Haiku for Adulthood: Year in Review

San Francisco street poetry. Photo by daniel flohr

In the grand tradition of “stealing shit from friends that they kind of stole from me anyway,” Lauren and Erica both wrote haiku for the year 2010. And they’re great and you should go read them, after you read mine, of course. I figured churning out 12 haiku would be easy, considering the hundred or so others I’ve written in the last few months, and quickly sketched an outline of my life this past year. It went something like:

January: unemployed (still), broke

February: My dad is diagnosed with lung cancer.

April: the slow disintegration of my relationship

September/October: Every girl (except one) I sleep with has a boyfriend/is straight.

And so on and so forth.

Once I had the outline, I proceeded to write the most depressing haiku in existence!  It never occurred to me just how tumultuous this year was until I tried to squash it into seventeen syllables. After about the eighth cancer haiku, I realized I should write about that experience in long-form, aka actual sentences. (I did! And it was damn cathartic. So, expect that post in the next day or so.) Anyway, here’s some haiku to bum you out in the last few hours of 2010 or early hours of 2011:

January
Unemployed 3 months.
The only writing I can do
involves Craigslist.

February
“He’s not going to
make it,” my Aunt says. Doc
confirms, “A few days, tops.”

I tell all my secrets
to his unconscious body.
The nurse chides me.

I snap at her, and
continue my confession.
He must hear my pleas.

The tube in his throat
prevents him from talking but
not smiling, at least.

The bathroom floods
and I realize just how lost
I am without him.

I clean my room
to have something to do.
The past brings little solace.

My grief is vulgar.
I want to smash every
ashtray in the house.

The first thing he says
when the tube comes out is, “I
sound like Barry White.”

Then he hit on the
nurse. Like father like daughter.
He will live, I know.

March
Back in SF, I
get a job at Mother Jones!
Grief becomes panic.

April
Work panic subsides.
She grows distant. I’ve no
stomach to confront it.

May
I can’t stop crying -
at all she will not say and
all I cannot ask.

June
We sleep in the same
bed still. She, in clothes, and I
stubbornly naked.

I think in absolutes:
The last time we’ll drink cocoa,
hold hands, make waves.

She still kisses me,
but never on the lips. It
would betray too much.

July
I’ve no memory
of July. Just the dull ache
of repetition.

August
I write, not to record
my life, but to make it
seem tolerable.

September
Published in print! I
am so happy and sooooo drunk.
Here’s 50 haiku!

My heart is gay, but
my vagina is less
discriminatory.

October
I am reborn. I love
with abandon. Despite
my better judgment.

My love life can be
summed up in six words: “Yes,
but I like men better.”

November
She seduces me
with poetry, a life that
will never be ours.

She has a man, a
house, stability. And I
have Facebook comments.

They tell me that this
love is wrong, but I’d rather
be wrong than sorry.

December
Her promises fall
like leaves. I try to hate her,
but can’t. I still try.

I weep, not out of
loneliness, but for my heart’s
infinite grandeur.

New Year’s Resolutions:
To feel as confident
as I seem. Hot abs.

7 Comments to Haiku for Adulthood: Year in Review

  1. I really like your haiku. Hot abs is a good resolution.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. Lauren says:

    You are so awesome.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  3. Janie says:

    bummed out :(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Shana Rose says:

    Uplifted <3

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. Janie says:

    “Yes, but I like men better.”
    Darn it….I figured that was probably true. :,-(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  6. erica says:

    the conclusion of the february series is wonderful.
    as is “and I have Facebook comments.”
    so glad all this shameless stealing is going on!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. anna says:

    Thanks, Erica! Me too. Long live friend theft.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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