* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Do you, er... haiku?

8 July 2002
Jamie's turning Japanese...

Haikus are tricky,

Only seventeen words, so

You can't ever quite...

I know. Not the most original opening gambit. But I've been exploring the whole haiku thing, and it's got me gripped. Ever since Wendy Cope's works of bathetic genius ('The Cherry Blossom / In my neighbour's garden - Oh! / It looks really nice'), I've loved the way they sit on the page, complete, tiny, perfectly formed.

Delicate structure:

Every word needs its partner,


It's something to do with my love of conciseness. Or should that be concision? Plus the fact that they're so transferable; sonnets lend themselves to love, limericks are almost exclusively limited to humour, and of course anapaestic trimeter's pretty effective for the whole Byron heroic but repetitive thang. But haikus are great for everything, from descriptions of the magnificence of Mount Fuji to philosophical maxims to dirty humour. Although you don't tend to see so much of the latter:

Build up the tension:

What has two legs, pants and bleeds?

Punchline: Half a dog.

So maybe limericks have their place, on second thoughts. But you can muse on pretty much anything else:

Telesales: tragic.

A room of corpses, Hanging

On The Telephone.

Flirting with beauty;

Eyes flutter, heart beats quickly;

Walk off embarrassed.

There's just something about the final 5 syllables that has the potential to convey more than their fair share of emotion. And I love the blank spaces, a residual feeling from the hours spent poring over Mallarmé (oh, the misspent youth).

And of course, the best thing about haikus is that they take a lot less time to write than some Pope poem about raping locks. Of course, you compensate by saying the effort's more intense, but to be honest, it's all a piece of piss. So while we're on the subject, a brief haiku (nice tautology - cheers) on the subject of my weekend:

The music's torture;

Pulling, cutting, probing deep

Like piped icicles.

See you next week. I hope.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
13 October 2003. Jamie writes: The Persistence of Memory
22 September 2003. Jamie writes: The Email Eunuch
1 September 2003. Jamie writes: Credo
11 August 2003. Jamie writes: Brad and Jennifer and Me
21 July 2003. Jamie writes: Interruption
30 June 2003. Jamie writes: Do you remember the first time?
12 June 2003. Jamie writes: Forthcoming Attractions
19 May 2003. Jamie writes: Stupid Mistake
28 April 2003. Jamie writes: Hoping and Praying
7 April 2003. Jamie writes: Strangers on a Plane
17 March 2003. Jamie writes: Q&A
24 February 2003. Jamie writes: Altered States
3 February 2003. Jamie writes: How to say goodbye
13 January 2003. Jamie writes: In A League Of Their Own
23 December 2002. Jamie writes: What's in a name?
2 December 2002. Jamie writes: Lies, Damned Lies and Spastics
11 November 2002. Jamie writes: Memoirs of a Gaysian: A Preface
21 October 2002. Jamie writes: Love is blindness
30 September 2002. Jamie writes: Time for bed
9 September 2002. Jamie writes: Angry Exchanges Can Be Puzzling [10]
19 August 2002. Jamie writes: High Speed
29 July 2002. Jamie writes: Firkin Hell
8 July 2002. Jamie writes: Do you, er... haiku?
13 June 2002. Jamie writes: Unnatural Porn Thrillers
20 May 2002. Jamie writes: The Triumphant Return of the Septic Fiveskins
25 April 2002. Jamie writes: Meeting People is Easy
4 April 2002. Jamie writes: I Want I Want I Want
7 March 2002. Jamie writes: The Player of Games
11 February 2002. Jamie writes: Fat Man Walking
17 January 2002. Jamie writes: Passive/Aggressive
3 January 2002. Jamie writes: Love (classified)
29 November 2001. Jamie writes: A Lil' Nite Muzak
5 November 2001. Jamie writes: Natural born liar
11 October 2001. Jamie writes: All I need
17 September 2001. Jamie writes: Postcards From The Edge (of the pool)
23 August 2001. Jamie writes: Class act
30 July 2001. Jamie writes: Ritchie Neville is dead
5 July 2001. Jamie writes: A Letter from God
11 June 2001. Jamie writes: "If it's in French, it must be deep"
17 May 2001. Jamie writes: Reportage
23 April 2001. Jamie writes: Show me the Logos
29 March 2001. Jamie writes: Sobering Thoughts
8 March 2001. Jamie writes: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid
8 February 2001. Jamie writes: Spent
15 January 2001. Jamie writes: Full to the brim
21 December 2000. Jamie writes: fuck xmas
27 November 2000. Jamie writes: Eye Candy
2 November 2000. Jamie writes: World-wide-web?
9 October 2000. Jamie writes: Kids' stuff
14 September 2000. Jamie writes: Scatological Warfare
21 August 2000. Jamie writes: I can't stand up (for falling clowns)
10 July 2000. Jamie writes: The Etymology of Greatness

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