A Phlegm-Filled Friday Afternoon at the Haikulodeon

Here’s this week’s heap of haikus:

With pointy ears and
impeccable logic, he
lived long and prospered.

(Leonard Nimoy RIP)

Cyber-truth: Hack and
the world hacks with you, but blog
and you blog alone.

tanka hack-ku:
Pretending to be
someone else used to involve
wearing women’s clothes.

Identity thieves;  kind of
like virtual transvestites.

She was upset to
see pelicans on the dock
smoking some salmon.

(Photo courtesy Kristina Rebelo)


The harsh winter will
argue against the thaw, but
soon, the warmth returns.

I am all aswirl,
y’see, I’ve met a girl and
I’m dizzy from love.

The world overwhelms
us with beauty sometimes and
we must stop and stare.

Remember, when you’re
tall in the saddle, your feet
are not on the ground.

Blessed are those that
never got sick, for old age
will be a surprise.

When I’m all alone,
in my heart and in my mind,
you reverberate.

 The needs of today
demand that we forget the
‘whys’ of yesterday.

  Leaves would follow her,
tumbling in her wake like
fawning sycophants.

And then, a rainbow
swept across the darkened sky,
for the storm had ended.

 double haiku:

This physical realm,
lets spiritual beings,
experience pain.

Live and you’ll know pain;
All lessons in Life derive
from this simple fact.

Quietly they slept,
in a field of bluebonnets;
his head in her lap.

He whispers her name,
as he lies in bed at night,
so his dreams find her.

 In the swirls of clouds,
where we imagine heaven,
hopes and dreams are formed.

tanka haiku:

All one ever knows,
Is what they’ve experienced …
OR taken on faith.

But, like silt in riverbeds,
both can muddy the water.

musical comedy-ku:

With music vamping,
Harold Hill desperately
grasped at rhymes for “T”

A butterfly lands
on a small patch of flowers
and the world’s re-made.

Wearing a sweatshirt,
Nursing a cup of coffee,
Reading the Funnies.

Purgatory? The
hell of it is, you can’t get
heavenly coffee.

 Tanka haiku:

Sadly, he neither
keeps away from bootleg hootch
when he’s on a spree,

Nor buttons his overcoat.
That’s why she’s divorcing him.

Kids were not allowed
in grandpa’s library … but
cats wandered freely.

What’s more exhausting
than having unlimited

Personal triumphs
are best shared, not with friends, but
with the universe.

(Photo courtesy Kristina Rebelo)

triple haiku:

I’m slowly drifting
slowing giving up the fight
ev’rything seems moot.

I am seeing red
living life in deficits
never gets ahead.

Has all been for naught
because I could not avoid
crushing penury?

Dan Brown’s dust jacket …
Could it also be known as
The Da Vinci Coat?

That first time you walked
outside holding daddy’s hand
Your whole world blossomed.

(Photo courtesy Kristina Rebelo)


Bonus material # 1:

Parsippany Pam,
( a persnickety ma’am),
kept things in focus
when she went to Ho-Ho-Kus,
But often went bonkers
when visiting Yonkers.

Bonus material # 2: 

Opening monologue from “Happy as a Clamp” – a work in progress in Two Acts
At rise: In silhouette, a modest Long Island living room in the late 1960’s … A young man enters and crosses to center stage. A spotlight fades up on him.
Richard / The Playwright:
I am here to confess that I have reached the point in my life where, in my desperation for ideas, I have turned to my family for inspiration. I know. This is not exactly a new idea in the theatre. Playwrights have been using their families as a source of material for as long as anyone can remember. It’s not that. It’s just … I’VE never done it before. I thought maybe it was a sign I was losing my creativity. Up until now I … made up stuff. None of it had any relationship to anyone in my FAMILY.   Not intentionally, anyway.   But now … I just can’t think of anything. I can’t think of a plot that hasn’t been done or a relationship between two people that hasn’t already been explored ad nauseum by me and everyone else.   Of course, then I got thinking … what if it’s ALL about the playwright’s family?   Even the stuff we don’t think is about it.   Perhaps in Ancient Greece, Sophocles took his turbulent family life and simply re-packaged it as Oedipus Rex … I bet the Athens critics were particularly brutal, cuz if there’s one thing they know, it’s a thinly veiled exploitative roman a clef when they see one … Now, appropriating familial angst may appear slightly cannibalistic at first glance, but let me reassure you … Playwrights only do it because it’s what they know best and understand least.   Playwriting is supposed to about exploring that which we don’t understand and trying to know and come to terms with it.   Besides … everybody’s family is a pisser. Excuse the vulgarity. I mean, come on, you know damned well that there’s an embarrassing tale or two waiting to be told about YOUR family. Isn’t there?
I just happen to be the person shameless enough to be standing on stage today.
Now … the disclaimer;  Most of what you’re about to see actually happened … in one way or another. My playwright’s bag of tricks has allowed me to take some liberties with time and space and perform some minor personality surgery on some of the characters … strictly for entertainment value.   But don’t worry, it was not enough to make the characters unrecognizable as my real family.   Fortunately, there was no urgent need for aliases or disguises … or the witness protection program. I mean, what the hell, we’re not exactly the Tyrones from “Long Day’s Journey” … or even the Kardashians for that matter.   Now there’s a couple of dysfunctional families for you … How’d you like to be in a 12 step program with all of them? You’d never get up to share.   No, I’m sorry to kill off any lurid expectations you might have been having, but no-one in my family was ever a drug addict, an alcoholic or a sexual deviant. My former brother-in-law was a cop …and that’s about as lurid as we got. And trust me, I never liked him, so I’ve kept him off-stage for the entire play.   My family was … is … lower middle class; our ancestors were Irish, English, Dutch, German, French and God knows what else.   What are Huguenots? Never mind.   Anyway, they all came here in the early 1600’s and yet with all that great pioneer street cred … we somehow allowed the entire country to slip through our fingers.  My ancestors founded states, for crying out loud, you’d think they’d end up with a little bit of property to pass on to their great-great-great-great-great-great-great, really great grandchildren. But I digress.
My father was raised as an Episcopalian, my mother was Catholic. And that’s the grand emotional arc of my family … from Episcopalian to Catholic.  As far as other background information goes, my father’s parents got divorced when he was a child, which, come to think of it, back in the 1920’s was a bit of a scandal.  But his mom died young, so that sort of nullified the scandal’s impact … When I was a kid, we seemed to move around a lot. I later found out it was something to do with my mom. She was an only child and her parents had moved a lot, so she thought that was normal.
My sister was born in January of ’47 in Worcester, Mass. I was born in December of ’50 in Rockville Centre, NY.  Which, until I was 6 I thought was that place near St. Patrick’s where they put up a big tree on my birthday and everybody ice skates. Yeah, that’s right. I thought I was born at the entrance to the NBC Studio tour.   In between my sister and me there was another sibling; a sister, but she died as an infant, so I’ve left her out of the play too.   We lived in Port Washington for a few years, right on the edge of Sands Point. It was like living on the edge of Toon Town in Roger Rabbit. Only this was the division between lower middle class town and wealthyville. When I was 5 we moved to West Hartford Connecticut. We lived on a street named Lost Brook Rd. Whenever there was a heavy rainstorm, we discovered the lost brook was in our basement. Fortunately after a few years, my sister become a juvenile delinquent. Well, actually she decided to sneak into my elementary school and eat the pudding in the cafeteria. That was the definition of juvenile delinquency in our part of West Hartford in the early 60’s… So we moved back to Long Island, and after a brief idyllic year in a huge house with an acre of land behind it, my parents decided the house was too expensive and so we moved into this house.   It was built into the side of a hill. We had to constantly guard against small pebbles rolling down the hill, and bouncing off the storm windows. The house was an exact replica of our previous house, only ever so slightly smaller. That took some getting used to. The driveway was a short and extremely steep patch of asphalt, which intersected the winding, tree-lined street smack in the middle of an ‘S’ curve.   In the Summertime, cars, barreling down the road on their way to the beach, would screech and swerve whenever we attempted to back out into oncoming traffic. In the winter, the steep gradient made shoveling an Olympic event, and getting the car into the garage, the ultimate test of skill and fortitude.  It seems like it snowed more than.   I can remember trudging through the woods across the street in order to use the hills of the adjacent golf course as a toboggan run. It’s a memory that defines those winters for me. Even though, truth to tell, I only did it two or three times at most. Funny how the essence of the things we recall are often more lasting than the events themselves. They can give shape and meaning to what we remember, throwing hazy memories into a sharp, if slightly fictionalized focus. But I’ve gone on too long. Let’s get started. We’ll set the time as 5:00 PM on December 23, 1970. The location is our slightly down-sized living room. My dad is dying from smoking too many damned Chesterfield Kings. This will be his final Christmas. My mom has a full-time job selling furniture in order to make ends meet. I’m away at college out in Oklahoma learning how to be an actor and now that my Children’s Theater tour is over, I’m flying back for Christmas with my family. My sister is pregnant with her second child, and probably as penance for her being that pudding eating “juvenile delinquent” in her youth, has been karmic-ally saddled with the brunt of my father’s care-giving. God, the world was different then. Our lives were different then. But, I’m confident of one thing; my family is every bit as much of a pisser as your family … You’ll see.   (Richard exits. The lights fade up. Evan is asleep on the couch, still in his pajamas. A very pregnant Karen enters, struggling to carry far too many Christmas presents …
To be continued …
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