Hosts: Firdaus Parvez and Kala Ramesh
poet of the month: Bob Lucky
16th March, 2023
In the morning you turned the crack in the ceiling into a metaphor and we both watched in disbelief as it spread wider and wound its way down the wall. Well, I thought, to hell with going to work. I went outside and sat beneath a tree. If I were rich, I might have flown to Paris for lunch, but I didn't have much of an appetite anyway. I rubbed pine needles into prayer beads. I could smell the grass because a neighbor unaware of the end of the world was out mowing his lawn. I could hear birds singing as if nothing mattered but the next note. Clouds gathered and dispersed, the promise of rain and the threat of drought indistinguishable. Later, I watched the sun slip out of the sky and wondered if that was it. When I went back inside the house, you were gone. I could barely see the crack, but thanks for leaving the lights on.
a dead star burning
(KYSO Flash #6, Sept 2016; runner-up in Vestal Review’s VERA, 2018)
The Alchemy of Grief
Some of the tears he whittles into fine points. Those are good for gouging out his eyes. Others he distills. At night, blind and drunk, he pretends he can't feel a thing.
the black hole
of the cauldron
(tinywords 18.2, 7 Dec 2018; The 2019 Dwarf Stars Anthology)
We had the pleasure of asking Bob a few questions and he graciously took the time to answer them. Though his answers are short, they're very enlightening.
THG: You have authored a book of haibun - so we would be interested in hearing how you mine your earlier life experiences into your work.
Bob: My answer here ties into my answer to the next question. My early haibun were grounded in personal experiences—memories, travels, work, etc. However, and it took me a while, I realized that my life wasn’t that interesting in and of itself. Fiction is much better at telling the truth than recounting events is.
More about Bob:
Bob Lucky’s work has appeared in Rattle,MacQueen’s Quinterly, Otoliths, SurVision, Flash, Modern Haiku, The Other Bunny, Drifting Sands Haibun, Contemporary Haibun Online, Die Leere Mitte, and other journals.
His chapbook of haibun, tanka prose, and prose poems, Ethiopian Time (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014), was an honorable mention in the Touchstone Book Awards. His chapbook Conversation Starters in a Language No One Speaks (SurVision Books, 2018) was a winner of the James Tate Poetry Prize in 2018. He is also the author most recently of a collection of prose poems, haibun, and senryu, My Thology: Not Always True But Always Truth (Cyberwit, 2019); and an e-chapbook, What I Say to You (proletaria.org, 2020).
He lives in Portugal.
Bob's haibun are like abstract art; at least to me. Every reader will come up to a different conclusion; readers do tend to project their own experiences. And that's what's really interesting in these two haibun. We would love to know your thoughts. Keeping that in mind, let's write about dreams this week. Weird, funny, scary, anything you are comfortable to share. Let's dream! (You may also write outside of this challenge) Have fun!
As always, a good haibun will find its way into the next issue of our fabulous journal. Kala and I are eagerly looking forward to reading your haibun.
Keith Polette is the mentor for THE HAIBUN GALLERY from 16 December 2022.
Thank you, Keith
1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt. Please put your name and country of residence under your poem, it makes the editors' work easier. Thanks.
2. Share your best-polished pieces.
3. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written.
Let it simmer for a while.
4. When poets give suggestions and if you agree to them - post your final edited version on top of your original version.
5. Don't forget to give feedback on others' poems.
We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in the haikuKATHA monthly journal.