Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

martes, setiembre 02, 2014

The Haiku Road

I know how it began. In high school someone showed me haikus by Basho. They were unbelievably profound. So some classmates and I tried writing them.  Eventually, the novelty wore off. We stopped.  Fast forward to the New York Times Haiku contest in 2014. I forgot to enter it.  But in April, fed up with pictures of cats, brunch and boobs, I decided that Facebook was best used for photos of the sky and haikus.  I don’t know exactly how this idea arose. Maybe Twitter was better because then the little poems would disappear in an ocean of words, never to be seen again. Oh well.  After a while, I lost count of how many I had posted, so I put a number on each one, like a upc on an organic tomato.

I continue. Today I posted number 471.

Why do I continue? A great question that deserves a legitimate answer. Unfortunately, I don’t have one.  Maybe it’s a sign of my obsession.  Maybe it’s because there is no logical stopping point. Maybe I’m deriving some special benefit from these.  Maybe it’s simple. I enjoy it. And I was right, Facebook is a great place for collecting Haiku. And it’s contagious: some of the comments have themselves been haiku.  That’s wonderful.

Is there some benefit from this? I hope so. I was stuck on the manuscript for a novella. I haven’t worked on it for a few months.  But I notice that all of the haiku are gently loosening up whatever obstructions there are in the manuscript. We’ll see whether I go back to it, or whether it becomes one of those projects that just gets abandoned.

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jueves, agosto 07, 2014

Dearly Beloveds

Your Bloguero notes that it's been 3 long months since he tickled the ivories at The Dream Antilles.

That calls for an update. Here it is now.

Your Bloguero is busy writing haikus. He is posting them regularly on Facebook. He has posted more than 400 of them. You can see what he's writing if you click the link.

Why haiku? As John Lennon wrote, funny you should arsk. Haiku because most of what your Bloguero sees on the Internet is so dehumanizing. And ironic. Cat videos, photos of brunch, selfies, political screeds, verbal barking. Ooof. All this when Social Media are so perfect for evanescent poetry. Like Haiku. Of which there is not a ton. Your Bloguero cannot imagine an Internet inundated with poetry.

Your Bloguero laments that he is no Basho. He regrets that he will never write a haiku as perfect as this:

Blossoms on the pear

a woman in the moonlight

reads a letter there.

It is perfect, isn't it.

But he will try again and again to write a good one. If practice truly makes perfect, a proposition about which your Bloguero nurtures significant doubt, your Bloguero is practicing. And trying.

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miércoles, mayo 07, 2014

Not Good Bye Cruel World

Maybe there are Bloggers who announce that they have come to the end and are retiring from posting, that the Blog is over. Maybe they write a last post summing everything up and saying farewell, but that seems rare. It seems that most just run out of steam, post more and more infrequently, and one day the post is their last. Most often, it probably doesn’t seem that a final post is one, when it goes up; it’s just that it turns into one. Something lets the air out of the tires. The battery dies. Things fall apart. The blog becomes a corpse. The blogger walks away.

There are by now probably millions of corpse blogs. Some might have a single brave entry announcing what is expected to come next, but didn’t. Others have thousands of entries, series of essays about various topics. The posting stops. The end. Corpse blogs are like ship wrecks on the bottom of the ocean: you can find them if you search, but nobody works on them any more. They’re visited only infrequently and then only by divers who like wrecks.

Is this blog about to join the under sea wreckage? Your Bloguero fears it’s so. He didn’t post for two months and didn’t miss it. He didn’t feel compelled to announce any of his opinions to his readership. What a surprise. Instead, he wrote many haikus and posted them on Facebook. That is fun. It will continue. But writing a blog post? Your Bloguero cannot give assurances. Sad. He wishes he could.

Your Bloguero notices a potential pattern here. In the old days, he wrote a listserv denouncing the death penalty. There was no last post. Eventually the listserv had no new original content written expressly for it, and was used only to transmit links your Bloguero’s blog posts on the topic on this blog. Then there was nothing. The last post there was in September, 2011. Your Bloguero posted frequently from March, 2002 until June, 2006, and only sporadically thereafter. Then he just stopped. It wasn’t because he stopped fighting state killing. No. It was something else.

This blog, The Dream Antilles, began in August, 2005 and has now had 1460 posts. But it’s been silent for 2 months. Your Bloguero hopes this isn’t the last post. But he can’t say it won’t be. Just in case, thanks for reading The Dream Antilles. Thanks for your comments. And thanks for being there.

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domingo, mayo 04, 2014

Where Has El Bloguero Gone?

Oh my. Your Bloguero has let this blog fall silent.

Where has he gone? Nowhere really. Just doing an almost daily Haiku at Facebook. You can join him there.

lunes, marzo 03, 2014

Thinking About Eugene V Debs


sábado, febrero 15, 2014

A Poor Workman Always Blames His Tools

Your Bloguero is amazed. US speed skaters claim that their performances have been hindered by an Under Armor racing suit jointly engineered by UA and Lockheed Martin.They say it's slowing them down. Right. They're one whole second or more per lap slower than the winners because of a suit engineered to save them a few thousandths of a second per lap. Instead of placing first and winning the expected gold medals,they're coming in 33rd or so. And now they're reverting to old suits, also made by Under Armor. They have confidence in those. Why? Because they won events wearing them at the world championships. Can anyone here spell "neurosis?" Or "superstition?"

As a former (and not very talented) runner, your Bloguero can tell you that the Buddha was right when he talked about timed events (life being the longest one, speed skating being of much shorter duration and significance). He taught this Gatha: "From interdependent causes all things arise and fade away." Here the focus isn't on the fading, impermanence end of the equation, the one your Bloguero consistently notes. It's the interdependent causes. The racing suit is easy to isolate and complain about. Heaven help anybody who focuses instead on the multitude of other interdependent causes, like mental toughness, "athleticism", competitiveness, training, coaching, diet, weather, distractions, and, please do not forget the sports writers' favorite, the intangibles.

Meanwhile, your Bloguero notes that his third novel is creeping along far too slowly to be satisfactory. He wonders today whether the lack of swift production might be because he's been wearing an Under Armor sweatshirt. Tomorrow he has a plan. When writing time arrives, he'll resurrect his old, tattered, ripped African Nations Football t-shirt and see how much his performance is enhanced. Your Bloguero does not have confidence that will change very much.

In the interim, he'll remember that old poor workman's saw.

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miércoles, febrero 12, 2014


Your Bloguero just got the text message from CodeRed. It warns of yet another winter storm, more than a foot of snow, extreme cold, and yadda yadda. This idea arrived embedded in the text: maybe this is the last big winter storm for this season? And maybe the next thing is crocuses.

Here's hoping.

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