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Haibun Hijinks

I decided to try something new this weekend and attended a poetry discussion and writing prompt that was held in Bloomington Indiana. The Bloomington Writers Guild had posted a notice of the event and since it was free I gave it a try.

And thus the adventure began.

First, Saturday was stormy and I was racing to get inside before getting wet. This almost worked. I was getting out of the car, arriving with literally one minute to spare, and dropped my car key beside the seat. So I had my ass hanging out of the car while trying to find the key between and under the seat, while begging the sky not to cut loose and soak me. I finally got the key in hand and darted to the building. The rain started half way across the parking lot and I managed to get inside a moment before the first sheet of water came down.

So, I am now standing in a quiet foyer of a converted house that is labeled as a women’s writing center. A lady comes out of a back room and tells me to come in they have just started. So, I follow her into a room and find I am the only Y chromosome in the room.

And I am wet.

And I am late.

Great! First impression achievement unlocked to its fullest potential. Then I go to grab the closest seat and am directed to the other side. This empty seat wasn’t to be mine but I can have that one. So, I cross the room, extending my interruption and discomfort a bit and they resume. A few minutes later, I am caught up and things go smoothly from there.

The subject of the meeting as haibun, a form of Japanese writing that is a travel log. You would write a short story, as in a paragraph or two, about some element of a trip and then write a Haiku to go with it. I love this, it was fun to write and I had never heard of it before.

We discussed a couple of haibun before doing a five-minute speed write to get things moving. The topic of the speed write was smell, meaning the way you smell yourself. I wrote something fictional but managed to do it and most of a haiku. I stole an extra thirty seconds or so to finish and managed to get a full haibun out of it.

We discussed a few more and then took twenty minutes to write another. I loved this one and will be posting it below. I broke from the traditional form by writing a haiku for both the beginning and the end. It was a blast.

The group of ladies that were in this group was great. There was a lot of variety in writing style as we read one of our prompts at the end of the day. I will be doing this again.

Now, after the meeting I spoke to the group organizer and mentioned feeling a little odd being here since I hadn’t realized it was a women’s circle. Turns out it was supposed to be coed but I was the only guy to attend. So that helped with feeling like an intruder a bit.

Like I said, I will be posting my haibun today. It isn’t scary but it was too much fun to write for me not to share it. I hope you enjoy it.

Next week I will be back on track with a vampire short story. I was following a thread on twitter where @ScreamHorrorMag was discussing the overall lack of vampires as a monster in recent fiction. They all seem to be tortured and looking for love, not just a meal. I accepted this as a challenge and you will see that next week.

L. E. White

Vegas Baby

Slow, dusty driving

Dry, arid air draws out thirst

Cotton balls chewed slow

*****

You would think that Vega would be the best. The free drinks and fast money draw out the hoots and hollers of the easily entertained. Cleavage carries a tray of liquid courage around while big fish are preyed upon by well wrapped bait. That guy actually raised his shirt to scratch his chest so he could flash chiseled ripples at a hunting cat, hoping to become her prey.

But this is all silly when you find yourself standing on the side of a great rock. The sun shines off red and gold dust that ignores the flash of neon lights. Scrubby brush, like the hair in an old man’s ears, crawls up by our boots, and you ask if I am ready to go.

Yeah, I’m thirsty, but no, I am most definitely not ready to go.

*****

The wind can whistle

Through the crack and crannies left

In mothers old bones

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