My complete stories & my book ORPHANS
by Steve Schlich
A reading in these formats: .mov / .wav / m4a
in my sea-bed
calls disturb me
prying feeds my anger
cameras and weapons
cries sound as I reach land
lies before me
lines like sparking strings
shoot from my gaping maw
the villain of this piece
understand the fuss
will they foil me this time?
will not succeed at first
eye senses movement
trap for me is ready
tumble from the cliff
when they call out again
copyright (c) 1994 by Steve Schlich
ABOUT THE STORY introduction from the 1994 book ORPHANS
I wrote Godzilla's Haiku in 1987 for my bad movie loving wife, Kit. And it actually got published in a magazine for writers called The Report. They even put my name on the cover, only the second time that's ever happened. But by rights, it should never have happened. I hadn't written Haiku for years. I futzed on the form and worse, mis-remembered the pattern.
The funny thing is, neither the editor nor the readers noticed.
Haiku is carefully constructed Japanese poetry. Here's an example that explains the form and demonstrates the pattern:
First line states
The second elaborates
Third line sums the two
Each line functions as the example above describes. That's the form. The first and third line contain five syllables, and the second line seven. That's the pattern.
I decided on an epic haiku, with many verses. But I remembered the pattern incorrectly as 757, not 575. I didn't notice the error until after I'd given the poem to Kit and after it had been published in The Report. Not that I would have changed anything; the thing was devilishly difficult to write!
Thinking how clever I was, I also imposed my incorrect pattern on the verses as a whole. Parts One and Three have seven verses each and Part Two has five.
So the screw-up was nearly total. There's nothing like seeing your work in print to make you wish you'd gone over it one more time.
Once I realized my error, I voluntarily declared Godzilla's Haiku an orphan and gave up any hope of ever seeing published again...until now.