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

February 28, 2009

just getting to know you

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 11:16 pm

We wouldn’t be the f/k/a Gang, if we weren’t frantically scampering to meet a self-imposed deadline on a Saturday night.  It’s a good thing we can re-use the same words written the first time we closed down this weblog, in October 2003, with only minor changes:

Doing ethicalEsq f/k/a has been a very rewarding experience, whether the correspondents agreed with me or not.  Until I started a web journal, [my f/k/a Gang of alter egos] thought the internet might be used to sustain established friendships and relationships (mostly with email), but couldn’t possibly create new ones of any significant value.  Well, I was wrong.

Comments and e-correspondence sparked by this website have put me in touch with some very good [talented and interesting] human beings, who can scarcely be blamed for being lawyers [or haiku poets].   Although they’re a lot busier than I am, I hope to continue to connect with them across cyberspace.

At the end of this posting, I’ve listed (alphabetically fairly randomly) a number of the web-log related folks who have become more than just pixelated names to me, due to the quality and/or quantity of their communications, insights, inspiration, or assistance.

sweet grapes
the conversation passes
between friends

… by Hilary Tann – The Heron’s Nest VIII:1

Far more often than I could have imagined 6 years ago, this weblog has sparked real conversations — the kind that nurture real friendships.   Before I list the names of people across the blogisphere who have been the most generous to me and this weblog, I want to share some haiku and senryu about conversations.  (more…)

February 26, 2009

rivers, sunset, metaphors galore

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 9:07 pm

February thaw
a new patch of orange
on the river

… by dagosan

Catching another sunset or two in photos before we “archivize” this weblog on Saturday seemed like a good idea, as the afternoon waned today. [click “more” below to see some of the photographs]  Naturally, I managed to dawdle so long at this keyboard that I only caught the last few moments before the sun dipped behind nearby hills.  My timing was a metaphor of sorts for much that has happened (and not) lately in my life.  Of course, the sunset itself was a too-obvious symbol (along with the promised sunrise after a long dark night) for the ending of an important era in my life. (more…)

February 25, 2009

all that great haikai

Filed under: Haiga or Haibun,Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 10:53 am

In this last week of new posting at f/k/a, how can I possibly put together a piece that pays adequate homage to the vast body of haikai — haiku, senryu and related poetic-literary genres — that our Honored Guest Poets have allowed me to share with you?  In two words: I can’t.

Beginning in late November 2003, with a little feature located in our Sidebar called “haikuesque,” this weblog has brought you “one-breath poetry” by some of the finest English-language haiku poets alive (plus hundreds of translations of the work of 19th Century Japanese Haiku Master, Kobayashi Issa, by David G. Lanoue).  In total, 27 well-known and respected haijin have generously let me share their poetry with you, in my role as Haiku Missionary, bringing the joys of “real haiku” to lawyers and other folk not familiar with the genre. [The post “Yes, Lawyers and haiku” explains why haiku seems like a perfect art form for lawyers and others in our too-busy society.]  Little did I know that rubbing elbows with some of the best haiku poets would inspire me to work hard at the craft myself, and would also result in my making some of my very closest friends.

Other than repeating here my heartfelt, immense gratitude to each of our Honored Guests, there really is no sufficient way to express my thanks or sum up their contribution to the success of this weblog.  As suggested here, I have neither the time nor inclination to select my “favorite” haiku by each poet.  Happily, their haikai will remain at this site for as long as Weblogs at Harvard Law School exists.  So, I hope readers of f/k/a will use our search function or go often to our Honored Guest Poets Index page, and click on links to each poet’s f/k/a archive.   Then, sample their wares, and let them seduce you with the charms of haiku.

In alphabetical order, and with haiku-like pith, the f/k/a Gang says: “many thanks for all that great haikai; best wishes, and ‘auf Wiedersehen’ ” to our Haiku Family: Roberta Beary, Randy Brooks; Yu Chang; Tom Clausen; Devar Dahl; Alice Frampton; Barry George; Lee Gurga;  Carolyn Hall; Gary Hotham; Jim Kacian; David G. Lanoue; Rebecca Lilly; Peggy Willis Lyles; Paul Miller; Ed Markowski; Matt Morden; Pamela Miller Ness; W.F. “Dr. Bill” Owen; Tom Painting; Andrew Riutta; John Stevenson; George Swede; Hilary Tann; Michael Dylan Welch; and Billie Wilson.

alone at sunset
i pick a pair
of faded daylilies

the morning rush—
the whiteness of last night’s snow

….. by David Giacalone – Legal Studies Forum (Vol. XXXII, No. 1. 2008)

Instead of further farewell fanfare regarding our Honored Guest Poets, I’m going to do what I would have done in the normal course of events this week:  Present more haikai selected as among the very best of their genre for inclusion in “white lies: Red Moon Anthology 2008” (see our prior post for details). (more…)

February 23, 2009

nostalgic about Blawg Review

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 9:36 am

.. Ed & Edison in Schenectady (Jan. 2009)  .. ..

What a strange coincidence: Just as I was announcing that this would be the last week of production for f/k/a, my friend “Ed Post” was putting together this week’s version of Blawg Review#200!! — which opens with a link to Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger post, “If your blog died today . . . what would it be remembered for?“.  Happily, the 200th milestone for Blawg Review is not its last edition.  As its anonymous Editor puts it:

“Not to worry; we’ve come to praise Blawg Review, not to bury it. This moot funeral is not a morbid affair, but a celebration of everything good about Blawg Review.”

Like every issue of Blawg Review, this week’s puts the spotlight on the best material posted during the prior week at law-related weblogs.  As part of the 200th-edition celebration, Ed has structured this issue around an apt Traveling Wilburys metaphor — a musical group composed of rock-n-roll superstars whose collaboration magically “was greater than the sum of its parts.”

One of my favorite poems posted here at f/k/a is this senryu by lawyer-poet Barry George:

his quiet funeral—
a man who did
most of the talking

………………. by barry george

The faux funeral of “Ed Post” and his Blawg Review inspired dagosan to pen a new version this morning:

his noisy wake —
the man who let others
do most of the talking

…. by dagosan

Blawg Review, which is to say Ed and many of his hosts, has always been bery-bery good to this weblog — from giving us the Blawg Review “Creative Law Blog Award” in 2005 [see “thanks a lot (for all this pressure),” Dec. 27, 2005], to including f/k/a in Ed’s “Simply the Best” Top Ten Blawg lists [see our post, October 5, 2007], letting us host Blawg Review #52 (April 11, 2006), and mentioning our work often in the weekly Review.   Behind the scenes, Ed has also often acted as our long-distance proofreader extraordinaire (saving the Gang from many embarrassments), and as cheerleader and moral support when stress and fatigue and Weltschmerz made me want to throw in the towel.

Ed’s two stops in Schenectady to visit this cranky blawger — memorialized here and there — were testaments to the ability of the blawgiverse to create and nurture more than virtual friendships.

So, congratulations, Ed, for creating an enduring, high-quality blog carnival.  And, heartfelt thanks for all you’ve done to create and celebrate the blawger community, and done for this little weblog and its humbled Editor.

bookie’s funeral
the undertaker pays
his debt

…. by ed markowski

As usual, Ed has also reminded me that I have a lot work to do this week — crafting an auto-obituary and apologia for this weblog.   Because we tried to close down this little project once before, after only 19 weeks in busines, I guess the second (and last) time should go a little more smoothly.  See “exitedEsq: going dormant (gonna miss ya)” (October 11, 2003)  Re-reading that post, I see there were a lot of lessons I never learned and a lot of mistakes repeated since our premature death notice.

On the other hand, we got such nice obits from other bloggers (back before Denise had even coined the word “blawg”), it’s a wonder we ever started back up.  Living up to our death press was quite daunting.  See, e.g., this humble-making post by law-blog supertar Ernie Svenson, a/k/a Ernie the Attorney, “Requiem for a Heavyweight – ethicalEsq? is shutting down” (Oct. 12, 2003).   Actually, the blog-obituaries were so generous, it’s a wonder I haven’t sought even more long before now.

update: And, it’s happening again — nice words inspired by our leaving town. See Scott Greenfield’s “Phoenix Rising” (Feb. 24, 2009).

Wait, I’m supposed to be concentrating on lawyer fees this week.   I am so easy to distract.

Let’s close with a few topical poems written by lawyer-poets:

funeral dirge –
we bury the one
who could carry a tune

…. by David Giacalone – Frogpond, Vol. 31:2 (Spring/Summer 2008)
repub. “white lies: Red Moon Anthology 2008

after the funeral
the seeds she ordered
in today’s mail

funeral over
the deadbolt
slides into place

his death notice. . .
the get-well card
still in my briefcase

… by Roberta Beary
“funeral over” – from the haibun “Stranger Danger” – Frogpond XXVIII:2 (2005)
“after” – Shiki Haikusphere 10th Anniversary Anthology (2007)
“his death notice” – New Resonance 2

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)

February 20, 2009

Albany City Court Judge says local sex offender law is pre-empted

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 9:14 am

In a thoughtful 12-page decision, dated Feb. 18, 2009, Albany [New York] City Court Judge Thomas K. Keefe refused to enforce the City’s sex offender residency law, using the Oberlander case as precedent, and refusing to follow a decision by his City Court benchmate, Judge Rachel Kretser.  See Peo. v. James Blair (File #08-186882); “Sex offender residency case tossed” (Albany Times Union, Feb. 20, 2009).  After citing the recent proposal to ban sex offenders from living near eachother in Colonie (see our prior post), Judge Keefe notes:

“As easily imagined and as was already noted by the Legislature, these ‘not in  my backyard’ local residency restrictions create great difficulties for the Division of Parole, local probation and social service agencies to locate appropriate housing for sex offenders.”

The Times Union notes:

“The conflicting decisions from the same court could send mixed messages to city police.

“Attorney Terence Kindlon, whose firm is suing the county pro bono, said he believes it would be ‘more intelligent than not to refrain from prosecuting these cases’.”

” . . . Detective James Miller, a spokesman for the Albany Department of Public Safety, said officers in the city will keep making arrests.

As the Times Union Politics Blog noted yesterday evening, “Amid all this, state Supreme Court Justice Roger McDonough is still considering a constitutional challenge to county law nearly identical to the one made in Rockland.”  Justice McDonough has a summary judgment motion before him in the suit mentioned above brought by Terence Kindlon.

It’s clear that we need statewide action on sex offenders.  However, we also need politicians who will have the courage to oppose counterproductive and ineffective residency bans — like the fear-mongering S.01300, proposed by Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith — that prevent whole classes of sex offenders from living in most populated areas, rather than allowing professionals to locate housing most appropriate for each individual sex offender.  See our prior post “don’t let a bad idea go statewide” (Feb. 2, 2009).  If courage is lacking, perhaps politically-motivated leaders from rural areas of the state will rise up against S.01300, which will force many sex offenders to live in less-populated areas.

p.s. See the informative Wall Street Journal article “After Prison, Few Places for Sex Offenders to Live: Georgia’s Rules That Keep Some Convicted Felons Far From Children Create Challenges for Compliance, Enforcement” (Feb. 19, 2009; via Corey Yung)

Need a more inspiring subject to head you toward the weekend?  How about more haiku from the latest issue of Frogpond [Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)], written by our Honored Guest Poets?

windowless classroom
we talk about thinking
outside the box

Appalachian spring
can I still learn
to play the violin

…. by Yu Chang – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

lovers still
a falling petal
catches moonlight

fern fronds
tightly coiled–
the fetus kicks

…. by Peggy Willis Lyles – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

she would have
polished the silver
Mom’s memorial

dogwood blossoms
Mom’s ashes
lighter than expected

…. by Carolyn Hall – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

late August
eel grass
breaks the surface

…. by Hilary Tann – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

February 19, 2009

officer johnson’s undercover operation [updated]

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 11:57 am

.. The tired old fogies at f/k/a want to thank the energetic Scott Greenfield for covering the latest Schenectady cop scandal at his Simple Justice weblog, so we won’t have to think too hard this morning.  See “Even Cops Need Some Sleep” (Feb. 19, 2009)

  • Teaser: Schenectady Police Officer Dwayne Johnson made three times his base pay last year, while averaging 75 hours a week on the clock (making him, at $168,000, the highest paid employee in Schenectady’s history).  However, after several late-night stakeouts, Schenectady Gazette reporter Kathleen Moore reported yesterday that Officer Johnson has been parking his car outside a local apartment that is not his home for a few hours every Tuesday night since November, during his patrol shift.   Despite being tracked by a GPS monitor in his unit, no supervisor caught the apparent dereliction of duty.  See “Chief: Cop ‘stealing time’: Johnson, tops in pay, out of car during shift”  (by Kathleen Moore, Feb. 18, 2009).

Responding to the question from Schenectady Police Chief Mark Chaires, “how dumb can you get?”, Scott points out that “neither Chief Chaires nor anybody else on the force thinks that somebody ought to take the occasional gander at their top earner, the big money man, to make sure they are getting their money’s worth?” Scott then muses: “How dumb? Not as dumb as you, Chief.”

Follow-ups today (Feb. 19, 2009): “Cop case probed for collusion: Chief wants to know why supervisors didn’t notice AWOL officer’s absences” (Daily Gazette , Feb. 19, 2009); “Editorial: In Sch’dy, Car 10, where are you?” (Daily Gazette, Feb. 19, 2009; “He deserves to be fired, and anybody but a union officer or lawyer, or perhaps arbitrator, would agree.”); “High-paid cop accused of slacking off” (WNYT/CH.13, Feb. 18, 2009, with video); “Did Schenectady’s $168G cop spend hours away? Schenectady probes whether highest-paid officer was at apartment while on duty” (Albany Times Union, February 19, 2009); “Tarnishing the badge: A decade of trouble for Schenectady police” (Times Union, by Paul Nelson, Feb. 19, 2009)

update (Feb. 20, 2009): The Gazette tells us this morning that Officer Johnson was “suspended without pay Thursday while the department investigates the extent of his absences during his overnight patrols.”  He apparently will have to be paid if kept on suspension longer than 30 days. “Absent officer out for month: Bennett begins cop AWOL probe; union issues cited” (Feb. 20, 2009).  I’m surprised that Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett believes “it will take well over a month to finish the investigation into Johnson’s absences. Also under review are the supervisors who did not notice them and the officers who may have tipped him off when internal affairs attempted to catch him in the act early last Tuesday.”  I’m not surprised that he expects the police union to argue napping has become a “past practice,” approved regularly by lower-level supervisors, that cannot be changed without union approval.

The Gazette notes that “Some officers, who spoke anonymously, say everyone who works long shifts takes naps, beginning at lunchtime. They argued that an unspoken rule in the department allows napping to continue after lunch as long as police get up as soon as they get a call.”  Bennett says: “If someone had the absolute and unmitigated gall to call [napping] a past practice, well, supervisors do not have that kind of authority to authorize that.”

In his update this morning at Simple Justice, Scott Greenfield trumpets “The new frontier for police contracts: Napping Clauses.”

Officer Johnson is 49 years old and apparently considers a double shift to be his regular work day.  The f/k/a Gang understands the need to nap (although, altogether, we alter egos aren’t working 75 hours a week), but we agree with the Gazette that if the conduct is proven, Officer Johnson should be fired.  At the very least, some major auditing of his time records is needed, plus more scrutiny of his so-called supervisors.

Undercover? Lawyer Greenfield concludes: “But don’t fear that Johnson will go unpunished. My bet is that his wife will have a few questions about what he was doing in that apartment every Tuesday morning.”

We don’t get paid overtime (nor anytime) here at f/k/a, but we’re always workin’ hard trying to bring you some of the best haiku around.  As promised yesterday, here are poems written by a few of our Honored Guest Poets that were selected for the newest issue of Frogpond [Vol. 32:1, Winter 2009].  We’ll have another batch later this week.

turning back on a dead end street —
one odor changes

… by Gary Hotham – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

heat lightning the crooked split in the watermelon

… by w.f. owen – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

second honeymoon
a flock of turnstones
skirt the shore

dry spell
a field sparrow flashes
burnt umber

… by Tom Painting – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

full moon–
I finally share the secret
with my cat

….. by Alice Frampton – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

fallen leaves
the small fir

the barren windbreak sifting a rainy fog

…. by Tom Clausen – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

winter night
the heat comes on
between us

a retinal sun
wanders through
the observation car

… by John Stevenson – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

our long bathtub soak — 
a ring around
the moon

…. by David Giacalone – Frogpond Vol. 32:1 (Winter 2009)

p.s. Speaking of criminal justice in Schenectady, the print version of the Daily Gazette has an article on p. B3 titled “Imposter [sic] suspect in Regents exam faces lesser charge” (Feb. 19, 2009).  In it we learn that District Attorney Robert Carney won’t be charging Deandre M. Ellis with burglary [illegally entering a building intending to commit another crime] for entering a Schenectady school to take a Regents exam in disguise for another student.  We were doubtful of the arresting officers’ legal reasoning in a post on Jan. 29, 2009 (scroll to second story).  Instead, Ellis is being charged with misdemeanor criminal impersonation, which he denied at his arraignment yesterday. DA Carney explains that “There has to be some sort of notice or communication to [a] person that ‘you’re not welcome’ to convert [entering a public building like a school] to a trespass,” on which to hang a burglary count.  According to the Gazette:

“But Carney likened the case to a shoplifter.  Anyone is allowed in a store, until they’re asked to leave. But a shoplifter isn’t charged with burglary, Carney said, even though they may have entered with the intent to steal.”

Tonsorial-forensic experts should note a mystery raised in the case:  Ellis wore a wig when posing as a female student in January.  As you can see above, he has short spiky hair in his mug shot.  But, three weeks later, he appeared in court with “long hair, past his shoulders.”  Neither Ellis nor his public defender were willing to comment on the issue.   Could it be Ellis will claim he always goes around in the long wig and therefore was not trying to impersonate the female student?

..  two good ideas from Schenectady County . .

February 18, 2009

frogpond brings HSA winners

Filed under: haijin-haikai news,Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 7:22 pm

..  The newest issue of Frogpond [Vol. 32:1, Winter 2009], the journal of the Haiku Society of America, arrived at my door this snowy February afternoon.  Frogpond always has a lot of winning haiku, but this issue also announces the winners of HSA’s most prestigious annual contests: The 2008 Kanterman Merit Book Awards for best published books in 2007; the 2008 Henderson Award for best haiku; and the 2008 Brady Award for best senryu.

As usual, several of f/k/a‘s Honored Guest Poets have been honored this year.

  • John Stevenson received 1st and 3rd place awards in the Harold G. Henderson Haiku Contest for 2008:

fifteen minutes
of mince pie

[1st Place, 2008 Henderson Contest]

my attention
attention span

[3rd Place, 2008 Henderson Contest]

  • Michael Dylan Welch won 2nd Place in the Gerald Brady Memorial Contest for 2008, with this senryu:

busy Italian restaurant–
happy birthday
sung to the wrong table

[2nd Place, 2008 Brady contest]

  • Among the Mildred Kanterman Memorial Book Awards for 2008:
  • Roberta Beary’s The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press 2007) placed third [find poems and discussion at f/k/a here]
  • While Matt Morden’s Stumbles in Clover (Snapshot Press 2007; discussed here at f/k/a) shared Honorable Mention honors with Gary Hotham’s Missed Appointment (Lilliput Review 2007; featured at f/k/a in posts here and there)
  • The Best Anthology award went to Jim Kacian’s Big Sky – The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2006 (Red Moon Press 2007; find sample poems at the bottom of this prior post)
  • The Best Haibun award went to “Dr. Bill” w.f. owen for his book small events (Red Moon Press 2007)

.. In the very near future, we’ll share poems from the Winter 2009 issue of Frogpond written by our Honored Guests (update: go here and there).  Below the fold, you will find a list of all the winners from the three contests described above (soon, you will be able to find all the winning poems and the comments of the judges by clicking on the link for each contest at the HSA Haiku Contests page):


February 16, 2009

a preference for congeniality

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,lawyer news or ethics,viewpoint — David Giacalone @ 12:53 pm

.. ..  ..  The Jerks vs. the Genial:  Law professor Jeff Harrison started an interesting discussion last week in a posting at MoneyLaw titled “Ready, Set, Punt” (Feb. 10, 2009).  He notes that likablity is a “Pretty crazy way to pick a football team right? The team would lose every game.”  Harrison then asks:

“Is there any reason to think the ‘like’ factor is different for law faculty success. At least in football there will be an objective measure of success and an opportunity to cut players. In law school hiring there are no measures and the initial hiring decisions are for lifetime jobs.”

Prof. Harrison concludes by opining that likability “sounds like a great approach if you are deciding who you want to go down to the bar with after school for a drink — which sadly may be the standard by which much hiring is done. It’s a disaster for the stakeholders of a law school.”

In response, Gabriella Montelle wrote “They Like Me, They Like Me Not” (February 12, 2009) at her On Hiring weblog on the Chronicles of Higher Education website.  She invited readers to answer two questions:

“Is likability a reasonable consideration in hiring, firing, and tenure decisions or do some committees place too great an emphasis on it? How does it factor into hiring decisions in your department?”

Montelle’s piece attracted a variety of responses, and one Comment by a “humanities doctoral candidate” [“HDC”] impressed Louisville U. law dean Jim Chen so much, he turned it into a separate posting at MoneyLaw called “You like me” (Feb. 13, 2009). [Chen’s “Rocket man” post over the weekend about the remarkably valuable yet unselfish play of NBA player Shane Battier may also be related, as part of his ongoing talent versus character debate. via Simple Justice].  Commentor HDC’s insights included saying:

“The really good scholars are self-confident, and that confidence allows them to treat everyone else with respect and kindness. They are excited about ideas, and they are willing to share. Most of all, they are willing to collaborate — they are the ones organizing symposia, inviting guest speakers, cultivating graduate students, and just generally creating the kind of atmosphere where good work flourishes and everyone benefits.

Meanwhile, Jeff Harrison wrote “But will you love me tomorrow” (Feb. 13, 2009) in answer to Dean Chen, saying that in the faculty context likability or “niceness” is the code for “are you someone with whom I will be socially and politically comfortable.” He insists that “Nice in a faculty meeting is only slightly connected to morality, selflessness, or charity.”  Going back to the football analogy, Harrison concludes:

“If personal social and political comfort are critical in determining who gets an offer to join your faculty, it’s like a team thinking more about getting drunk together than winning games.”

An anonymous commentor then told Prof. Harrison that the football analogy was not as apt for a faculty as a comparison to a baseball team.  Using Barry Bonds as an example, he states:

“In other words, superstars are worthless if they create a bad vibe in the clubhouse. . . . but the point is, good scholars who aren’t good colleagues are not worth having around, and whatever is ‘good’ about their scholarship will be worthless if they aren’t the sort of person who can get along with colleagues, train students, and just generally make their work environment a pleasant place to be.”

In my experience, HDC and the anonymous commentor have it right.  As Jim Harrison suggests, faculty should not be trying to hire or promote only persons who fit within their personal socio-ideological comfort zone.  But, they would do well to look for colleagues who match brilliance with unselfishness and congeniality — or, to be more precise, a person who is “genial” in the sense suggested in Merriam-Webster’s definition:

3 a: favorable to growth or comfort . . . b: marked by or diffusing sympathy or friendliness
4: displaying or marked by genius

Naturally (this being the cranky old f/k/a Gang speaking), we do not mean “nice” like the smiley-faced gladhanders with gold stars for every student and colleague.  Nor do we mean “nice” in Harrison’s sense of “just like me,”  as sameness is boring and intellectual quicksand.  Law school faculties need bright minds willing to challenge individuals and institutions, and debate issues of law and policy — but, there is no reason to accept less than respect for eachother and agreeable disagreement. [You need, of course, to respect colleagues and students enough to ask hard questions and expect rigorous thinking.]

Law faculty jobs are far too desirable and desired for us to believe that faculty or students have to put up with jerks and selfish manipulators in order to assure brilliance in scholarship or in the classroom.   Because there are more than enough more-than-capable candidates, there should be a preference for the genial over the jerkish.  That preference may in fact turn out to be a wonderful tool for behavior modification.

In his posting 2007 “talent versus character,” Jim Chen notes how often others have been enablers, willing to justify the odious conduct of a faculty member by saying “He’s a smart guy. Brilliant, even.” That echoed my assertion that same year that:

[H]aving a high IQ is never an excuse for having a low EQ; it’s a reason to demand that our leaders (and our kids) demonstrate and nurture a robust “Emotional Intelligence.”

Daniel Goleman introduced most of us to the notion of EQ, in his 1996 bestseller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. (well-reviewed here; click for a quick recap of the “Four Components of Emotional Intelligence“) . . . I’m still amazed at how many otherwise-sensible people are willing to overlook or excuse the emotional immaturity and ineptness of a colleague, friend or family member (and the harm it causes other people), if the low-EQ is attached to a significantly high IQ — and, especially, if accompanied by a large bank account or a powerful position. I think having a high IQ makes the failure to appreciate, nurture and develop ones EQ rather inexcusable.

It was two years ago this week that we wrote about Robert I Sutton’s then-new book “The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t” (Warner Business Books, 2007, and an identically-titled article in American Lawyer/ (Feb. 20, 2007).  The article explains:

“According to Bob, an asshole is one who oppresses, humiliates, de-energizes, or belittles his target (generally someone less powerful then himself), causing the target to feel worse about herself following an interaction with the asshole. (And, as his examples prove, this behavior is not by any means limited to male perpetrators or female victims.) These jerks use tactics such as personal insults, sarcasm and teasing as vehicles for insults, shaming, and treating people as if they’re invisible to demean others. Sutton distinguishes temporary assholes . . . from certified assholes, who routinely show themselves to be nasty people. The latter, he argues, must go [from the workplace].”

A$$holes surely do not belong in law offices (even though many clients think they want such characters to champion their causes).  They’re even less appropriate in legal academia — especially, when their nasty little show is turned on “impressionable” law students, the very people paying their salaries.

Sutton’s book offers a 24-question self-test to see if you are “a certifiable asshole.” You can take Sutton’s Asshole Rating Self-Exam (ARSE) at Guy Kawasaki’s ElectricPulp website. Search and tenure committees might want to ask themselves how their candidates might fare if they took ARSE and answered honestly.

At her Chronicles of Higher Education weblog, Ms. Mentor advised last week that “They’re Out to Get Me: No matter how good you are at your work, your colleagues won’t keep you if they don’t like you” (Feb. 10, 2009).  She says this advice is especially important in perilous times like now, when jobs that once seemed secure seem quite shaky; and she asks whether “your colleagues already avoid you as a sour, combative personality — someone who’ll waste department energy on vendettas?”.  I’d like to think that law schools would insist on basic geniality from each of their faculty members in good times, too.  In the long run, their “stakeholders” deserve both brilliance and high EQ from every law professor.  There are far too many willing candidates to settle for any less.

p.s. Blawging with EQ: If you have a preference for thoroughness and straight-talk, and also wonder who’s been writing good material at lawyer weblogs, check out Mark Bennett’s Blawg Review #199, at his Defending People blawg.

We can’t promise you consistently high EQ here at f/k/a, but we’ll try our best.  What we do promise is consistently high-quality haiku.  For example, here’s another installment in our project presenting poems from past issues of Modern Haiku.  They’re written by poets who later became members of our f/k/a Honored Guest family. Here are more from Modern Haiku Vol. XXVIII: 1 (Winter-Spring 1997), which have not appeared before here at f/k/a:

almost 200 years of air–
in the room
George Washington died

…. by Gary Hotham – Modern Haiku Vol. XXVIII: 1


On the boardwalk
a blind man listens to the sea
finding its way back

… by George Swede – Modern Haiku Vol. XXVIII: 1

water splashing down–
the warmth of the sun
on my eyelids

little waterfall–
they come to see
why we’re not speaking

pushing in walnuts
with my heel–
autumn rain

… by Lee GurgaModern Haiku Vol. XXVIII: 1

fall rains
the spring
of mushrooms

tail tucked,
a collie skirts
the bungee jumpers

lunar eclipse
my son

.. by John StevensonModern Haiku Vol. XXVIII: 1

moonless night
the darkness deepest
where the snowy owl was

… by Yu Chang – Modern Haiku Vol. XXVIII: 1

February 13, 2009

Valentine flamingos return to the Stockade [updated]

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 7:27 pm

.. they’re back: Lawrence’s Valentine Flamingos, 2009  ..

As we reported in detail this time last year in “Lawrence and the Flamingos – a Stockade Valentine mystery,” a flock of pink flamingos (genus “phoenicopteris ruber plasticus ) has been returning each Valentine’s Day to the traffic circle home of Lawrence the Indian, at the intersection of Front, Ferry and Green Streets, in Schenectady’s Stockade neighborhood.  The f/k/a Gang planned to be up at sunrise on Saturday, February 14th, to see whether our Valentine Flamingo miracle would continue in 2009, and to snap some pictures, if it did.

To our surprise, while strolling the neighborhood at sunset tonight, February 13, the “flamboyance” of fourteen flamingos had already landed at the feet of Lawrence.  We don’t know if the blustery winds blowing the past two days across the Northeast accounts for their premature arrival, but Valentine romantics will have even more time to enjoy this Stockade Valentine tradition.

.. . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

.. sunset, Feb. 13, 2009, photos by D.A. Giacalone ..

.. ..

The light wasn’t great for this amateur photographer to capture the event this evening, but the photos above surely hint at the joy the big pink birds bring to Valentine lovers and Stockade residents each year (thanks to two flamingo shepherds who want to remain anonymous).  We promise to take more photos tomorrow in full daylight and add them below, along with a flock of flamingo haiku and senryu. [follow-up: the tradition continues; see suns along the Mohawk, Flamingo Visitation 2011.]

To whet your appetite, here are two haiku written specifically for this year’s Stockade Flamingo event by Roberta Beary, our lawyer friend and much-honored haiku poet:

peeking out
of his daughter’s blouse
flamingo tattoo

sober now
dad uprights
the flamingo

… by Roberta Beary for f/k/a‘s Flamingo Flamboyance 2009

[Click to read the Schenectady Gazette‘s coverage of the 2008 arrival of the flamingos.]

Valentine stroll
neither lover mentions
the pink flamingos

…………. by dagosan

first warm day
she plants
the pink flamingo

.. by ed markowski – Modern Haiku (2008)

. . . . continued (Saturday morning, February 14, 2009):

.. ..

two pink flamingos
& a waitress named Sally…
summer begins

… by ed markowski

.. ..

frost on
the flamingo’s beak –
Valentine breakfast alone

… by dagosan

Snapping photos with near-frozen fingers around 8 AM this morning, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of Valentine empathy for poor old Lawrence, standing there like a prop among the flamboyantly romantic flamingos, and gazing longingly again today at the lovely clientele of Arthur’s Market.  You may recall that our Lawrence statue was originally a carving done by wood carver Samuel Anderson Robb, about 1860, for cigar-store-Indian vendor William Demuth.  In DeMuth’s 1872 catalog, Lawrence is listed as “No. 53 Indian Chief.”  Like the shy and proud Kaw-Lija (lyrics) Lawrence “never got a kiss.”  As Hank Williams sung in 1952:

Kaw-Lija, was a lonely Indian never went nowhere
His heart was set on the Indian maiden with the coal black hair
Kaw-Lija-A, just stood there and never let it show
So she could never answer “YES” or “NO”.

Click for a YouTube clip of  “Kaw-Lija” (performed by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, Jr. at the Grand Olde Opry).  Please, don’t be an “ol’ wooden head” like Kaw-Lija and Lawrence — take a risk and let her know you care.  Maybe next Valentine will be a little less lonely, and you’ll be viewing the Stockade Flamingos hand-in-hand.

signs of summer
on the pink flamingo
an empty beer can

.. by ed markowski

visit home
the pink flamingo’s
cracked wing

………… by Roberta Beary

parting her pink robe

…………… by Yu Chang, from A New Resonance (1999)

— hurry: you’ve only got ’til sunset to catch the Valentine flamingos —

pink envelope
Valentine hugs and kisses
from Mom

……. by dagosan

update (Feb. 15, 2009):  The Sunday Albany Times Union has an entertaining article about the Valentine Flamingos.  See “Pink flamingos back in Stockade.”  Reporter Paul Grondahl says:

“Nobody has claimed credit for spawning this quirky urban mystery. Of course, nobody’s trying too hard to crack the case and spoil the suspension of disbelief.

“The sheer audacity and cockeyed romanticism of this random act of oddity inspired the first sing-along in front of the flamingos.”

No one told the f/k/a Gang to show up to participate or snap a few shots. Nevertheless, you can click to see a YouTube Stockade 2009 Valentine video, with photos by Mabel Leon and Beverly Elander (produced by Jennifer Wells).  Due to a technical malfunction, you won’t hear zany Stockadians singing Rogers & Hart’s “My Funny Valentine,” but will have to settle for a performance by Carly Simon and Frank Sinatra.

Another long-legged-avian Valentine tradition: The Heron’s Nest Readers’ Choice Awards (f/k/a Valentine Awards):  Managing Editor John Stevenson announced this morning (Feb. 14, 2009) the winners of the Ninth Annual Readers’ Choice Awards, for the best haiku in The Heron’s Nest of 2008 (Vol. X, which is also available in a paper edition).  Congratulations to all the winners.

Poem of the Year: Fay Aoyagi had the Poem of the Year, which can be seen here.  Runners-up honors for best poem went to Burnell Lippy, Christopher Herold, and Harriot West.

Grand Prize, Poet of the Year, went to Burnell Lippy for his consistently fine haiku. Runners-up honors went to Carolyn Hall, Christopher Herold and Gary Hotham.    Carolyn and Gary are, of course, f/k/a Honored Guest poets.  Carolyn is a perennial winner of haijin awards, and Gary seems to be more active again writing his much-admired poetry for leading haiku journals.   For a little Valentine reflection, here are a pair by each of them from The Heron’s Nest Vol. X:

enough sunrise —
a small window
in an old hotel

playground swings —
a strong wind replaces
the children

…. by Gary HothamThe Heron’s Nest X (2008)

an eagle sighting —
the frailty
in my father’s hug

needles of rain
the talk show guest
addresses my problem

…. by Carolyn HallThe Heron’s Nest X (2008)

.. ..

February 12, 2009

celebrating Lincoln and Darwin

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 12:43 pm

. . Abe Lincoln . . born February 12, 1809 . . Charles Darwin .

My plan to start spending a lot less time weblogging has run smack up against the intriguing coincidence of today’s joint birth bicentennial for Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.  Some commentators think it’s too much of a stretch trying to link the two great men based merely on their birth date.  As with the use of juxtaposition in good haiku, however, I’ve found the comparison — including contrasts, similarities, and differences —  to be an interesting and illuminating way to recall what each man has meant to their own times and to ours, and to look at both men in new ways.

There have been two recent books focusing on Darwin and Lincoln together, as unique human beings and towering historical figures:

If you’re too busy Twittering, actually working, or merely napping, to find and read either or both of them, I’d suggest making the time for two articles that do a good job with the task of comparing Lincoln and Darwin:

Who Was More Important: Lincoln or Darwin?” by Malcolm Jones (Newsweek, July 7, 2009)

Illustration: Bryan Christie Design; photos: Corbis … ..

.. “How Lincoln and Darwin Shaped the Modern World” by Adam Gopnik (Smithsonian Magazine, February 2009; illustration by Joe Ciardiello)

Also see the first 16 minutes of Gopnik on Charlie Rose (Feb. 4, 2009; the remainder of the interview is an Appreciation of John Updike)

Lincoln and Darwin are both known for ideas (emancipation and evolution, respectively) that threatened powerful vested interests and deep-held beliefs.  The books and articles mentioned above describe the importance of their theories — and the importance of the personal characteristics and social environment of each man in shaping their life’s work.   I’m going to focus here on another important similarity.  As Adam Gopnik says:

Darwin and Lincoln helped remake our language and forge a new kind of rhetoric that we still respond to in politics and popular science alike. They particularized in everything, and their general vision rises from the details and the nuance, their big ideas from small sightings. They shared logic as a form of eloquence, argument as a style of virtue, close reasoning as a form of uplift. Each, using a kind of technical language—the fine, detailed language of naturalist science for Darwin; the tedious language of legal reasoning for the American—arrived at a new ideal of liberal speech.”

In Newsweek, Malcolm Jones wrote:

“Lincoln united the North behind him with an eloquence so timeless that his words remain fresh no matter how many times you read them. Darwin wrote one of the few scientific treatises, maybe the only one, worth reading as a work of literature. Both of them demand to be read in the original, not in paraphrase, because both men are so much in their prose. To read them is to know these elusive figures a little better. Given their influence on our lives, these are men you want to know.”

” . . . The quality of Darwin’s mind is in evidence everywhere in this book, but so is his character—generous, open-minded and always respectful of those who he knew would disagree with him, as you might expect of a man who was, after all, married to a creationist.”

“. . . Lincoln, no less than Mark Twain, forged what we think of today as the American style: forthright, rhythmic, muscular, beautiful but never pretty. As Douglas L. Wilson observes in “Lincoln’s Sword,” his brilliant analysis of the president’s writing, Lincoln was political, not literary, but he was, every bit as much as Melville or Thoreau, “perfecting a prose that expressed a uniquely American way of apprehending and ordering experience.” What Lincoln says and how he says it are one. You cannot imagine the Gettysburg Address or the Second Inaugural in words other than those in which they are conveyed.

In addition to the notion of their “beautiful but never pretty” writing style, Jones also describes characteristics of the two men that remind me very much of some of my favorite haiku poets:

” . . . Like Darwin, Lincoln was a compulsive scribbler, forever jotting down phrases, notes and ideas on scraps of paper, then squirreling the notes away in a coat pocket, a desk drawer—or sometimes his hat—where they would collect until he found a use for them in a letter, a speech or a document. He was also a compulsive reviser.”

Putting yourself in your writing; valuing logic and clear prose; paying attention to details and being open to new ways of looking at the world; and advocating strongly-held beliefs even when some of your closest kith and kin disagree:  these are all characteristics worth emulating, as we think of two famous men who were born two hundred years ago today.

p.s. If you’re interested, we’ve written quite a few times on Lawyer Lincoln.

Our time is up for blogging today.  We’ll leave you with the next installment in our project presenting poems from past issues of Modern Haiku written by poets who later became members of our f/k/a Honored Guest family.

Here are three from Modern Haiku Vol. XXVIII: 1 (Winter-Spring 1997), written by our haiku friend Tom Clausen.  We’ll delve further into XXVIII:1 over the next few days.

freed from the cat–
baby meadow lark
all speckles

all the panes broken–
in and out of the mill
pigeons fly

garage door open
at the funeral home—
nothing there

… by Tom ClausenModern Haiku Vol. XXVIII: 1

February 11, 2009

cur-mudgeonly valentine

Filed under: Haiga or Haibun,Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 10:27 am

.. ..

Valentine’s Day –
a new sign says
“Thin Ice”

… by dagosan

.. Valentine’s Day has often brought out the curmudgeonly side of the f/k/a Gang.  [see, e.g., our posts “not really in a Valentine mood” and “off-peak romance“]   This year, JC Penney’s declaration of Doghouse Prevention Week has turned the secretly-romantic Prof. Yabut into a growling cur, rather than a lapdog.  Penney’s wants men to know that “No Bad Gift Will Go Unpunished,” and its Beware of the Doghouse website allows sweethearts to send their guy a warning or even list him as being In the Doghouse.  Naturally, in addition to graphic examples of what happens in the doghouse, there are many (expensive) suggestions on how to avoid or get out of Casa Canine.

We are not impressed.  Instead, we repeat our contention from 2005 that “Cherries in the Snow” author Emma Forrest makes a very good point:

“Love is so delicate, you can’t afford to risk it on fake holiday.” (AP/Nashua Telegraph,  “British author had no need for Valentine’s Day rubbish,” Feb. 20, 2005)

All quips aside about stimulus (or stimulated) packages, our economic crisis seems like a perfect opportunity for Valentine lovers (and even spouses) to let each other know it’s the thought not the price tag that counts.  Indeed, in today’s Schenectady Gazette article “Economy tops love this year: Retailers expect recession to cut into Valentine’s Day spending” (February 11, 2009), we learn that “Low-cost items this Valentine’s are expected to have greater sway over lovers on the prowl for gifts.”  For example, folks are buying half-pound boxes of candy rather than the larger heart-shaped offerings at Krause’s in Colonie. [Sharing fewer calories has many other advantages of course, in a nation where waistlines and bottoms keep expanding, even when the economy shrinks.]

The Gazette also reports that “The National Retail Federation said American adults are expected to spend an average of $102.50 on Valentine’s gifts and merchandise, compared with $122.98 a year earlier.”  In addition,

“BISWorld Research, a Los Angeles market research firm, earlier this month projected holiday card sales to rise over the year by 1.1 percent and candy sales to increase 0.9 percent. But holiday apparel, dining out and jewelry are forecast to take the biggest hits, declining 6.7 percent, 6.1 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.

More cards and fewer diamonds sounds like a good trend to us.   However, if you’re heading for the doghouse, we suggest you click to hear Hank Williams’ plaintive request that his good dog “Move It on Over” and let the bad dog squeeze in, too.

If you’d like to tell your beloved how you feel in more than one language, click here for “Valentine’s Day phrases in 8 languages.”

Now’s a great time to reprise Roberta Beary’s haibun from Modern Haiku (Vol. 39:1, Winter 2008):

What I Mean Is

everyone knows everything old people know only the good die young and kids know parents don’t know it all and teachers know students wait until the day before the project is due and you and i both know that love doesn’t conquer anything in fact it doesn’t even come close

as if it mattered
i pocket
a red leaf

………………………………… by Roberta Beary, Modern Haiku 39:1 (2008)

And a couple of senryu by Ed Markowski:

valentine’s day
we do nothing

valentine’s day
the sensous curves
of a snow drift

…………. by ed markowski

p.s. National Inventors’ Day (February 11): If the love of your life loves creativity and service to humanity, Prof. Yabut suggests you remind her (or him) that February 11th is both Thomas A. Edison’s birthday and National Inventors’ Day. (via Securing Innovation weblog, which has a familiarly-anonymous editor).  If you really want to impress her, bring her to the far-too-little-known Edison Exploratorium in downtown Schenectady.   The Exploratorium aims to “preserve, promote and celebrate the unique heritage of Edison and the pioneers who gave birth to the electric age here in ‘The Original Electric City’.”  You might get sent to the doghouse for giving her an electric iron, washing machine or microwave oven, but you’ll light up her eyes with exhibits filled with those and other items pioneered in Schenectady.

Can’t make it to Schenectady?  You can find dozens of YouTube clips from the Edison Exploratorium, including one featuring Charles P. Steinmetz, General Electric’s Chief Engineer and Scientist (1865 – 1923), who wanted to use inventions like the production and distribution of energy:

“to develop the most perfect civilization the world has ever seen.  The civilization not for a minority depending on the labor of masses of slaves or serfs but a real civilization of benefit to all the members of the human race.”

…. finally, our lonely-guy 2008 Valentine haiga (photo Mama G. 1951):

February 9, 2009

stein and hull and more white lies

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies — David Giacalone @ 8:54 pm

. . We didn’t “phone this one in,” but we woulda if we coulda.

frigid night
the radiator wakes me,
lulls me to sleep

… by dagosan

.. How would you have answered Jacob A. Stein’s headline question in his newest Legal Spectator column, “Did You Read the Latest Opinion of the Supreme Court?” (Washington Lawyer, February 2009).  The sage columnist lists 37 possible answers, but you should feel free to add 38.  Other ______________ .

To give you a taste, here’s a dozen replies offered by Stein. (The f/k/a Gang are leaning toward #17.)

1.  I read about it in Linda Greenhouse’s story in The New York Times.

4. I read the headnotes, or was it the syllabus?
5. I read about it in the newsletter we send to clients.

7. Let’s just say I flipped through it.
8. I liked that strong language in the dissent.

11. Is it filled with original intent?

17.  I usually take it to bed with me. It must be under the covers.
18. Congress will take care of it, just you wait and see.
19. Was it another punitive damages case, or was it the gun case?

30. Why don’t they televise the arguments?

36.  How much of these opinions do the clerks write?
37.  I am going into the hospital for some minor surgery, and I will read it there.

……. What about Dan Hull? Forget the disparaging remarks of Ron Baker, Kevin O’Keefe and Enrico Schaefer, what am I ever going to do about JD Hull.  Over at his What About Clients? weblog, Dan insists on saying really nice things about me — or, at least about someone named David Giacalone at f/k/a who bears little or no resemblance to your cranky Editor.  For recent examples, see here (“the blawgosphere’s spiritual leader David Giacalone . . . is the only sensitive guy we ever liked even a little bit”) and there (“spiritual leader and technical adviser in one person . . . Keep reading him”).  When I leave comments asking for retractions, Dan forgets to post them.  So, let’s get a few of things straight:

  • if you come here for either spiritual or technical advcse, you need a Plan B
  • we’re trying to keep a low profile these days, and our pundit necks are more likely to be in our shells than stuck out very far trying to make waves, pass judgments, or garner links
  • we’ve been unsuccessfully striving for haiku- and zen-like humility at f/k/a for almost six years;  Hull’s hallelujahs are not helping
  • we know Dan is not merely fishing for mutual compliments, ’cause he’s got one of the most-praised weblogs in the entire blawgiverse (see the left-SideBar on his WAC home page); so, we’re starting to get paranoid about hidden agendas and anxious about living up to Dan’s high expectations.  Humbled and honored.  But, mostly humbled.

Despite the above lapse in judgment, Dan seems to be on the mark with his list of “The Big Six must-reading lawyer sites” for quickly and efficiently getting “all the news–and new ideas” from lawyer weblogs.  He also does a very good job there limning the legal profession’s young Slackoiesie.

spring thunder
dust from a slap
on the horse’s rump

… by w.f. owen – white lies: RMA 2008
orig pub. Mainichi Daily News #706

Fibs and White Lies:  Dan Hull’s praise quite naturally reminds us to continue to bring you selections from “white lies: Red Moon Anthology 2008” (by Jim Kacian and the Red Moon Press Editorial Staff, January 2009; see our prior post).  “white lies” contains some of the very best haiku-related poetry published in 2008, and our Honored Guest poets are, as always, well-represented.

checkout line
my dad
could talk to anyone

writers’ conference–
from a toilet stall I hear
someone quoting me

……….. by John Stevensonwhite lies: RMA 2008
“checkout line” – Upstate Dim Sum 2008/I
“writers’ conference” – Modern Haiku 39:1

a cushion of pine needles
I recall my past
as pleasant

…. by George Swede – white lies: RMA 2008
orig. pub. Acorn 21

between flights
I summarize my life
for a stranger

…. by Hilary Tann – white lies: RMA 2008
orig. pub. Upstate Dim Sum 2008/II

February 8, 2009

re-prize: Modern Haiku (Summer 1996)

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 9:56 am

Modern Haiku XXVII:2 (Summer 1996) was published long before HaikuEsq had read his first real haiku poetry.  As we said last month, he’s going through back issues to find haiku and senryu written by poets who later became members of our f/k/a Honored Guest family.

The following haiku (plus one senryu) were originally published in the Summer 1996 issue of Modern Haiku.  Except for the first one by Jim Kacian, this is the first appearance of each poem at f/k/a . . . . .

first autumn wind
not feeling the knife
slice my finger

..…. by Jim KacianModern Haiku XXVII:2

snow that was part
of the wind

the work gloves off–
wind slips by
my fingers

rain softens
the paper bag–
softer air

she lifts her hands–
water splashes back
on water

window light in the mirror–
a gray hair
among the gray hairs

…. by Gary HothamModern Haiku XXVII:2




… by David LanoueModern Haiku XXVII:2
[follow the adventures of David’s ferret in his novel Haiku Wars; see our post]

Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’
drove right past
the rest area

spring . . .
‘HAIKU 1’ parked
down by the pond

…. by Lee Gurga – Modern Haiku XXVII:2

in Mohawk’s shallows
–prawn on my toes

the train tracks are silent
all night  long

…. by Yu ChangModern Haiku XXVII:2

and magnifying glass
a coin with his birthdate

old slippers
the comfort
coming apart

calling in sick
her own cheerful-sounding
recorded voice

… by John StevensonModern Haiku XXVII:2


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