Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Spring 2009, vol 7 no 1
 

SENRYU
Edited by Alan Pizzarelli

 

 

 

the high diver
takes off her cape
     in the stars.

Arizona Zipper

 

street carnival
repeating my mother’s name
for the psychic

Efren Estevez

 

            the bearded lady
      hangs her wash
against the wind

Alan Pizzarelli

 

tightrope walker
 even her smile
     balanced

Steve Dolphy

 

the beauty queen
consults her mirror
to select a smile

Keith A. Simmonds

 

300-pound guy
in drag
the eternal optimist

Michael McClintock

 

Weight lifter
slowly lifting
the tea cup

Garry Gay

 

the fire eater
praises the chef’s
burnt cutlet

Jörgen Johansson

 

thigh to thigh
the movie star
and her mastiff

Arizona Zipper

 

Sideshow —
the two-headed baby
turns out to be a calf.

Alexis Rotella

 

the rubberband man
stretches in-between
his sidewalk acts

Alan Pizzarelli

 

in the sideshow
the mummified mermaid
looks fishy

Cor van den Heuvel

 

crowded beach —
a tattoo’d momma in
a bikini I think

Carol Raisfeld

 

carried from the car
the ventriloquist’s dummy
looks around

Alan Pizzarelli

 

Company coming
Uri Geller unbends
the spoons

Carlos Colón

 

conjoined newborns
one given a soother
both stop crying

Garry Eaton

 

Still skeptical of the hypnotist,
     he walks away
           on all fours.

Alan Pizzarelli

   
the great clown
sweeps & sweeps the spotlight
into nothing

Anita Virgil

 

Credits:

Cover photograph: J.T. Doyle with fire, ca. 1902, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Graphic design by Donna Beaver.

“The high diver” from Fryeburg Fair, copyright © 1987 by Arizona Zipper; by permission of the author;

“In the sideshow” from Bottle Rockets, Vol. 10, Number 2, copyright © 2009 by Cor van den Heuvel; by permission of the author.

“Sideshow” from Looking for a Prince, White Peony Press, copyright © 1991 by Alexis Rotella; by permission of the author.

“the rubberband man” & “carried from the car” from The Flea Circus, islet books, copyright © 1989 by Alan Pizzarelli; by permission of the author.

Special Issue Note:

For continuity and theme, the following senryu are reprinted from the SH SENRYU archives: “tightrope walker” by Steve Dolphy, “300-pound guy” by Michael McClintock, “crowded beach” by Carol Raisfeld, “conjoined newborns” by Garry Eaton, “Company coming” by Carlos Colón, “Weight lifter” by Garry Gay, “street carnival” by Efren Estevez and “the great clown” by Anita Virgil.

 

  toy chest pic  
     
 

Toy Instructions:
< Click >
on the domino, the teapot, the little doll, the big doll,
and the marble.
Batteries not included.


 
domino teapot "Silent Witness" doll doll marble

he heard my brother died,
   and buried a toy soldier
      in his yard.

Nicholas A. Virgilio

 

Barbie
in her dream house 
with no back

Carol Raisfeld

 

Ken doll
his chiffon dress

Carlos Colón

 

robot dog—
the boy with the lisp yells,
sit!  

Carol Raisfeld

 

toy instructions
i come
unglued

Ed Markowski

 

high school stairwell
a Slinky from the third floor
to the principal

Carlos Colón

 

reaching for
the wind-up toy
it rides off the table

Alan Pizzarelli

 

around the world
and into the next
broken yo-yo string

Carlos Colón

 

Selling bride dolls,
the woman
with bruises.

Alexis Rotella

 

After falling down,
she asks for a bandaid
for her doll too

Garry Gay

 

the abused child
arranges her dolls
in a perfect row

Pamela A. Babusci

 

women’s shelter —
her daughter’s doll sleeps
with one eye open

Chad Robinson

 

low battery
the Chatty Cathy
sings bass

Carol Raisfeld

 

we play
peekaboo
through the windows
of your toy bus

Anita Virgil

 

Once this box
of toys
was my whole life.

Alexis Rotella

 

Unable to decide
  which balloon to pick
     she begins to cry.

Arizona Zipper

 

too soon
the little one's balloon
lost to the wide sky  

Anita Virgil

 

Credits:

Toy photographs copyright © 2009 by Jennifer V. Gurchinoff.  Layout and Design, Donna Beaver.

"Silent Witness Doll” photograph, National Park Service, currently on exhibit at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia. Background photograph, Knickerbocker parlor, Metropolitan Fair, New York City, ca. 1864, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Graphic design by Donna Beaver.

“he heard my brother died,” (previously unpublished) by Nicholas Virgilio, appears here for the first time; by permission of Tony Virgilio.

“Ken doll” from Nothing Inside, a Linked Poem by Alexis K. Rotella and Carlos Colón. Aylmer, Quebec: proof press, copyright © 1996 by Carlos Colón.

“Selling bride dolls” and “Once this box” from OUCH: Senryu That Bite, Modern English Tanka Press, copyright 2007 by Alexis Rotella; by permission of the author.

“After falling down” from Haiku World, William J. Higginson, editor, Kodansha, copyright © 1996 by Garry Gay; by permission of the author.

“reaching for” from The Flea Circus, islet books, copyright © 1989 by Alan Pizzarelli; by permission of the author.

“Unable to decide” from Fryeburg Fair, copyright © 1987 by Arizona Zipper; by permission of the author.

Special Issue Note:

For continuity and theme, the following senryu are reprinted from the SH SENRYU archives: “toy instructions” by Ed Markowski, “woman’s shelter” by Chad Robinson, “Unable to decide” by Arizona Zipper, “the abused child”, by Pamela A. Babusci and “we play” by Anita Virgil.