Tuesday, December 21, 2010


     You never know what kinds of things literary people will find interesting. This month, I am "Feature Artist of the Month" for the online magazine connotationpress.com. The magazine found my "$20 Haiku" project intriguing enough to feature it. To summarize the project:
     Over a period of 14 years, while living primarily in Memphis and Connecticut, I wrote haiku on the back of $20 bills, which I then spent. I'm offering $1,000 to anyone who returns one of those 170 original bills that have one of my haiku on the back. This is more an exercise in performance art than literature, I think. The essay I wrote about this project, and the haiku themselves, can be seen on connotationpress's site at this link. To read all 170 haiku, click on "Full Screen" at the end of my essay there. The caricature at the end is by my movie-actor friend Chris Ellis (My Cousin Vinny, Apollo 13, Days of Thunder, October Sky, et al.). Chris is very talented.
      Should you not care to go to the magazine's site, here's the caricature:

I fear it captures me all too well.
Here are some of the haiku I wrote. The code above each haiku is the serial number of the $20 bill on which the poem was written; the date is when the poem was written. In honor of the season, these are set in winter:

G85802267E (series 1988A)
(December 5, 1992)
And up. Live trees. Cut your own.
Open until ten. 

(December 13, 2002)
Christmas tree unstrung,
Asymmetrical limbs spread:
Slant adoration.

(December 27, 2002)
Driving Christmas night,
We met wet snow halfway home.
Time fell in slow flakes.

(January 3, 2003)
The children on sleds,
leaving their parents behind,
glide into focus.

(January 3, 2003)
The ducks sit on ice.
How strange for them, this hard stuff,
yesterday below.

(February 11, 2003)
The snow is adept.
It arranges depth on slant 
And branch like slow death. 

(February 28, 2003)
Young man stuck in snow:
“Just dickin’ around,” he grins,
still spinning his wheels.

If you find one of these $20 bills, I'll give you $1,000 for it. Seriously. 




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