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

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!



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