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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 16, 2006

bene! ben is back!

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:16 pm

The f/k/a gang isn’t going to take all the credit, but we’d like to

thing we helped bring about a major improvement in legal ethics

weblogging that occurred today: the return of Ben Cowgill to active

status, at his renamed Ben Cowgill on Legal Ethics‘ website.


When Ben launched his Legal Ethics Blog last March, we said:

“The weblog itself shows a love of writing and reflection,

along with legal ethics, that will bring me back frequently.”

When the (knuckleheads at the) Kentucky Lawyer Advertising

Commission virtually closed Ben’s weblog down, by asserting that

every blawg post is an ad (June 20, 2005), we led the charge rallying

to his support.  But, that investigation apparently kept Ben from any

substantive posting for more than half of a year.




We’ve missed Ben’s updates and insights.  Today, however, Ben Cowgill’s

weblog came roaring back to life, with five posts, including:  

tiny check One explaining that the Colorado Consumer Protection Act applies to lawyers,

under a recent opinion by its highest court.

tiny check   Another showing the common concerns of disciplinary lawyers on both sides

of the aisle (examples: applying the rules to under-staffed public defender offices

and to overzealous prosecutors)

tiny check thought-provoking comments on case citations, competence and computers

What did f/k/a do to assist this auspicious event?  Three weeks ago,

in a post called speak bocce?, we set out English-to-Bocce transla-

tions that we thought might be particularly useful for several of our

weblogging colleagues. Here’s one of them:

for Ben Cowgill at BC’s Legal Ethics   

Can you send a pilot to guide me in?

Mil weez joto ne dimiix?

That’s about as close to a prayer we get around here, and it seems

to have worked.  Ben’s back and we’re happy.  Get over there and see


  • To whoever it is up in Star Wars Heaven, who

    heard our plea for Ben’s return, we say:

    “Ker pazet on bpnip Holonot.”


    [“The payment is in the HoloNet.]


buddha Kobayashi Issa celebrated many kinds of

returns with his haiku (click here for more):



flitting butterfly
to Buddha’s lap



my dog returns
to the dragonfly…
field of flowers



the lover cat
with a shameless face
has returned




to the world of man
the moon deigns
to return




the hawk returns
to the goblin village…
with a nest-warming bird




up to today
such perserverance and strength!
returning geese


   Issa, translated by David G. Lanoue

haiku wars (and dangers)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:48 pm

Taking advantage of his “Katrina sabbatical” from teaching at Xavier U.
of New Orleans, David G. Lanoue, famed translator of Kobayashi Issa, and
author of Haiku Guy, has just completed a new haiku novel, Haiku Wars.
It’s a humorous look at the politics and rivalries in the world haiku community
(which are surely a lot lke the politics and rivalries in most literary and prof-
essional organizations and movements).
Lanoue says:
Haiku Wars is a light-hearted romp through the world of haiku
written by someone (me!) who knows the subject, the players,
and even where some of the skeletons lie buried. But the tone
is never mean, I hope. This novel is my love letter to haiku people
everywhere, even those I may seem to be making fun of (but again,
any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental)”.
It received a glowing review by Robert Wilson, editor of Simply Haiku, in
the brand new edition of that online journal (Vol. 4:1, Spring 2006). Wilson
explains the storyline:
“An American professor in Louisiana with the help of a reincarnated
bodhisatva dwelling in the body of a pet ferret, put together a haiku
conference for the National Haiku Society. The haiku leaders that
assemble resemble, in many ways, luminaries who populate similar
conferences in real life.”
Wilson opines: “The book is a hoot to read and nearly impossible to put down.
It’s interspersed with haiku and senryu, some written by Issa, and others penned
by Lanoue. The storyline is nicely developed, the dialogue second to none, and I
was kept guessing throughout my reading of the book as to who is who or if there
is a who.”
Here are two poems by David Lanoue, from Haiku Wars:
war monument
the tower of cellos
silent night, holy night
at a bar
Readers of this website know that I’m a big fan of David Lanoue’s prior haiku
novels: Haiku Guy (2000; our mini-review) and Laughing Buddha (2004) [both
from Red Moon Press];and Dewdrop World (online for free, 2005), which I feel
have universal appeal.  Haiku Wars may be a little more “inside the haijin com-
munity,” but I’m betting it’s well worth the $15 price for the special, initial 100-
copy run (which includes shipping and an inscribed author’s signature). Click here
for details.
Learning about the genre’s wars, gave a whole new meaning to a link on my Referer/  hazardsS
Keywords statistics page this morning.  Someone Googled dangers of haiku>.

The first result was to a travel page about the Hawaiian island of Haiku (no dangers

listed).  The next result, out of 92,300, was to Jim Kacian’s Haiku How-to Primer, here

at f/k/a, where Jim discusses “the greatest dangers to writing good haiku.”

Other results refer to:

tiny check “the dangers of further tightening haiku’s already tight form ” (here)

tiny check “the dangers of “-ing” in haiku” (here) and

tiny check “One of the dangers with haiku is, as Shiki pointed out in his time
(turn of the century) that by its short form, the many haiku written,

and the limited allowed vocabulary, that no one will be able to write

a truly ‘new’ haiku.” (here)

I don’t know what the Google querist had in mind.  After reading about Haiku

Wars, however, I’m starting to worry that intellectual and egoistical battles

over the philosophy and politics of haiku might indeed be dangerous to the

health and welfare of conference goers.  (and see possible danger for

plagiarists and their enablers)  Let’s hope cooler heads and hearts will

prevail, even while we nurture our passion for haiku and within haiku.

“tinyredcheck”  Like the many contributors to the new ukku spring haiku

weblog, I’m confident that David Lanoue is feeling the first

stirrings of Spring and spring fever, now that he is back

in New Orleans.   Here are a few poems with that feel:

this butterfly

has places to go

spring journey

busy little buggers

the flower-mad



it’s good

to be a horse

the sweet mountain meadow

growing north, east

then south

mountain pine

in full battle make-up

she rollerblades


from Dewdrop World (2005) (online for free)


tiny check Intellectual property lawyer and lecturer Paul Rapp (of Albany, NY   sleuthSm

and Housatonic, Mass.) writes a column for the NY Capital Region’s

“alternative newspaper weekly,” Metroland.  This week’s column

You’ll Never Walk Alone,” (Feb. 16, 2006) describes how the com-

bination of data collection and trading by websites and companies

online and “unrstrained governmental snooping,” leaves us with

“Orwell on steriods.”

“Sort of like a virtual Nixon/J. Edgar Hoover tag-team

assault on your most fundamental civil liberties.”

Paul notes that “the world has changed so quickly that these incredible

events flew by while we weren’t looking.”  He ends: “Maybe it’s time to

start paying attention.”   He’s right, of course.  Most of us weblog denizens

know all this stuff, but perhaps we take the invasion of privacy a bit to

much for granted.  We need to start letting our desire for privacy known to

our legislators — loud and clear.  And, we need to make sure that our less-

computer oriented and tech-savvy friends, clients, and acquaintances are

alerted to these problems and provoked into action.


tiny check Jonathan at plagiarism today takes a long look today at Fair Use

and short works (like haiku or weblog blurbs).  An avid crusader for the rights

of copyright holders, Jonathan nonetheless concludes (and I hope this is Fair

Use of his essay):

“Truth be told, there’s nothing wrong with fair use. If done right,

it benefits society and detracts very little, if any, from the copy-

right holder. In fact, it can even promote the original creator.

“Still, those who are uncomfortable with others reusing their work

need to take notice. Fair use applies to short works as well as long

ones.  . . .

“For those wanting to reuse another’s work, just bear in mind that

context is king and that, so long as you take only what is necessary,

taking all of a shorter piece can be just as protected as taking only

a portion of a long one.”

Your input on his conclusions (based is large part on my own) would be much



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