LNH: Haiku Gorilla # 116

Tom Russell milos_parker at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 30 20:04:41 PDT 2006


"Mighty gorilla,
 you came for tea: will you stay?
 the triumphant gull!"

            (C) COPYRIGHT 2006 TOM RUSSELL.


Dear Senryu-Ken!,

You're posting too fast
For me to keep up with though,
Worth it, like, um, spring.

--Adrian McClure

Dear Adrian,

   It's true, we have gotten a little hog-wild with the last fifteen
episodes or so.  But that's because there's a fire in our brain: we're
in the zone, the muse is guiding us, we are being compelled to write,
write, write!
   Often we get that way, and some of our best writing comes flying
out.  Speak!, for example, was written with this incredible fire, like
we had to hurry and catch that mind-lightning in a bottle!
   The problem here is two-fold but with one root: haikus!
   It's not until one has tried that they realize that it's somewhat
difficult to tell a narrative story in seventeen syllable installments.
 It's especially hard trying to get complex emotional ideas across.
For example, # 76--

some find answers wrapt
in their questions: take your leave,
enlightened chip-monks!

-- went through many, many drafts.  The idea we were trying to get
across was that, in trying to boil their problems down to haiku form,
the people seeking Haiku Gorilla's advice often find the solution to
their problems.  When you take away all the extraneous stuff, and
concentrate only on the things that are important, often no question at
all is necessary.  And so, having found the answer themselves, they do
not ask their question but leave.
   We're still not sure if all that, or just most of it, gets across--
but there was enough where we felt confident posting it.  We don't care
if you've heard that the reason these get written so quickly is because
we just toss them off: constrained writing is constraining, man.  No
tossing off about it.  So when you get inspiration-- when you've got
that fire in your brain-- you just got to go, go, go!
   Which brings us to our other problem: when that fire hit us during
Speak!, we would sit down and write most of an issue over the course of
a few hours, trying to exorise the thing in our brain.  Pages would
pour out-- pages that would be cut and culled and mercilessly harvested
later on.  Reams of text.  Okay, well, maybe not reams.
   But with a haiku, you can't really pour out some pages and then
distill it.  Distillation is part of the process from step one.  And
so, you're going to get more installments when you're inspired if your
installments are seventeen syllables a piece, then if your installments
are seven to ten pages.
   Now, as to why we referred to ourselves in plural here, we have no
idea. :-P

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