hosts: Reid Hepworth & Shalini Pattabiraman
poet of the month: Lorraine A Padden
17th August 2023
A Thursday Feature
Welcome to week 3 with Lorraine A Padden.
I comb through the dress racks at the Goodwill on Van Ness and Mission, hoping for something for a job interview next week. A man hands me a vintage Armani skirt he found in the opposite aisle. “You can get away with this,” he says. “But I’m having a hell of a time finding size 12 heels.”
the noun is always
*The title is taken from Shakespeare sonnet XX
MacQueen’s Quinterly Issue #18 May 2023
There is so much I love about this piece. The quiet humour, the sweet interaction, the openness. How do you decide what to write about and is anything off-limits or does anything make you pause/hesitate to write?
Thanks for picking this one - it’s also one of my favorites! I lived in San Francisco many years ago and I would attend drag performances because the singers and dancers were terrific and I was (and still am) utterly captivated by how ideas of femininity are adopted, adapted, and projected. The documentary film Paris is Burning had just come out too, so that fed what felt like a cultural moment of unfolding acceptance for what had been present but perhaps hidden.
I find myself drawn to both/and approach to haiku and its related short forms. I relish those transcendent moments in nature where we pause seasonal motion so we might capture a sense of the poignantly shifting beauty around us as well as our own fleeting selves in relation to it. And, I wonder about choice-making in haiku practice specifically around those themes I might lean into and those I tend to shy away from. In my own writing, I eventually came to realize that by not turning toward suffering in our natural and human-made worlds as a possible focus for my work, I was leaving too much out of the haiku story. I like to think that haiku can be a form of bearing witness – for the sake of revelation, healing, compassionate action, and solidarity. It’s certainly not a thematic direction for everyone, but to me, contemporary haiku is a big tent – it can hold both traditional kigo and the ever-evolving and devolving states of reality we are immersed in across our worlds.
Prompt: Often we see haibun that is hard hitting and raw, for this week, we welcome you to try your hand at writing humour. Think about an interaction you have had recently, or in the past that made you chuckle or scratch your head and bring it to life for us. Throw in some dialogue for good measure.
1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt, and only one haibun in 24 hours. 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.