The Operating System

CoCo ONLINE :: 3rd ANNUAL HAIKU MONTH :: 17 syllables, 30 days, and YOU

Let the syllabic somersaults commence!
october returns
and so too, haiku: seek out
syllabic restraint

In the fall of of 2010, before I had ever heard of any official NaWriMo of the No(vel) or Po(etry) variety, I found myself somewhat estranged from the muse…it happens to us all.
A conversation with poet-friend Sarah Pinder led me to believe that within structure, freedom (and inspiration) would be found — and that inviting others to join in would help us all inspire and engage. [I do believe that this is the mating call of all things NaMo, no?]
Beginning October 1st, 2010, and with the only restriction use of the 5-7-5 limited palatte, I announced and began a month long collective project writing haikus every day (as well as some multi-stanza poems that riff on a repeat of the 5-7-5, 5-7-5 form), encouraging friends and colleagues across various social media platforms to come play with me.
I tweeted in haiku. I facebook statused in haiku….and so did you, and you, and YOU… And soon, groups of strangers had entire online conversations in haiku, as more and more people (including a many non poets, and my mom!) joined in… And I collected these collective efforts on my blog, on facebook, and offline, as others responded and began to do the same… and then we did it again last year, with an even bigger crew, so big that I never posted all of them and kept them in a document, to use for a *cough!* book project, which we’re now planning in earnest with the take from all three years. [Please see indiegogo campaign for “immediate financial needs of Exit Strata”…sigh…].
YOU ARE OFFICIALLY INVITED to play with us. Post haikus, on your facebook, on your twitter, on your blog, and, if you can, keep a record of them. We’ll be posting a weekly round up of community haikus here on the website, and (per the above) plan to publish a collected volume by the spring. If you post on facebook, PLEASE tag one of the editors or Exit Strata. You can also add your haikus to the public, collaborative document, or email them to us here, at
Here’s a sampling, from a dozen different community members, to whet your haiku-whistle:
Cider doughnuts,
hot cider and Old Granddad,
friends in sweatshirts.

Second floor walk up
tastes sweeter to me after
the stairs in my past.
My shape is held
by yellow dish gloves drying
on the counter.

Am I a lost soul
if I lick my wounds and like
the taste of my blood?
I don’t sprain ankles
walking around in hi-tops,

but I do smile more.

Summer buzzbands’
sad parade toward, “Oh shit—
I loved that song?”

No one is going
to save me from the problems
I don’t care about.
He dreams like crosswords:
all clues, answers, solutions.
I dream blank letters.
Snow-thunder morning
walk back home, wind in my face.
Let’s fucking migrate.
I hold Fall guilty
by association now;
Winter corrupts him.
If not for hot soup,
old sweaters, and Jim Beam neat
I’d break winter’s heart.
Will Fresca ever
be as tasty in my mouth
as when in my head?


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