Friday, March 28, 2014

The haystack haiku

Today I have to
find three bent needles in a
PC file – achoo!

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

In my work as a coordinator of translations, I have to deal with the idiosyncracies and erratic behavior of a CAT software named Star Transit. Most likely three occurrences of an apostrophe in a text file caused Transit to stumble and fall today (it stumbles and falls a lot in general). These are the bent needles I have to find in the haystack. And I do have a highly developed allergy to such problems (which are a great waste of time and nothing else), hence the achoo.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The smartphone disability haiku

For S.

My love sends me lobe,
lisses and all gibbt – please help
me decipher that!

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Have you noticed how typing accuracy has gone down the drain with the advent of touch screen keypads? A great big cheer to the advances of technology!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The coherent world view haiku

I do hope that a
coherent world view steps out
of these counted words.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

When a well-known poet does not have a major poem to his name (such as, for example, T. S. Eliot would have The Waste Land or Ezra Pound would have the Cantos), literary criticism focuses on the merits of the so-called coherent world view, i.e. it is good for a poet to have one (and, by implication, bad if you don't have one). I remember some article about the poetry of James Schuyler, where the critic spoke of this. Alas, I don't remember what the critic's ultimate conclusion was. I only remember that I strongly disagreed with both major notions of the article: 1. That there are no James Schuyler poems of major importance (to me, many of his poems are by far more important than anything erudite, contrived and sterile T. S. Eliot ever wrote), and 2. That it is difficult to discern a coherent world view in the body of James Schuyler's poetry. (To which I would say that there is hardly anyone else to rival the rendering of 20th century human experience I see in Schuyler's poetry with more coherence.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Failed in all three

The three-gated word check applied to a poem as it is coming into existence

Is it true?

Is it necessary?
Probably not.

Is it kind?
Definitely not.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Written in response to a sufi saying encountered on the Internet:

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

At the first gate, ask yourself:
'Is it true?'

At the second gate, ask:
'Is it necessary?'

At the third gate, ask:
'Is it kind?'

This explains why sufis don't talk a lot and why there's a lot of poetry.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The conclusive haiku

You were about to fail
the practical part. But I
was sure you’d prevail.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

The other night I had a dream about a friend. In the dream, she was trying to get her driver's license, which was probably not going to be easy, considering she's over forty and has never driven a car before. She asked me whether she was going to pass. Somehow I knew she'd fail the practical part the first time around, but I also knew that she would eventually pass. Why did I know this? Because concealed in my right hand I held a small black lacquered box, and because of something inside that box I knew. Strange. But that's how dreams are.

Posted to Poets United.

Everything will work out

Don't lose heart and continue with your efforts - everything will work out.
Those were the soothing words the Astrocenter tarot reading had for me. After advising me that today might be kind of tough going...

Let's see what happens.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Have you ever noticed that some PINs – or number combinations in general – are much easier to remember than others?

The generator gave me 408311 today, which struck me as one of the ones you need to look at twice before you enter it.

On the other hand, there are some numbers that are so good they stay with you for ever and ever. Like my first Colorado license plate: MW 9552. Even though I can't explain exactly why I find this one easy to recall...

Anyway: have a good day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The imitation Picasso haiku

Some eyes like targets
somewhere, some nippled boobs,
a hoof, Mae West lips.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2014)

Inspired by a painting from a Berlin art show photo. Would love to reproduce it here for better understanding, but fairness forbids.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Watched Mani Ratnam's Roja from 1992 again after a long time. Enjoyed it immensely (despite its obvious flaws). Fabulous music by A. R. Rahman.