Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Autumn 2009, vol 7 no 3
 

Featured Poet: Bob Brill
Edited by Alan Pizzarelli

 

Bob BrillBob Brill is one of the new emerging voices in Senryu poetry. A retired computer programmer, Bob now devotes his energies to writing fiction, memoir and poetry.

"I've learned a lot during the last three years reading the works of other senryu poets and from my email conversations with you [Pizzarelli]. I've learned as much from what you have rejected as from what you have accepted, and also from the suggestions you have made for changes in my poems. Here is a senryu which describes my process."

 

I wait till something pops out
with luck it's a poem
sometimes I lay an egg

 

Brill’s senryu echo the qualities of his fiction and memoir prose style. Short-short-short stories written in the poetic form of senryu.

 

sister laughs, brother cries
when his ice cream cone
falls on the ground

 

brother laughs, sister cries
when he knocks her cone
out of her hand

 

Humorous little vignettes that convey the foibles and psychology of the human mind.

 

he placed his drink
on the roof of his car
filled the tank and drove away

 

may I offer you some wine?
(they’re never going to leave
and I need a drink)

 

Bob Brill has published fiction in Lunarosity, Bewildering Stories, Flashquake, M-Brane SF and other journals, as well as short memoir pieces in Flashquake. His poems have appeared in Simply Haiku, Prune Juice, 3lights Gallery and Aphelion. 

 

Senryu

 

they met at a haiku workshop
their romance
brief

 

boys giggle and point–
on a clothesline
wind-blown women’s underwear

 

man on a crowded street
hides his loneliness
with a broken cell phone

 

he smiles, she blushes–
with leashes entangled
her dog sniffs his dog

 

I love you she said
forever and forever
and he said ditto

 

the banker brings home work
from the office
keeps it under the mattress

 

behind the theater
Hamlet in doublet and tights
ear pressed to cell phone

 

shouting into his phone
he drives home his argument
with wild gestures

 

trying on a suit
before a mirror
he stops to squeeze a zit

 

while falling down the stairs
the drunken lawyer wonders
who can I sue?

 

he turns to look at
two girls in bikinis
and walks off the end of the dock

 

Bob Brill

Credits:
 "sister laughs, brother cries," "brother laughs, sister cries," “he placed his drink”, “they met at a haiku workshop”, “boys giggle and point”, “man on a crowded street”, “he smiles, she blushes”, “I love you she said”, “trying on a suit” and “behind the theater” first appeared in previous issues of Simply Haiku.

All poems copyright © 2009 by Bob Brill: by permission of the author. 

Photo courtesy, Bob Brill.