by Jim Benz
all this time
sitting on benches
watching buses
this street
the other street
they all look the same
down on the ground
too many drinks
not enough pity
coughing up blood
a glimpse of skinny junkies
out my window
no more time
the landlord pounding
on your door

0 thoughts on “anti-ku

  1. love the format…the small haikus that make the whole thing not a haiku.
    the images it creates are great. lonely. empty. desperate.
    why does the 4th ku say “my” and the 5th ku say “your”?

  2. these were all written as individul haiku before they were rearranged and connected into a more cohesive whole, hence the “my” and “you.” I condidered changing one of the possesives to make the final two agree, but decided to leave it as is. I also considered changing “my” to “our”, thus shifting blame as the reckoning comes pounding on the door. But honestly, I don’t know why I left it as is. It’s a good question – one that I’ve wrestled myself. I guess I wanted to keep a sense of disconnectedness, if that makes any sense.

  3. man i love hearing things right from the poet’s mouth. makes it all so much MORE. don’t you think shakespeare just rolls and cartwheels in his grave when edumacated people blab on and on about how william meant this or that when he wrote?!

  4. At Westminster Abbey, where Will and others lay, they apply special straps on the insides of the tombs to ‘buckle’ the corpses in…thus preventing any turning-over, rolls or cartwheels. I think you’re right, interpretation can get old quick (Wow, we’ve talked about ‘the quick and the dead’…) I find myself falling into that interpretive mind-set a lot, just cause i enjoy looking at different angles and perspectives, but am seldom right…which probably does infuriate or pee-off some writers. I don’t know, I sorta like a little interpretive feedback once and a while. In the meantime, i’ll just say ‘cool poem’ and perhaps: “Come the three corners of the world in arms, And we shall shock them.” Thanks savage, your lead got me thinking…i look forward to your next submission.
    Mr. Benz, i enjoyed reading your anti-ku’s, were you eating cous-cous while you wrote? Ahh, dumb question. Reading your work, i can picture in my mind some washed-out neighborhood of some urban city, with Bukowski there on a park bench smiling drinking wine, listening to mozart, and plucking $$$ from unexpected forgotten places of an old jacket. i hope that’s not too interpretive. I missed the Belluci flick at theatre, by the way, so will have to settle for Paz Vega in ‘Sex with Lucia’ until the video release.

  5. “Antiquated” was the word that popped into my head with your title. That is not an insult, I feel the poem is very fresh. You followed it up with an opening reference to time measured in long stretches. I then got an impressionistic visual blurring of a memory from the second stanza telling me that what the poem speaks of is a place out of time, seen from a distance but intimately known.
    It ends with another reference to time, showing that that time has ended now and the source of the impressions is forced out of the vantage known so well, forced out into an even more intimate, more concrete, relationship to what has been previously observed from a distance.
    Personally, I like it when Quasimofo (or anyone else with more to say then “cool poem”) shares a reaction to my work. If art goes to museums to die then poetry goes onto paper. I enjoy seeing my writing living and breathing, if only for those brief moments when someone else interacts with it and gives mindspace to my words. Those brief moments are for me when I can look out my window and see the world fresh and from a distance.

  6. yeah, “cool poem” is pretty lame, but it beats the hell out of “shitty poem”. still, I agree, interactive forums for poetry are a lot more interesting than the printed page – its nice to get meaningful feedback. sometime’s, though, it’s hard to write a comment. it takes a certain amount of intelligence. my brain, for one, isn’t always up to the task.

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