f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

May 31, 2005

objection, there’s no juxtaposition

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:57 pm

A primary reason that I’ve always thought haiku is such a good fit for lawyers is:

rules: not only are there lots of rules, but they are in dispute,

constantly evolving, often misapplied, and frequently defended

or attacked beyond all reason.

Thus, beyond the literary and aesthetic pleasures of haiku, lawyers can have fun

judging and arguing about which verses are “real” haiku, and which are merely


Because I know busy lawyers might not read lengthy essays on the definition

and writing of haiku I thought I would post a rather quick and painless guide

is it or ain’t it haiku?, which also has links to other sources.  Its first version

appeared in January, 2005, as a Comment at Villainous Companions.    It is

part of my compaign to rid cyberspace and society of “pseudo-haiku” that is being

called haiku merely because it is written in verse form, with 5–7–5 syllable lines. 

  • I admit that my own haiku has certain literary pretensions.  Nonetheless,  sumo

    this crusade isn’t snobbery on my part, but is instead a lawyerly obsession

    with agreeing on, and complying with, a shared definition of terms, so that

    communication can be meaningful.   My silliness credentials are solid, and I enjoy 

    “spam haiku”, “sci-fi-ku“, “gothic haiku”, “computer-error haiku”, “dead-

    baby haiku”, “cat haiku,” etc., but they are virtually never (and usually only

    accidentally) real haiku.   As you’ll see here, some might be included in the

    genre of senryu, but most are light, humorous verses in the poetic family

    known in Japan as zappai.

After reading is it or ain’t it haiku?, you should be able to readily distinguish a

fine example of senryu from two excellent examples of haiku out of this trio of

poems by Honored Guest W.F. Owen:



single again

soap bar slivers

mashed together






fading light
rain overflows
the gutter









spring thunder
slight cracks in the
swollen tree buds


park bench  W.F. Owen 

“single again” –  frogpond XXVIII: 2 (2005)    

“fading light” – tinywords (Feb. 10, 2005)

“spring thunder” – Mainichi Daily News  (May 7, 2005) 





strangers on

  my park bench . . . . . . . . . . . . from over here

                                                   a whole new river


 [May 31, 2005]


tiny check Speaking of making distinctions:  I am pleased to see that when

Australian lawyers look for alternatives to hourly billing, they

understand that clients wants lower fees and more efficiency from

alternative billing methods  — not higher fees masquerading under

the banner of “value billing“.  (“Lawyers Weekly [AU], “Lawyers



sumoOver   My buddy Carolyn Elefant loves to urge lawyers to hang

a shingle and go solo (or micro).  What I would like to see are some stats

or studies on the financial realities of going solo:  How long can it take

to actually make a living?  What are the demographics of those who

survive (do they have high-salaried spouses? particular specialties?

other sources of income?  an existing porfolio of clients?).    What is

the median income after 5 years as a solo?   How many of those able

to make a comfortable living are working more hours not less than in

their big-firm jobs?


tiny check  Thanks to Overlawyered.com for staying on top of the Ford Explorer

“tainted juror” story, featuring Texas lawyer Jesse Gamez, his romantic pal

on the jury, and a $28 million roll-over verdict.  A Texas judge rejected

Ford’s demand for a new trial.  (See Law.com, May 27, 2005). 


May 30, 2005

day for reflection

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:54 pm

Please have a thoughtful and grateful Memorial Day:




old tombstone
losing its name
faint first star


        George Swede 

          from The Heron’s Nest 






missing in action

she dusts off his guitar,

returns it to the shelf


       Randy Brooks

          from WHR Vintage Haiku










strewn driftwood

a boy asking

about his father

paul m.





war footage

on this plump green olive

a thin, brittle stem


              Ed Markowski 

               from Haiku Sun 





Memorial Day-
overwintered in the sandbox
             toy soldiers


             Tom Clausen










peace rally

a forgotten scar

starts to itch


          Tom Painting   

             from tug of the current





news of his death

the cigarette smoke rises

straight up

                        DeVar Dahl from New Resonance 3










their gravestones

hers newer and taller

than his


        George Swede from Almost Unseen









I close my eyes

for a second look


     John Stevenson from TAO








               memorial —

the protestor’s reflection


             dagosan  [May 30, 2005]





window neg  potluck

tiny check The Fool in the Forest remembers the Civil War dead and

presents an Emily Dickinson poem that begins:

It feels a shame to be Alive —
When Men so brave — are dead —
One envies the Distinguished Dust —
Permitted — such a Head —

May 29, 2005

while tom’s at home . . .

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:21 pm

. . .  his haku keep working for you

his senryu, too




the butterfly’s path …
my son swings again
    and misses




my wife admits
she is not perfect,
but is glad I am











in the empty room
I look around to remember why
I’m here









in the shower
an economy size bar of soap
lands on my toe




ClausenMug Tom Clausen from Homework (Snapshot Press 2000)

order it here.





complaining all day

about the rain —

the mosquitos and I

 [May 29, 2005]




tiny check  Last night, in the rural outskirts of Schenectady, I met an intelligent

person who insisted (despite my defense of the American civil justice system) that

the Winnebago-Cruise-Control-$1.75-million verdict really happened.  Luckily, I

knew that Walter would know — and he set me straight:  It’s an untrue Urban Legend. 

As Mr. Olson says:

“What we wonder is, why would people want to compile lists of made-up

legal bizarreries when they can find a vast stockpile of all-too-real ones just

by visiting this website [and in particular its personal responsibility archives,

older and newer series]?”


c key  Prof. B makes the C List.  [I’m still not leaving a tip.]  Again turning necessity

into a virtue, Prof. Y shuns celebrity status (after scouring the List), and agrees with



all punditry is local (today, anyway)

Filed under: Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 6:07 pm

unofficial start
of summer —
parkas huddled ’round the grill

dagosan [May 29, 2005]


shoeless in schenectady: Our curmudgeonly columnist Carl Strock, admits he was quite surprised this week. You see, the U.S. Justice Department has decided not to prosecute two ex-Schenectady cops for violating the civil rights of David Sampson in July, 1999. Strock asks: “How could anyone in his right mind conclude that what the cops did was not a violation of someone’s civil rights?” (Sunday Gazette [Schenectady, NY], “Ex-cops get weird break from feds,” May 29, 2005, B1, $ubscr., but see reprint at Reply 3, and related articles, at the Schenectady Info website).

spring breeze–
three ride the same horse

………………………………………….. by Kobayashi ISSA, translated by D. G. Lanoue

Srock may have a point:

  • The police officers — Richard Barnett and Michael Siler, who are white — “picked up this guy they knew to be a shady character, David Sampson, who wasn’t doing anything illegal at the time, drove him eight miles out of the city to rural Rector Road in Glenville, at night, and dumped him there shoeless to fend for himself.” Sampson, who is black, says they also roughed him up and tossed his Timberland boots into the woods.
  • In a deposition, Barnett has admitted taking Sampson that night to the secluded road, but denied the “roughing up.” Barnett and other local cops also admitted that police officers practiced a “relocation policy” of leaving perceived troublemakers outside the city limits, with the approval of SPD management. (see Albany [NY] Times Union, Claim against ex-cops rejected, May 26, 2005; and SchdyInfo.com)

copPair Don’t think badly of Schenectady, though. Its former Corporation Counsel Michael Brockbank told WTEN news (May 26, 2005) he believes what the officers did was not the best thing, but it was not done arbitrarily. Brockbank noted that the two officers, after an investigation sparked by Sampson’s allegations in 1999, were convicted of drug-related offenses. “It clearly shows the type of officers they were, willing to take a cowboy action and that caught up with them.” Thus, according to WTEN, “Brockbank said neither the federal investigation, nor the convictions, should lead people to believe the police department targeted certain communities.”

don’t cry, geese!
from now on
I’m a traveler too

……………………….. by Kobayashi ISSA, translated by D.G. Lanoune

!key 2 tolerant in schenectady?: Last Monday, May 23, the traditional invocation prayer before the City Council’s public meeting was given by a Muslim Iman, Faisal Ahmad. When the Iman then started asking the Council for help getting visas for Afghanis, a member of the public stood up and said “There’s a war going on. It’s in very bad taste. We have veterans here and we’re listening to his prayer. Shame on us all!” Now, I disagree that a Muslim prayer is less appropriate than that of other religion’s, if there is any prayer at all at Council Meetings (I vote “no prayers.”) Still, I am taken aback by what happened in reaction to the outburst:

Four days later, more than a dozen religious leaders held a press event in City Hall, with the mayor and other City officials participating. They read and passed out A Statement of Concern and Witness urging citizens to celebrate and practice diversity and to practice tolerance. The text of the Statement begins by saying it is in response to the citizen’s words at the Council Meeting — naming and quoting her and saying they “have concern” for her. This seems a bit of an over-reaction to one person’s stating an opinion — and seems very likely to deter the expression of any but the “correct” opinions at Council meetings. (Daily Gazette, “Religious leaders call for tolerance,” May 28, 2005, $$, but see SchdyInfo reprints, including Reply 1; and Capital News9, “Meeting of religious leaders,”
May 27, 2005). Note:

  • The rebuked citizen is Karin Maioriello, who has a son in the military serving overseas. She stands by her words: “I object . . .because it was Memorial Day and I think it was in bad taste.”
  • No member of the Muslim faith attended the press conference, although Iman Ahmad sent a statement, which was read.

LittleItalyL Little Italy Gateway [original image here]

Chutzpah in Little Italy: I forgot to report that I attended the official dedication last Saturday, May 21, 2005, of the Little Italy “Gateway” on N. Jay Street in Schenectady. My skepticism over local efforts to create a Little Italy where none was apparent was covered here at f/k/a in March – schmittle Italy. Nonetheless, I wanted to see if there’s been any progress — beyond the new $900,000 “streetscape” [sidwalks, bricks] and gateway monument. The politicians at the dedication thanked a lot of people and talked about our “tourist attraction,” but I saw nothing to brag about, even after walking both sides of the entire one-block Italian heritage district. It still has lots of boarded up windows [with unpainted plywood] and not one building that anyone I can think of would call charming. After five years of planning and effort, Schenectady’s Little Italy continues to consist of one restaurant (lured there with a large development finance package), one bakery, and one tiny spumoni/sandwich shop.

  • It’s gonna get worse: Civitello’s Spumoni Shoppe is about to move from the so-caled Little Italy to a more “high-profile location” outside of Schenectady. A co-owner says, “Nothing’s changed, except the sidewalks are beautiful.” (“Sch’dy, Troy promote Little Italy districts to renew inner city life,” Albany BizJournal, Dec. 10, 2004).

  • Also, there’s the problem that the City of Troy has a real Little Italy (see Little Italy Troy.com), comprising an entire intact neighborhood, with resaturants, specialty shops, Italian markets, bocce courts, and great architecture nearby. It is only 14 miles away. Not to mention New York City down the road.

  • You know, the traditional Italian alphabet has no “j”. What we think of as the “j” sound is made with the letters “gi” — a “soft g” as in your Editor’s surname. I’m not sure if it is dimly ironic or brilliantly coincidental, therefore, that our Schenectady Little Italy is located on “No. Jay St.”

tiny check Not Mi Familia: Given my belief that most urban economic development is a sad display of poor planning and a misuse of public funds, please nota bene that, to the very best of my knowledge, I am not related to this Giacalone, who was accused this month of stealing $1.1 million in business development loans from downtrodden Flint, Michigan.

school bus I need to give Schenectady lawyer Michael Braccini a call, to see if having a bus for a law office is working out for him. I saw the bus for the first time yesterday, in the parking lot of the Domino’s Pizza shop on Broadway. The bus is painted blue and white. The message “Law Office of Michael Braccini” is painted near the top of the bus. At the door, it reads “Legal Advice,” “Enter Here,” and “No appoinment necessary.” Elsewhere, you’re told “Any Question, Any Time,” and numerous practice areas are listed: Bankruptcy, DWI, Misdemeanors and Felonies, Personal Injury” and more. The phone number on the bus is no longer in service. In the telephone book, Braccini’s address is identical to the pizza shop’s address. Maybe there’s also an office in the small building — midnight on a Saturday night was not a good time to investigate. There must be a good story here, and I hope to give you more details soon.

plum blooming–
muddy straw sandals
and a sake cup

hanging over the village
that doesn’t pray

ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue


May 27, 2005

homework from prof. b

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 9:55 pm

I haven’t had law school homework for almost thirty years — and I sure didn’t

plan on doing any over Memorial Day Weekend.  But, our favorite supplicant,

Professor Bainbridge, left me an assignment.  If it’s not optional, it better be



fence painter  Steve and Sam and the gang are probably already tooling down a

West Coast highway, in search of gourmet food and fine wine, secure in the

knowledge that Bainbridge fanatics are filling that e-tip jar and clicking through

on all those weblog ads.  Meanwhile, I’m looking at microwave popcorn and a

$4 bottle of Chilean merlot bottled in Slovenia for my evening.


Hopefully, in a world where law professors are making the rules, recycling your

own work doesn’t count as plagiarism.   So, my research will start here:

After that, I’ve got to hope inspiration strikes and that Steve’s an easy-grader — he

does get good student evaluations, doesn’t he?


begging at my gate
the geese lose








a beggar child

walking and flying

a kite











even the beggar

has a favorite





Kobayashi Issa, translated by D.G.Lanoue       





— goslings    goose     gander

glide downstream





staring at the dessert cart —

four lovely coeds

at the next table


#1Mom  Click here for a photo of dagosan and his inspiration, Mama.G,

taken Mother’s Day 2005. 


                             [May 27, 2005]




tiny check  Walter Olson seems to be promising he’ll give us “every jot and tittle

about the “destructive craziness the trial lawyers are up to.”   That sent

me to my dictionary, where I learned that the noun “jot” comes from

the Greek word iota and means an “i” (thus, the tiniest letter).  Meanwhile,

a “tittle” is the dot over an “i”.  Walter, I like your website, but I’d settle

for just the m-‘n’-m’s of litigiousness. 


tiny check  George Wallace wonders whether the ’60’s are now officially over.  See why.


                                                                                                                                                            !key 2 

yu chang: all poetics are local

Filed under: pre-06-2006,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 7:26 pm

When it comes to crafting excellent haiku, all poetics are local. No one knows that better than Yu Chang, whose work demonstrates the in-person, in-the-moment, concreteness that is the essence of fine haiku.

Another kind of “localness” was especially serendipitous for me: last year, I learned that the Yu Chang whose haiku I ‘ve been admiring for years spends much of his time less than a mile from my home, as a professor of electrical engineering at Union College. He and I share Schenectady, New York, as our adopted City.

  • It was also inspiring to learn that Yu — like myself — started writing haiku in his 50’s. Unlike myself, however, he was winning international haiku contests within a year of penning his first haiku. Maybe Yu’s haiku muse will make a detour to my neighborhood once in a while, and help me learn, from his example, the art and craft of the haijin.

Everyone who knows Yu comments on his sense of humor and his modesty. Both can be seen in his haiku (where he allows the reader to take his place experiencing the haiku moment) and in his frequent expressions of gratitude for the generosity and encouragement of his friends at the online Shiki Internet Haiku Salon.

Yu’s haiku have won numerous awards, and his poetry appears in the journals and anthologies to which all English-language haiku poets aspire: Acorn, Frogpond, Hermitage, Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest, and Tundra. At present, he is active as a founding member of the Route 9 Haiku Group, which publishes the biannual journal, Upstate Dim Sum. The Route 9ers are Yu, Hilary Tann, and our honored guests John Stevenson and Tom Clausen.

You can learn much more about Yu Chang as a haiku poet in an AHAPoetry profile, written in 2001. I’m sure Yu will groan when he sees this sentence, but I agree with the Profile’s author, Ty Hadman, that “Yu Chang is one of the poets currently writing haiku that are not only being appreciated today but will also be added to that treasure chest of haiku classics in English to be preserved for future generations.”

Choosing introductory haiku from Yu’s entire body of work is too difficult, so I will limit the
source today to the first collection that I found of his work, which was in A New Resonance:
Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku (Ed. by Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts, Red
Moon Press, 1999):

warm rain
the spring moon returns
to the rusty can

starry night–
biting into a melon
full of seeds

parting her pink robe

pebbled beach–
how carefully she chooses
her words

NewRes Yu Chang, from A New Resonance (1999).

“warm rain” first appeared in Frogpond XXI:1

“pebbled beach” first appeared in Acorn 2

“starry night” won a Museum of Haiku Literature Award 1998

I’m honored and pleased to have Yu Chang as an Honored Guest. You can count on his visiting f/k/a often. Click for the yu chang archive page.

Follow-up (December 2009): The first collection of Yu Chang’s poems has finally been published.  See “seeds: haiku by Yu Chang” (Redmoon Press, 2009, 72 pages)

blackberry winter around here

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:40 am

Feel like summer yet where you live?  We’ve got Blackberry Winter in

Upstate New York.  I wonder if Alice Frampton is enjoying her first Spring

in Alaska.





overcast morning–

ripe blackberries

out of reach









morning milking

the white

of mother’s breast




pickup g  


snow-covered hives

miles to go

for groceries



“snow-covered hives” from frogpond (XXVIII: 2, 2005)       

“overcast morning” from New Resonance 3: Emerging Voices

“morning milking” from New Resonance 3; Haiku Canada Newsletter XVI:3




tiny check  Risky Practices:  Just in time for your Memorial Day weekend trip,

our favorite RiskProf points to a GMAC study suggesting 20 million

Americans “lack basic knowledge of rules of the road and safe automobile

operation.”  Of course, the scariest part is that we all knew that.  I was

a bit surprised that drivers 18-24 were more likely to fail a written

driving test than drivers 55-64 (who last took the test thirty to fifty

years ago).  


black envelope  Spam-Smug No More: I’ve always wondered what others are

doing so wrong that they keep complaining about email In Boxes filled with spam.

I figured my email hygienne must simply be better than most, as I only got one or

two spam messages a month for years now.  Well, the past few weeks, every hapless

Nigerian, every phony PayPal phisher, and every good-newsy Lottery official on the

planet, has written to me several times a day.  It is really annoying!



May 26, 2005

“f/k/a” or “fka” ?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:54 pm

As part of my anniversary contemplations today, I have pondered whether to

take the slashes out of the name of this weblog — changing “f/k/a” to “fka.”

I have at times complained about a few other weblogs that use punctuation

marks and other non-alphabetic symbols in their names (this site, I am happy to

say, is now parentheses-free in its masthead).


My deliberations were short, however.  Although both f/k/a and fka have        / / / . .

been used to denote “formerly known as,” I am definitely keeping “f/k/a,”


  • it is the preferred and customary legal usage, and the

    original form of this handy term (being born in an era

    era that was far less addicted to acronyms)

  • it was first chosen by me precisely so that I would stop

    changing the name of the website

  • it does not cause confusion between us and Australia’s

What cinched the retention of f/k/a, however, was my Googling of

of the term “fka”.   Among the first few results was an organization 

known as The Federation and Klingon Alliance.  Sorry, but Walter

Olson is more likely to call his site ATLA: Arrest Them Lawyers

Association, than I am to share an acronmyn with the dudes at

FKA.  (see this post)




“tinyredcheck” Donald at All Deliberate Speed and Mike at Crime & Federalism have

been pondering a much more important issue: how should your career

choice within the law relate to your professed philosophical, religious

or political beliefs about serving the “least of your brethren” or creating

a better society?  This is a topic that deserves much more thought

and time than I can give to it today.  I will say, however, (1) that far too

many members of our profession on the right and left — despite their

purported beliefs and willingness to readily condemn the actions of

others seem to give no thought at all to the effects of their advocacy

and their labors; and (2) it is far harder to practice law ethically in a profit-

driven law practice, representing profit-driven clients, than in “public”

interest” practices; and I greatly admire private practice attorneys

who manage to do so.


fedupski  Ethan Lieb at Prawfsblog asks whether a weblogger has ethical

duties related to posting about topics that he or she is treating in an

amicus brief.  Also, John Steele at Legal Ethics Forum asks more

broadly about ethical obligations of lawyers who write amicus

briefs.  You editor-provocateur left the following question at each


“What about an ethical responsibility to tell the client

that amicus briefs have almost no bang for the buck?

They are mostly ignored and very rarely have any impact?”

(see, e.g., the recent remarks of Justices Ginsberg amd O’Connor)

Shouldn’t a lawyer make sure a client is fully aware of this reality, even

if the client initiates the idea of using an amicus brief? What else does  

giving independent advice, free of self-interest, and putting the client’s

interests first, mean?



May 23, 2005, on the implications of the two pending telecom mega-

mergers,on future competition, with emphasis on the issues raised by

the digital revolution.  There have been quite a bit of press coverage:

e.g., Washington Times/UPI, Telecom Merger Opposition Grows, May

24, 2005; National Journal, “Analyst Says Telecom Mergers Pose

Serious Threat to Competition”)


window view —

all grays 

and one blooming lilac bush





leaving her place —

a hug

you’d give a friend


                              [May 26, 2005]


we enter our terrible two’s

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:19 am

Just about everybody who’s anybody has already had his or her
2nd (or third) weblog anniversary.  Nonetheless, I can’t let May 26th
pass without noting that:
  • two years ago today, the first ethicalEsq post appeared
  • one year ago today, f/k/a was born, with haikuEsq taking boy writing flip
    over as Editor, and Prof. Yabut forced into emeritus status
    (a new no-punditry policy was also announced, but temptation
    soon proved too great; see About)
Last May 26th, we even made a good faith attempt to join in the spirit of
the Annual Grump Out.  Happily, no one told us they moved the event to
May 25 for 2005, and we inadvertently missed it. Despite any zen-ny haiku
pretensions, we’re still card-carrying members of Curmudgeons-R-Us.
prof yabut (small) I don’t know whether weblogging is caused by a gene or a virus, but
I surely have the malady.  I’m grateful the technology came about at a time when I
was searching for a way to be productive (despite health problems), and when
I had a lot that I wanted to say about the legal profession and about the wonders
of haiku.  A couple dozen regular visitors would have kept me going, but I’m
most grateful to have many times that number.  Similarly, finding a couple of
great haiku poets to share with you would have felt like quite an accomplish-
ment — but, as of this week, there are two dozen of the best English-language
haijin appearing here everyday and archived for repeat enjoyment.
crawl and laugh–
from this morning on
a two year old!

translated by David G. Lanoue
Our terrible two’s will bring you more of the same (hopefully, without tantrums),  boy writing
and we may even have a few new tricks. Thanks again to all the search engine
folk who make it easy for inquisitive strangers to find our unique blend of legal
ethics, potluck punditry and haiku advocacy.  Thanks to my weblog colleagues
who give me their inspiration and their links.  (especially you, you, you, you, you,
as well as you, and you plus others too numerous to mention at 3 AM). Most
of all, thanks to our guest poets and to our loyal visitors (especially the handful
of frequent commentors) for making the f/k/a-ethicalEsq experience so rewarding
for Your Editor and all the alter egos who inhabit this space.
blowCandlesN . . and one for good luck!

May 25, 2005

ups and downs with Tom Clausen

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:33 pm

Tom Clausen has been a Haiku Advocate for a lot longer than haikuEsq.   Circa 1990,

the Cornell librarian and lifelong Ithacan started posting a daily haiku in the stacks

elevator where he worked (see Cornell Chronicle, “In Mann Library, the graffiti is poetic,

thanks to one man,” March 14, 1996).  After a decade of elevator haiku, Tom started

placing his daily offering (by an extended community of haijin friends) at the Main Door

of the Mann Library Addition.  Those who can’t be there in person, can find Tom’s daily

haiku by clicking a link on the home page of the Library’s website.


ClausenMug  Tom’s also been co-editor of the esteemed Red Moon Anthology of English

Language Haiku since its launching in 1996.  More important for our purposes, however,

Tom has been writing haiku since the late 1980’s.  Thanks to his generous spirit, visitors to

this site will be able to see and feel for themselves why his work has been recognized and

highly respected for more than a dozen years.


I connect with Tom’s haiku (and other short poetry, such as tanka) because his attitude

toward life’s vicissitudes seems to be much like mine.  The Red Moon Anthology says

that Tom Clausen “half accepts change yet is always grateful for the constancy of nature,

the seasons and haiku celebrating them.” In his essay “America’s Haiku Future,” Cor van

den Heuvel (Autumn 2003) notes:

“Though he treats the ups and downs of marriage and being a parent,

his experience seems to have been that the ups seem to make up for

the downs.”

Tom gives us a glimpse into his haiku ethos in the essay From Conflict to Poetry, which

appears in the newest edition of Simply Haiku (Summer 2005, vol. 3, #2): 

“Haiku is the perfect worry stone. In my life I have found considerable

solace in being able to write about my personal conflicts, moments where

I felt moved to pause, reflect, regroup and recognize that even in conflict

and distress are silver linings and the potential for poetry that each of us

can find in our heart . . . and in turn move on from our conflict through the

poetry we create from it.”

If you want to learn more about Tom and his poetry, I suggest the student papers  buddha 

done at Millikin University by Michelle Ground and Matt Whitsett.  As with all my

honored guests, of course, reading 17 syllables or less written by Tom is far more

telling than reading hundreds of words about his haiku.  So, I recommend that you

check out samples from Tom’s chapbook Homework, found at the foot of his Simply

Haiku Conflict essay (you can order the book here, from Snapshot Press), and that

you enjoy another sampling of his work on the TAO website, along with selections

from Upstate Dim Sum, a journal created by the exclusive Route 9 Haiku Group. 


First, however, I am most pleased to present a few of Tom Clausen’s haiku from 

frogpond, the Journal of the Haiku Society of America:


left and right

he follows the way

of his kicked stone




old farmhouse–

the pitch of the

patterned linoleum









having brushed off

several large ants

an extra large one . . .






to a simple question

my life story






       froglegs Tom Clausen from frogpond (XXVII, 2004)                                                                



May 24, 2005

unclear option? “never mind”

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:43 pm

No matter what the Senate filibuster compromise today may mean, one thing is very

nu-clear to me: “nuclear option” belongs on the Banished Words List.  So, join

Ellen Goodman and myself by nominating it for the LSSU 2006 List.  But, please,

let’s not wait for January 1st.  Let’s stop using the silly phrase outside of the strategic

war context right now (that means you, too). 


deleteKey n  Unclear option?  Unclear analogies?  As Emily and Essie Litella would

say, “Never mind.”





between Pompey

and Caesar

I place my bookmark


May morning

the door opens

before I knock


on top of everything






 John Stevenson from Some of the Silence  (Red Moon Press,1999)  umbrella vert

free speech in the Blawg Republic?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:23 pm

None of my favorite fictional detectives believes much in coincidence as

an explanation when one event looks suspiciously related to another.  But,

I’ll let you decide whether my Comments here on Feb. 14, 2005 are related  

to what happened there on Feb. 15, 2005.


Details:  On February 14th, Bob Ambrogi wrote that he had just discovered

Blawg Republic.   In response, my alter ego Prof. Yabut left this Comment:

“A lot of us had positive things to say about Blawg Republic

when Denise Howell first pointed us to it on Sept. 30th. However,

Blawg Republic stopped being useful after only a couple weeks in

existence, when it switched from listing the latest posts from the

most popular law weblogs to having its very limited Top Blawg Posts.

Now, you can get on their top-20 list by merely linking to one of your

own past posts (a trick used by many weblawggers, who garner much

of the page at a time). The Top 20 list neither tells you who did the

linking (so you can’t readily check whether the pointer was pro or con)

nor when the listed post originated. Now, there’s really no reason to

check this page very often.”


don't forget tack neg Agreeing with Prof. Yabut on the “past post problem,” Evan Schaeffer opined

that Blawg Review drove him “batty,” and noted “It seems like the fix would

be simple, but so far, no fix.”


In response, Merrick Lozano, Co-founder of Blawg Republic, did a little self-

censoring that day, removing his first comment at LawSites (would love to know

what it said).  Merrick then left a Response that concluded:

“Thank you for the feedback in this comments section. We are

looking into the past post link problem described by prof yabut

and evan  www.blawgrepublic.com) as soon as we resolve it.”

I can’t tell whether the “past post link” problem has been solved. [I had, in fact,

mentioned it at this weblog in mid-Nov. 2004.]  However, something was “fixed”

for sure:  The freshest post listed on the Blawg Republic page for Legal Ethics News 

(which has only tracked one site in that category — f/k/a) is the following:

f/k/a . . . – February 15, 2005

. . . but, maybe we’re not both covered.  The fight over

f/k/a: Frozen in time as of Feb. 15, 2005.  Must be a coincidence.


update (June 17, 2005): Yesterday, I followed a Referral link to this website from

BR and discovered that only the name f/k/a and our former tagline now exist

on the BR Legal Ethics Page.  Them coincidences keep buildin’ up, don’t they?


most end up
stuck in mud…
cherry blossoms


ISSA , D.L. Lanoue, translator


tiny check After first praising unequivocally Scheherazade’s list of “Legal Lies” that purportedly

lure lambs into the Law, and then reading my Response, Yeoman did quite a bit of soul-searching

and has an important discussion on Mistaking Personal Unsuitability for Systemic Problems

in the legal profession.  


tiny check  If you’re going to impose an immense fine on a judge for election misconduct, why not  “noyabutsS”

remove him or her from office?  That’s what Justice Lewis asked again in a Florida Supreme Court 

case thatwas decided May 12, 2005.   Inquiry Concerning a Judge, re:  Ana Marie Pando, ___

So.2d ___ (Fla., No. SC04-1636).  Justice Lewis had a full — and, I believe persuasive — discussion 

on this topic in In re Kinsey, 842 So.2d 77 (from p. 38, Fla. 2003) (via sunEthics, May 23, 2005)


tiny check Paul Horwitz gives a litany of reasons “why he writes” at Prawfs Blog.  Compare it

with your own reasons. (via Is That Legal?)   On a related topic, the Berkman Blog group is holding

a seminar on June 2 on Why Do You Blog?, moderated Michael Feldman of Dowbrigade News.  If

you’re gonna be in Cambridge, Mass., you might want to stop by.



untoasted today —

slowly chewing

whole wheat bread


                              [May 23, 2005]

May 23, 2005

luck or individual effort?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:51 pm


Matt Miller asks whether “luck” or “individual effort” matters most “in determining

where people end up in life.”  He notes that both Democrats and Independents

overwhelming said luck in a survey he commissioned, while Republicans said it’s

effort.  (NYT, Taking Luck Seriously, May 21, 2005).  Miller states:

“Try too hard to wipe out the inequities spawned by luck, and you

banish luck’s societal benefits and go down the road of communism.

But harness a healthy awe for luck, and you expand the bounds of

empathy in ways that make a living wage for poor workers and great

schools for poor children national imperatives. What we’re led to is the

public agenda missing today, built around passionate commitments –

by both liberals and conservatives – to (1) equal opportunity and (2) a

minimally decent life, achieved in ways that harness market forces for

public purposes.”

dice  If Republicans won’t act on these moral imperatives, Miller thinks Democrats

should take luck seriously — making America more just by forging a victory

based on “values that can win.”   

horseflies’ and bees’
big lucky day…
blossom-filled temple



donning my umbrella-hat–
cherry blossoms portend
a lucky day


translated by David G. Lanoue 


tiny check  Your editor apologizes for all the webserver problems that have made

accessing f/k/a so difficult the past few days.  I’m afraid that no amount of effort on

my part will solve the problem.  Pray to the great Webmaster in the sky.

tiny check supplemental (midnight, May 24):  Sarni at Infernality chewed over and posted her Stick.

She has some interesting choices and — being into fanstasy literature — alternative  

Stick universes.  Talk about generation gap: not one of our choices matched.  Not one

of our genres, either.  I’m again surprised that so many people re-read books.  Has there

been a study about personalities that re-read books or watch particular movies or tv

episodes repeatedly (as adults reading for themselves, and not for children) as compared

to those who are one-off-ers?  [Note my Britsy idiom.]   I spent years recording hundreds

of movies (for personal use, of course) and have not watched even one of them in the

past five years.  I’m glad to see that Sarni feels no need for lugging a How-to-Survive-in-

the-Wilderness book.  That’s probably part of the basic curriculum in Aussie elementary

school — Walkabout Ed.   Stop over to Infernality and see Sarni’s Stick and shtick.  Thanks

for shaking and sharing your Stick, Ms. S!! 


“tinyredcheck”  I feel lucky today: two of my favorite haiku poets agreed over the

weekend to be Honored Guests here at f/k/a:  Tom Clausen of Ithaca, NY, and

Yu Chang of Schenectady, NY.   I will be formally introducing each of them this

week, but you’ve worked hard (or are just lucky) and deserve a double sneak

preview — with haiku and senryu by Tom and Yu from the latest issue of frogpond,

the Journal of the Haiku Society of America.


from Tom Clausen:

just oatmeal

the waitress says






out of its reflecting pool

      the windblown






from Yu Chang:


pumpkin patch

this one is big enough

for my son





taking turns

to stretch their necks

a pair of herons


“THNLogoF” “THNLogoG”


from dagosan  



last week of May


the winter quilt


     [May 23, 2005]



let the buyer trust – credat emptor

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:47 pm

Wish I Said That:


“[FDR’s secretary of war and NYC lawyer] Henry Stimson would have been shocked

and saddened by the state of the bar today, and especially by the common, public,

even proud utterance in and out of bar associations that ‘law is a business like other

businesses.’ . . .


“As recently as 1963, Everett Hughes wrote that the central feature of professionalism

was a doctrine of credat emptor—”let the buyer trust”—rather than the commercial

maxim of caveat emptor—”let the buyer beware.” Society counts on the law, and on

lawyers as its servants, to spread such feelings of trust through the community. Instead,

too often, we help weaken them.”

– from Living the Law, Chapt 1. of Sol Linowitz’s The Betrayed Profession (at pp. 2 & 5;

1994), reprinted here (DCBA Brief, June 1999)




first snow falling
I trust in his hand…
bridge by the gate




entrusting the thicket
to the field crow…
the lark sings

ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue

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