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

February 17, 2006

an old friend returns: “the haiku anthology”

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:00 pm

When one of my best friends showed an interest in haiku

two years ago, I tried to figure out how to best nurture that

interest.  Because she rarely gets online, I needed something

on paper, and the answer seemed clear: lend her my copy

of The Haiku Anthology: Haiku and Senryu in English, 3rd Ed.

(W.W. Norton Press, edited by Cor van den Heuvel, 1999).

With 850 poems by 89 of the finest past and present English-

language haiku poets, and introductory essays on the evolution

of the genre in English, THA was the perfect choice.  It’s pre-

decessor, the 2nd edition, was my initial introduction to the

genre and the poets. 



I’ve missed having The Haiku Antholgy within arms’ reach,

and have been wanting to ask for it back.  Thus, it was a

pleasant surprise when friend Cyndi handed it to me as I

was leaving her home last weekend, while she reassured me 

that she now has a good supply of her own haiku volumes

by her bedside. 


It took only a few minutes to see why I had missed this

volume.  Opening to any page, landed me among old friends

and their “offspring.”   For example, the first poems to come

to my attention by our Honored Guest Tom Clausen are there,



pickup gf


farm country back road:

just like them i lift one finger

from the steering wheel





from the bread truck’s roof

         frost swirls





the plumber

kneeling in our tub

— talking to himself



Seeing Tom’s “old” work, made me want to

check out some of his new offerings and share

them with you:


redwing blackbird calls 

—the dog tugs for

another scent


spider web small



relatives set to visit

so many cobwebs

to remove







the river

full of ice

broken free



Tom Clausen
“farm country” – Modern Haiku XXVI:1 (1994)
“daybreak” – Unraked Leaves (1995)
“the plumber” – Modern Haiku XXIX:1 (1998)
“redwing blackbird calls” – The Heron’s Nest

“redwing blackbird calls” – The Heron’s Nest (Dec. 2005)
“relatives” & “the river” – Upstate Dim Sum  (2005/II)


infielderS  p.s. to Cor:  We’d love to see THA IV!


tiny check  Speaking about encouraging friends, I’ve been  

wondering whether anyone else has the same mixed

reaction that I do, when one lawyer automatically con-

gratulates another regarding a litigation victory.  It

happens all the time within law firms or agencies, or

any connected group of lawyers.   Being a solo and a

retiree, I don’t have to do or witness this custom in person

any more.  But, I see it occasionally online — such as at

Crime & Federalism today, when Mike Cernovich had a

short post saying:


                                                                         lawyer cellphone small

“Co-bloggger Norm Pattis just got a not guilty on 

all counts for a client charged with three counts

of custodial interference.  Great job, Norm!”

Not knowing the facts, procedure, or law of the particular

case, the lawyer-Yabut and the citizen in me want to ask

things like: (1) was justice really served?  (2) was it an

easy case to win because the prosecutor did a terrible job?

(3) was the victory “a great job” because it took a very slick 

lawyer to create a reasonable doubt, when the facts suggested

the defendant had actually done the acts charged? 

tiny check Reading these questions, I can see

that I’m showing my doubts about the lawyer’s

role in our very imperfect adversary system.

If a lawyer friend or partner represented landlords and evicted

widows and children frequently, would I congratulate him or

her on a court victory, regardless of the facts?  If a nonlawyer

significant-other ran the State’s gas chamber, would I congra-

tulate her on a good execution? 




Admittedly, I have always been somewhat sparing with my

compliments.  If you get one from me, it is sincere.  I hope

Mike Cernovich and other readers will weigh in on this issue.

Is Mike just giving Norm a little free (search-engine-friendly)

publicity that Norm is too modest to post?   Does he know

the particular case well and is truly pleased at the outcome

as a seeker of justice and fairness?  Or is every lawyer victory

worthy of congratulations from his friends and associates?

                                                                             the haiku anthology HA3rdN



one haijin’s return to new orleans: david lanoue

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:24 pm

Yesterday, I asked professorpoetauthortranslator David Lanoue if he would share his reactions to returning to New Orleans with us. Here, unedited, is his reply, including a few haiku/senryu on the subject:

LanoueSelf from David Lanoue, Feb. 15, 2006:

her pen dries up
she blames

New Orleans is a tale of two cities. I live Uptown, which didn’t flood

seriously for the most part and is now a thriving area. The main signs of
Katrina are the absence of the St. Charles streetcar (expected to be back in
service by this December), the absense of many trees (the shady avenue isn’t
as shady as it once was), and the presence of legions of Mexicans pounding
on rooftops and hauling trash. I’m getting plenty of practice speaking

after the hurricane 
the shady avenue

My worst Katrina complaint is that my landlady raised our rent +$500. But I

count myself very, very lucky. I have friends and colleagues who lost jobs
possessions, and homes.

The other city is grim indeed: vast swaths of neighborhoods lie vacant,

trashed, molding, unlivable. I have friends living in FEMA trailers and holing up in the upstairs rooms of houses with gutted first floors. The feeling in those neighborhoods is depressing, desolate. And the looting continues.


One of my friends was all set to move into her new FEMA trailer yesterday, when she discovered that someone had stolen the electric meter (with no neighbors around, it’s hard for the first returners to get a foothold). But she’s happy to “have” a trailer. Months ago, one was put in her yard by a FEMA contractor, and the trailor was stolen before she ever saw it. (Or, the contractor lied about delivering it; you decide who to believe.)

the city recovers
by restaurant

The most hopeful sign of life and rebuilding is the return of the university students: to Tulane, Xavier (where I teach), Loyola, SUNO… With their return–blessed legions of kids with backpacks on bicycles–more restaurants are reopening; more coffee houses are extending their hours. The students are consumers and they supply the workforce of waiters and dish washers (which, by the way, is a high-paying job these days, given the labor shortage).


Everyone’s hoping for a monumental Mardi Gras. Having lived here 25 years,
I’d grown jaded to Carnival in recent years, seizing the opportunity of days
off to travel elsewhere. This year’s different. I plan to attend every parade; to party in the French Quarter till dawn; to shake the hands of, or plant a kiss on, every out-of-towner I can grab. The City of New Orleans is open for business. Come on down!

blown away by the hurricane
every stripper
I knew

– all poems by David G. Lanoue

¬†tiny check His coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in New Orleans has made Ernie the Attorney Svenson and his weblog even more renown. Here’s my plea to David Lanoue to put up a weblog and regularly share his thoughts and poetry on the rebirth of New Orleans with his friends and fans in the haijin community.

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