the historic, ancestral,

extinguished, entombed.

 

Shadow tree

Shadow tree

 

2.

Prehistoric ghost

running Santa Monica

stairs, eyeteeth intact.

 

Shadow bike

Shadow bike

 

3.

Indeterminate

aging, voiceless between your

guardians… landlocked.

 

Shadow fence

Shadow fence

 

4.

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!