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

February 21, 2009

is prune juice your cup of tea?

Filed under: haijin-haikai news,Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 7:01 pm

…. Prune Juice Journal

at last in his coffin
depressed friend
is smiling

… by George Swede – Prune Juice (Issue 1, Winter 2009)

morning after—
what’s left of the cheese
has a bite

…. by Jim Kacian – Prune Juice (Issue 1)

.. Haiku legend Alexis Rotella has uncorked her first distillation of Prune Juice: Journal of Senryu and Kyoka (Issue 1, Winter 2009), which she describes as a biannual print and digital journal “dedicated to publishing and promoting fine senryu and kyoka in English.”  Issue 1 offers more than 130 poems by about four dozen haijin, many of them very well-known for their well-crafted poems and wry insight into human nature.

Senryu are structured like haiku, and kyoda like tanka, but their focus is different.  As Alexis explains:

“Senryu generally emphasize human foibles and frailties, usually satirically, ironically, humorously. Season words are not necessary nor usual in senryu. Kyoka have a different history than senryu; nevertheless, for modern kyoka in English, the definition is similar: a poem in the tanka form but with the satirical, ironic, humorous aspects of senryu.a poem in the tanka form but with the satirical, ironic, humorous aspects of senryu.”

Agreeing with the bumper sticker from StickEm2/CafePress, Alexis tells us that senyru “is an outlet, a therapy of sorts.”  She wants poets and readers to use senryu and kyoka to help reveal and share their real emotions, saying in her introduction to Issue I:

“I hope this issue inspires you to step up, to come and mingle with the rest of us—to make a toast with a glass of prune juice in honor of the plum blossoms who, without that delicious metaphorical elixir that gets things moving, would not exist. And if you are one who hides behind a potted plant, come out come out whoever you are.”

Alexis seeks to publish senryu and kyoka that range from “gently humorous to the most wicked satire”  — and advises that “Our tastes run towards the wicked end of the scale.”

Frankly, the curmudgeons in the f/k/a Gang like to sip, rather than swig, senryu. And, we’re a little wary (maybe even weary) of editors and poets trying to give us shocking or “wicked” poems.  So, we plan to decant our Prune Juice a little at a time. With Alexis Rotella at the helm, however, we’re pretty sure a lot of readers will be filling their cup to the brim with Prune Juice, and asking for refills.

Here are a few more poems by members of our f/k/a family of Honored Guest Poets from Prune Juice: Journal of Senryu and Kyoka (Issue 1, Winter 2009):

blind date—
the jangle
of handcuffs

……… by Roberta Beary

Instead of an air conditioner . . .
I return
with popsicles

… by Tom Clausen

new to the group—
sitting in back with
the artificial plants

… by Jim Kacian

reading of the will
cremated mother

the feud continues—
shoveled snow piled high
on the property line

first ice
on mother’s gravestone . . .
her tea time

…… by George SwedePrune Juice (Issue 1, Winter 2009)

.. click for an annual subscription to the Prune Juice print edition ($32 with S&H) ..

p.s. Seven-Day Countdown: Speaking of feeling our emotions, getting things moving and setting ourselves free, the f/k/a Gang plans to stop adding to this weblog as of March 1, 2009.   It will remain online, with thousands of haiku and senryu, and a lot of law-related and cultural punditry. But, the last f/k/a posting will roll off your Editor’s fingers no later than Feb. 28, 2009. We’ll try to write a few more posts related to lawyer fees before we hang up our blawger sword; then we’ll be looking for something more enjoyable and less stressful to do online.  Naturally, we’ll have a little more to say when we sign off at the end of this week.

afterwords: Many thanks to Scott Greenfield at Simply Justice for his kindly post reacting to my announcement that f/k/a is closing down production. See “Phoenix Rising” (Feb. 24, 2009)

the pond ices over –
impressionist to
cubist overnight

early March –
the weather vane goose
still heading south

small sad face
in the puddle –
last weekend’s snowman

…….. by David GiacaloneSimply Haiku (Autumn 2006, Vol. 4 no. 3)


  1. f/k/a … hanging up its hat? say it ain’t so, David.

    Roberta Beary

    Comment by Roberta Beary — February 21, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

  2. gotta do it, RB, to save my life; maybe even make a life.

    Comment by David Giacalone — February 21, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

  3. I’ll certainly miss f.k.a. – have been a daily visitor for several years now. At least I won’t be saying so long to you, David. Bocce season is just around the corner!

    Comment by John Stevenson — February 22, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

  4. Many thanks, John, for being a reader, commentor and source of so much fine poetry. Were it not for f/k/a, we probably would have never met, so I am most grateful to the weblog. And, yes, bocce season (which never really does end) and Yu’s cooking, will hopefully bring us together soon and often.

    Comment by David Giacalone — February 22, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

  5. […] pingback from the posting “Is this the end of blogging?” . . . Giacalone, retired attorney and mediator, and the poet laureate of the legal blogging community, announced that he would stop blogging as of March 1, 2009. And the anonymous editor of Blawg Review, the high-quality review of legal blogging, wonders, […]

    Pingback by Diane Levin at Mediation Channel — February 24, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

  6. after it’s gone
    the train’s song lingers
    in singing rails

    I wish you the very best in all your efforts, David. Still, you will be missed.

    best always,

    Comment by Denis M. Garrison — February 26, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

  7. Many thanks, Denis — for the poem and the kind words.

    Comment by david giacalone — February 26, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

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