Monday, December 31, 2018

First December 31st Haiku

It’s cleaning day, can’t
hear a thing but vacuum
cleaner howl.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

Named this “First December 31st Haiku”. Surely there’s going to be something more important today than meditating on an obnoxious vacuum cleaner. It’s a bagless one from AEG, which works fine except for the you know what. On that note: Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Spinning Man (2018)

A "thriller" that leaves you hanging rather than spinning, wondering what might have happened between the various gaps in storytelling ... some weird psychological / philosophical game between cop (Pierce Brosnan, has done better) and suspect (Guy Pearce, meandering between lost and nasty and utterly unconvincing as a professor his young students are supposed to lust after) ... all about the truth we somehow never get to know in a satisfactory manner in this time waster.
Refers to Spinning Man (2018), directed by Simon Kaijser and starring Pierce Brosnan, Guy Pearce and Minnie Driver. 

The Instagram pout haiku

Brought to her knees by
her own beauty and that pout
as she shoots herself

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

View Instagram for zillions of examples.

Monday, December 3, 2018

What the horoscope said

Realize that you will never get any further than the rut you're in until you take a deep breath, aim high, and shoot for your dreams.
DNGOMOM - did not grow on my own manure. Sweet note from the daily horoscope for capricorn. I love the aiming & shooting part. Is the deep breath really necessary, though?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The honest dog haiku

Never liked ‘em much – 
their barking, their shitting, their 
police behavior.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

A poem inspired by crass reality.
Every morning there are a few new piles on the sidewalk for you to step in.
One beast is an incessant shrill yelper his owners love to inflict on everyone in the neighborhood by putting him on the balcony for hours.
And then there are the public parks that have basically become dog parks where the curs run at you barking and snarling from every direction and where their owners, if they can be bothered, assure you sweetly that they’re puppies (how’s that for a hundred pounds of aggressive snarl sprinting towards you?) who are just playing.
And last but not least there are those owners who think it's a great idea to take the poor creatures for walks in shopping malls, where they can either be frightened to be stepped on or bark at other dogs they meet.
It’s a dog’s life!

Monday, November 12, 2018

A rhyming haiku

Take time; this is it – 
flowers will wilt, blossoms will 
drop, and you will sit.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

Thinking about my recent literary productivity (approaching zero), I thought: “Time for another haiku at least!” And this is it.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Con Is On (2018)

“An unfunny comedy about assorted murderous, scamming, drug and booze consuming sleazoids; it may work if you consider it to be a far-fetched satire on the scummy oligarchs that are currently in charge of some major countries.”
Refers to the 2018 movie The Con Is On, directed by James Oakley and starring Uma Thurman, Tim Roth, Alice Eve, Sofía Vergara and Maggie Q. Anyone can safely skip this one without missing anything worthwhile.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Knock Knock (2015)

An exploitative piece of Hollywood trash that doesn't even deserve fast forwarding.
One-line review of  Knock Knock (2015), directed by Eli Roth and starring Keanu Reeves (definitely one of the lows of his acting career).

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The punishment haiku

I’m being punished
by having to watch ads for
not wanting to pay

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

Whenever I want to play a silly game of solitaire in Windows 10, I get to see a bunch of silly ads for other silly games from Microsoft. Years ago, solitaire was a freebie Microsoft threw in with earlier Windows versions. Everything, including the most insipid stuff, is becoming increasingly monetized in this brave new world. And I mean brave in Aldous Huxley’s sense.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The about H. haiku

Takes pictures of his
girlfriend wherever they go – 
strictly analog.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

The truth and strictly the truth about H. Only the initial was changed to avoid any risk of identification. Follows the William Carlos Williams rule of “no ideas but in things”. But are there any ideas? 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The trap haiku

The greatest trap in
haiku is to milk trite stuff
for trite symbolism.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

See thousands of haiku for examples. But is it bad to derive trite symbolisms from trite stuff? That is the question! Millions of flies might disagree.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Oh sweet lord

Dear mom, as you go on to complain,
there's a delicious food on my brain

If I could have that apple crumble
I swear I'd instantly cease to mumble!

Contrary to present dismay,
this would result in a very happy day

– Felix Morgenstern (© 2018)

For the longest time, this was an orphaned draft consisting of these words: "She was drawn to the apple crumble and could not resist. Having eaten it, though, left her" and had the draft title "Diet problems." As you can see, it was drastically rewritten and now ends on a happy note.

The endless summer haiku

Oysters and summer balm
night and drunk
tequila on love

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

A permutation of somebody else’s haiku using the same words. Seemed a bit too obvious, so I moved things around. Feel free to try and reconstruct the original!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Tom and Jerry haiku

You take the cats out
with you and shut the door. That’s
it for a long while.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

The first two lines are pretty much stolen from someone else's 14-line poem that started this way. The remaining 12 lines were full of details I didn’t quite feel like bothering with, imagining that the most exciting event had been described (that of letting the cats out), so I kind of skimmed through the rest (back asleep, rain forecast, sugar the strawberries, canceled, drift back beneath, to list a few) and then decided to name the unnamed cats Tom and Jerry to pep the whole thing up. How’s that for genesis?

Monday, June 4, 2018

The before kissing haiku

Already thinking how
her decidedly long nose
might get in the way

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

Pure fiction inspired by a photo portrait I came across about 12 seconds before I wrote this. And why is decidedly so hard to type without typos?

Friday, May 25, 2018

The poised haiku

It is sovereign
in weight distribution, bright
ease and breeziness

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

Most haiku (at least the ones that come to my eyes) are pretentious – in insinuating they have to offer something worthwhile – as well as flat sprat on their face in attempting to create a moment of instant recognition – that special haiku specialty – that usually is neither instant nor recognition. So, once again, I decided to add to the mass with a haiku that is definitely pretentious as well as completely devoid of any instant recognition.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Edward Dorn on the need for poetry

I have no illusions whatsoever about people at large being in need of poets or their work.

Edward Dorn in Statement for the Paterson Society (Edward Dorn, Views, Four Seasons Foundation, San Francisco, 1980)

Not having read much lately - due to lack of time and motivation -, I picked a book from the shelf next to me yesterday, which happened to be the one shown above, opened it and came across this devastating* statement on the need for poets and their work. Actually, I must admit to have been thinking along the same lines. According to Marx, man's basic needs (such as food, clothing, etc.) must be fulfilled before there can be any artistic impulse. Not sure it's as simple as that. I am surrounded by thousands of people - and that's just the area I live in - whose basic needs are definitely covered or more than covered, but whose artistic impulse continues to remain remarkably underdeveloped. It's hard to picture them enjoying anything but pizza, soccer, car races, their cell phones and occasional sex. In fact, they appear to be perfect implementations of Marx's materialist view of man.

*Devastating for poets and their self-esteem.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The quote haiku

Can quote Dylan. Can
quote Cohen. Can quote Springsteen.
Cannot quote myself.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

It’s true – I can quote from an infinite number of songs by the people named above, plus a zillion others, like Joni Mitchell, Richard Thompson, Neil Young, Gianna Nannini, Gianmaria Testa, Labordeta, Chavela Vargas, Amparo Ochoa, Soledad Bravo, Ralph McTell, Cyndi Lauper, etc., but I cannot quote from any of the poems I’ve written, even though they must number in the thousands by now. Well, except from one of my first ones, written in German when I was around ten, about some flower I claimed to have found deep in the forest.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The I can’t sleep haiku

Dije, dijiste,
dijo, dijimos, dijisteis,
dijeron, and snore.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

Woke up at five in the morning for unknown reasons and had a hard time going back to sleep. So I came up with the innovative solution to conjugate irregular Spanish verbs. It worked. And I even remembered ...

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

It is that sound haiku

With my back to the 
window I sense – I know – that
it’s raining again.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

There is no other sound quite like rain coming down. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards knew it:
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground
As Tears Go By (The Rolling Stones) 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The more than this haiku

More than this there’s
nothing – Roxy Music – more
of this – make my day

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

The truth and nothing but. This song by Roxy Music played at the bar while I was having today’s second coffee. The bartender started singing it as soon as he’d heard the first chords. Whenever I hear this, I’m reminded of Bill Murray’s unforgettable karaoke version in Lost in Translation.

Monday, February 19, 2018

A lull haiku

Slow morning, just had
toast and coffee while watching
news on French TV.

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2018)

The plain and simple truth with some omissions for haiku conciseness. Nothing material was omitted. No people, animals or plants were harmed in the making of this haiku. How good a slow morning can be!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The who am I haiku

Who am I to stand and wonder, to wait
While the wheels of fate slowly grind my life away?
Who am I?
– Country Joe McDonald

Rediscovered stuff
I’d written and completely
forgotten. I am!

– Leonard Blumfeld (© 2017)

Looked at poems and stories – and the accompanying notes – I’d written in 2002 because I seem to be missing photos I’d taken that year, particularly in spring, so that a whole period of my life is undocumented, so to speak, except for the things I wrote and saved on the computer and what’s left in my memory. Oh well, even rediscovering oneself is some sort of evolution...