Wednesday, December 05, 2018

cinquain / American haiku / American Sonnet / hay(na)ku / hicucu

cinquain / American haiku / American Sonnet / hay(na)ku / hicucu 

cinquain circa 1910
Adelaide Crapsey
Another important component in Crapsey's work was her reliance on the methods of Japanese tanka and haiku. With her invention of the cinquain, Crapsey created an American form similar to these Japanese predecessors. The five unrhymed lines of the cinquain followed strict accentual-syllabic requirements. The lines consisted of two, four, six, eight, and two syllables, respectively. Crapsey strove for a kind of superposition of ideas similar to the "break," or sudden perception of truth typically found in Japanese haiku.  

I know
Not these my hands
And yet I think there was
A woman like me once had hands
Like these.

American haiku
Jack Kerouac
American Haikus
(Copyright 1959)

"The American Haiku is not exactly the Japanese
Haiku. The Japanese Haiku is strictly disciplined
to seventeen syllables but since the language
structure is different I don't think American
Haikus (short three-line poems intended to be
completely packed with Void of Whole) should worry
about syllables because American speech is
something again...bursting to pop.

Above all, a Haiku must be very simple and free
of all poetic trickery and make a little picture
and yet be as airy and graceful as a Vivaldi
Jack Kerouac  

The bottoms of my shoes
are clean
from walking in the rain.  

American Sonnet (1993)
Wanda Coleman (11.23.2008)
Since jazz is an open form with certain properties–progression, improvisation, mimicry, etc., I decided that likewise the jazz sonnet would be as open as possible, adhering only to the loosely followed dictate of number of lines. I decided on 14 to 16 and to not exceed that, but to go absolutely bonkers within that constraint. I also give the sonnets a jazzified rhythm structure, akin to platter patter and/or scat and tones like certain Beat writers such as Kerouac, Kaufman and Perkoff. I decided to have fun–to blow my soul.


— after Robert Duncan

my earliest dreams linger/wronged spirits
who will not rest/dusky crows astride
the sweetbriar seek to fly the
orchard's sky. is this the world i loved?
groves of perfect oranges and streets of stars
where the sad eyes of my youth
wander the atomic-age paradise


the blood of a stark and wounded puberty?
o what years ago? what rapture lost in white
heat of skin/walls that patina my heart's
despair? what fear disturbs my quiet
night's grazing? stampedes my soul?

o memory. i sweat the eternal weight of graves  

hay(na)ku 2003
Eileen Tabios (& Vince Gotera)
Appropriating the "haiku" name has all sorts of prosodic and postcolonial problems (by which I mean the WWII "colonizing" of the Philippines by Japan, among other things). Am I being overly serious here? When you say Kerouac refers to "American haiku" not having more than three words per line, I think he might have been reacting to Allen Ginsberg's "American sentence" which has 17 syllables per line. I guess my concern about calling it a "Pinoy haiku" is that readers could say “Hey, Pinoys can't even get the haiku right!" They won't always have the Kerouac quote to guide them. Besides, why must we always be doing things in reaction to the term "American"? An interesting parallel poetic-form-naming might be Baraka's "low coup" form (the diametrical opposite of "high coup" / haiku). Maybe the Pinoy version could be the "hay (na)ku"? --Vince Gotera

can't reach
for a glass  

hicucu (2014)
jim leftwich
hey buddy
hop hop hop
A Hicucu has three lines. Each line has three syllables.
Each syllable has an unspecified number of mutagens, or
Hicucu, ancient Gaia sex-monster teeth-dance-ritual
celebration of springdeath wherein we eat our shadows
and drink their bloodless blood. Low Theory meets
Frenetic Romanticism in an alley behind the shuttered
churchbrothel. Anything goes, but not much of it,
within very tight constraints. This/It is A Post-Asemic
poetics of Pagan Anarchism. It is Less Than Useless,
No Doubt destined for the Trashpo Bins of History (don't
fuck with history).
jim leftwich

hicucu =
haiku (American, 21st century) plus

Sumer is Icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!  
English, circa 1260