R’r’s back up and running

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R’r is now up and running once again, thanks to the amazing and generous help of Mike Rehling.

The site does have a new URL however: http://www.roadrunnerjournal.com/

The last issue is not yet uploaded, but will be soon enough (that issue and all issues from 2012 and 2013 can be accessed thru this blog; see “Issues” at the top). Also, I plan on creating a single archive document of all Roadrunner/R’r issues in the near future and posting it on the main website and here as well.

 

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Haiku 2014

Haiku2014-cover

Now available:
Haiku 2014

Edited by Lee Gurga & Scott Metz
Modern Haiku Press, 2014

100 notable ku from 2013, with an introduction by the editors.

Perfectbound, 110 pages.
$8 plus $3 shipping for orders to U. S. addresses.
For Canadian addresses, $8 plus $9 shipping.
Outside the U.S. and Canada, $8 per copy plus $13 shipping.

To order online, click HERE.

Or order your copy by sending cash or a check drawn on a U.S. bank to:

Modern Haiku Press
Box 68
Lincoln, IL 62656 USA

R’r website is down

lock_patent_drawing

Unfortunately, the R’r website is currently out of commission, and therefore many of the back issues can not be accessed at this time. Hopefully the issue will be fixed soon. A number of the more recent issues, however, are accessible through this blog (see the Issues section above). When the issue has been resolved, I will post again here. If the website is terminally “lost” then more than likely I will gather the back issues with help from others and republish them through this blog. Sorry for any inconvenience.

hiatus

bear-drawing-1

After issue 13.2 is published (sometime in August), R’r will be going on a hiatus for at least a year; we will be sure to send out a notice and also post info here when were are accepting submissions once again. 

Submissions for 13.2 are still, of course, most welcome. The deadline is August 1st. Send your best to Paul or i at:

scott@roadrunnerjournal.net

or

mrflooger@yahoo.com

R’r submission details

(U. of Minnesota) image source

Otoliths number twenty-nine

shades of rectangles

The new issue of Otoliths (a magazine of many e-things) is out, issue number twenty-nine, and both Paul Pfleuger, Jr. and myself have some new poems inside it:

pfleuger villain subjectPaul Pfleuger, Jr.

metz dronesScott Metz

Also of interest to R’r readers in the issue: Jack Galmitz has 8 visuals (one of which is the untitled piece up above), Camille Martin has 12 short poems, and Johannes S. H. Bjerg has two sequences and a visual.

some new little ones from john martone

martone

 

john martone recently sent me links to 4 new small collections of his, intended to surround his longer collection, perleromeq, all of which is up for everyone over on his Scribd. page. They are skylight, night journey, daypack, and barometer.

 

Here are a few favorites selected by R’r coeditor, Paul Pfleuger, Jr.:

Martone 2013

Martone 2013

Martone 2013Martone 2013

And if you haven’t already, do check out another one of his many collections, skeleton key (embedded below via his Scribd. page), which recently received an Honorable Mention for The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Books Awards for 2012. Also, Don Wentworth recently wrote a nice write up on it for his blog series, Small Press Friday.

martone opens

martone all this

Touchstone Awards 2012

Haiku21-cover

A few books linked to R’r got some recent kudos from The Haiku Foundation via their annual Touchstone Awards for best books of 2012.

Haiku 21: an anthology of contemporary English-language haiku (Modern Haiku Press, 2011), edited by Lee Gurga and myself, shared the Distinguished Book award for 2012 with 3 other books.

Here’s what the judges had to say:

Haiku 21 is a unique and startling anthology of twenty-first-century English-language haiku. Editors Lee Gurga and Scott Metz took upon themselves the daunting task of reading every single haiku published in journals from 2000-2010. They selected what they considered the most excellent work, attempting also to showcase the full range of contemporary English-language haiku, from traditional to experimental, exploring the question, “What can haiku be?” The poets answer, in alphabetical order, sans bio or notes, most represented by a single poem. Although the collection may trend more towards the experimental than the taste of some, the anthology renders a fascinating image of where English-language haiku is in this new millennium, and points the way toward its future

In addition to the award, we received these stones:

gurga2metz2

Reviews of Haiku 21 by Ron Silliman, and Michael Dylan Welch (Modern Haiku 43.2);

additional kudos:

“Haiku 21 is a collection of the same old, same old unmemorable haiku-like poetry. [It] omits many well known poets, has many abysmal poems, and helps to further discredit haiku.”  —Robert D. Wilson, editor of Simply Haiku: The International Journal of English Language Traditional Japanese Short Form Poetry

“We find here a mania for running smugly free in hallucinations. It’s a public nuisance.”  —Klaus-Dieter Wirth (Chrysanthemum 13)

Metz-collection-cover

In addition, my own first collection, lakes & now wolves (Modern Haiku Press, 2012) received an Honorable Mention, sharing that distinction with 3 other books. Here’s what the judges had to say:

lakes & now wolves is the long-awaited, first full collection by a poet justly described as “one of the most innovative and challenging younger poets at work in haiku” (Montage). Few collections of haiku by a single author are as exploratory and wide-ranging. The book progresses from excellent, relatively normative examples of the genre:

end of summer
pressing her body against
the sea wall

to more boldly imaginative one-liners such as:

meadow speaking the language she dreams in

Indeed, many of the poems exemplify the 21st Century trend towards writing haiku in one line, coincident with a linguistically playful turn, at its best. The following, which may be seen as a vertical one-liner, touches tenderly on romantic relationship through a subtle, unexpected line-break:

drop

lakes & now wolves also offers some of the most striking haiku on the topic of war in English, alongside distinctive takes on classical and modern Japanese haiku. While some of the “ku” may disconcert traditionalists, this is a collection that inspires and provokes more than most.

Reviews by Eve Luckring (Modern Haiku 44.1; p16 in the PDF),

and Francine Banwarth (frogpond 36.1);

additional kudos:

“[N]ot worth reading.”  —Robert D. Wilson, editor of Simply Haiku: The International Journal of English Language Traditional Japanese Short Form Poetry

Of the 30 poems I submitted, as editor, from the 2012 issues of R’r (and also 10 more from MASKS), one was shortlisted for a Touchstone, but ultimately did not receive an award:

lilly

R’r 13.1

HE_EX_cover_1

– click on the cover to read the issue as a flipbook –

R’r 13.1 (downloadable PDF) –

. . .

2 sections of new poems

Part 2 of an interview with Makoto Ueda

cover: “HE EX” by Cherie Hunter Day (2013)

. . .

submission deadline for 13.2 is August 1, 2013: 

Send submissions to Scott Metz <scott@roadrunnerjournal.net>

or Paul Pfleuger, Jr. <mrflooger@yahoo.com>

up to 20 poems per submission, 2 submissions per reading period please

13.1 will appear on the R’r website in the next few weeks

body this

transitive/ Sappho’s Gymnasium (a collaborative collection of poems by Olga Broumas and T Begley [Copper Canyon Press, 2000])

“Written as if by two students of Sappho in ancient times, fragments of whose work have survived, these poems offer brief, mysterious glimpses of a world beyond our ordinary reach. That world is not, however, the Lesbos of late 7th-early-6th-century B.C., but the contemporary mind, littered with broken pieces of information and language, and attenuated connections between sexuality, spirituality, poetry, feminism, metaphysics and the stones, birds, flowers, leaves, herbs and light of the actual, elusive here and now.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

Marlene Mountain

sol12 copy

A couple weeks back, The Haiku Foundation began a new feature entitled Book of the Week, highlighting haiku collections of the past and shedding new light on them. A digging up and a re-introduction of sorts. Cool idea.

In honor of their first selection, Marlene Mountain’s groundbreaking collection, the old tin roof (1976), I thought it fitting to share here Jack Galmitz’s in depth essay on Mountain’s oeuvre, “then I must go to the Mountain: (space reserved) for Marlene Mountain,” which appeared in R’r 12.2.

To read a PDF of Jack Galmitz’s essay, click on the title here: then I must go to the Mountain.

To read Mountain’s the old tin roof in it’s entirety, part of The Haiku Foundation’s Digital Library, click here.

xist

George Oppen from Twenty-six Fragments in FACTURES George Oppen / “Twenty-Six Fragments” from Facture #2 (2001)

Entitled by archivists, in collaboration with Mary Oppen, “The Last Words of George Oppen,” “Twenty-Six Fragments” consists of a series of notes scrawled by Oppen on envelopes and other small pieces of paper found, after his death, on or near his desk or posted to the wall of his study. Some of the fragments were numbered by Oppen, others were not. [. . . ] Although these are among the last writings Oppen is known to have produced, there is no way of determining their exact date of composition, nor does their content suggest any conscious desire on Oppen’s part to mark them as conclusive or final. —Stephen Cope / George Oppen: Selected Poems (p183) ed. by Robert Creeley [New Directions, 2003]

BEFORE MUSIC by Philip Rowland

rowlandcover

Philip Rowland has a new, and deeply moving, collection out, entitled BEFORE MUSIC (Red Moon Press, 2012). It contains, i think, some of the very best and most intriguing haiku in English published over the last decade.

Rowland’s first collection, Together / Still (HUB Editions, 2004), was rousing in that it presented a mix of both haiku and short poetry; not unlike the journal he edits (and hopefully resurrects soon), NOON: journal of the short poemTogether / Still was awarded the 2005 Mildred Kanterman Memorial Award for Best First Book of Haiku.

BEFORE MUSIC, however, is all haiku, in all its free-wheeling forms and contemporary directions. Many of its poems, i’m proud to say, first appeared in R’r and MASKS. Rowland’s poetry very much encapsulates and connects to so much of what he has written about in essay-form over the last decade: haiku as poetry, the avant-garde, western poetics, Language poetry, surrealism, the Black Mountain poets, “the opacity of language,” and experimental Japanese haiku; all in all, the playfulness (or, for some, troublesome blurring) of short-form and minimalist poetries with haiku poetics, all, however, sincerely connected to, rooted in, and informed by our collective normative English-language haiku and traditional Japanese past. At times, Rowland makes terrific use of naked seasonal phrases and words; in the context of the more experimental flourishes, they are refreshing rather than cliche, especially so in the sense that what follows and/or is juxtaposed with them is always different than expected—flashes of a kind of Neoclassicism, if you will. So, to say the least, BEFORE MUSIC has tremendous range, but also exquisite balance, making it, for this reader, all the more satisfying and noteworthy.

Here are some ku from the collection, followed by the back cover, and links to some of Rowland’s excellent and inspiring essays which have had a definite influence on English-language haiku composition since their publication, and are always worth revisiting.

pondmorning after

bright autumn noon  

  night drawing incrowdabsence rowlandcoverblurbs And, finally, some essays by Philip Rowland:

“Avant-Garde Haiku: A New Outlook” (Frogpond 25.2, 2002)

“From Haiku to the Short Poem: Bridging the Divide” (Modern Haiku 39.3, 2008)

“Surrealism & Contemporary Haiku -or- Surreal Haiku?” (R’r 9.3, 2009)

Pop Quiz: Is haiku in English a socially relevant poetics in the 21st century?

Just posted this on The Haiku Foundation’s Forum’s section, “In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area,” in case you’d like to check the answers (if any) it garners there. Thought i’d throw it out here as well. Since Richard Gilbert and I came up with homeland, the new section for R’r, we thought it would be interesting and thought-provoking to pose this very question. Look forward to hearing opinions on this.

Pop Quiz (single question):

Is haiku in English a socially relevant poetics in the 21st century?

instructions:

Please answer “yes/no” to this question, and please provide a brief rationale and haiku examples to support your (yes/no) answer and statements.

R’r 12.3

way mark harris R'r cover copy– click on the cover to read the issue as a flipbook –

– R’r 12.3 (downloadable PDF) –

. . .

scorpion prize 27 by Craig Dworkin

70+ new poems

Part I of an interview with translator Makoto Ueda

MASKS 4

3 essays by Jack Galmitz on the work of Robert Boldman, Richard Gilbert, & Mark Harris

& the announcement of a new section in R’r: homeland

submission deadline for 13.1 is April 1, 2013: scott@roadrunnerjournal.net

in a world of blur

Some of the New Precisionists whose work I enjoy a great deal these days include Graham Foust, Joseph Massey & Chris McCreary. Might anyone confuse them with Objectivism, neo- or otherwise? Only carelessly.    [. . .] What they [. . .] constitute [. . .] might just be part of a moment, one in which many writers—think of Devin Johnston or the brothers O’Leary or John Martone or Jonathan Greene, even Kay Ryan—in which what at first seems to be a poetics of minimalism exists precisely to magnify the etched qualities of precise poetics. Hence precisionism. All of this attention to the exact, occurring right now in a world of blur, often feels like a political statement, a politics each of them shares dedicated to sharpness, to specifity. I would distinguish this from the so-called well-wrought urn of two generations ago by noting that this new generation, with few if any exceptions, explicitly rejects the glaze. It has, I suspect, less to do with craft than with ethics.

Ron Silliman

/ Friday, May 28, 2010

stance

“In reviewing this correspondence [between 1973-74 between Cor van den Heuvel and Robert Bly], Lee Gurga responded to Bly’s emphasis that, in seeming contrast to English-language haiku, Bashō’s poems have ‘a powerful thought, linked to some terrific anxiety, or tension inside the poet’s life.’ [. . .] Here is Gurga’s response:

Even allowing for some overstatement here, I think the observation is something that needs to be considered in North American haiku: Can people living nearly dangerless lives in the most affluent society that the world has ever known write poetry with the kind of depth that a Bashō with an empty rice gourd or a Shiki with a chest full of phlegm wrote? After all, if the choice is not between life and death but between skiing or going to the beach, will this not make a qualitative difference in the poem?”

/ Tundra #2 (p 41)

a the the a

“[A] case can be made out for the poet giving some of his life to the use of the words a and the: both of which are weighted with as much epos and historical destiny as one man can perhaps resolve. Those who do not believe this are too sure that the little words mean nothing among so many other words.”

—Louis Zukofsky

/ Avant-Garde Haiku by Philip Rowland (Frogpond 25.1, 2002); as found in The Marginalization of Poetry by Bob Perelman (Princeton, New Jersey: University of Princeton Press, 1996, p50)

two problems


“Whenever I read haiku written by contemporary U.S. writers (and there are many haiku out there), I note two main problems that limit the work from being as intriguing as it might. Both have to do with misunderstandings about the history of haiku.

The first problem: the idea that the primary goal of a haiku, in its compact syllables, is to create beautiful images. It’s true that haiku can be beautiful, yet more crucial than beauty to the haiku is that the image should tell us something significant, often even conflicted, about the human world, or the natural world, and frequently about their relation to each other. A haiku should reveal to us something about the world that we don’t understand or never have said as compactly. Seventeen syllables can be enough to frame a profound insight or define a powerful conflict.

The second problem, connected to the first: that this beautiful image should exclusively portray nature or humans within a wholly natural setting. In the context of the contemporary U.S., this misunderstanding turns the resulting haiku into exercises in nostalgia, in how to picture human life as free of industrialization, commercialization, or the morass of politics and manipulative media language. Yet although the great writers of haiku usually know the haiku tradition well, the goal of the best haiku has never been simply to imitate the past. Instead, the great writers of haiku take the tradition and do something that’s both unique and reflects its own moment of composition, not the past, in a way that acknowledges haiku tradition but extends it.”

Mark Wallace

/ Scorpion Prize 26 (R’r 12.2, 2012)

web

“Properly considered, [haiku] is . . . the world’s longest poem. . . . [H]aiku becomes the agglomeration of thousands, even millions, of small moments, from nearly the same number of poets over several centuries, shared by way of a common form. We are a part of this far-ranging community, and as such can feel the power which community can bring to such an enterprise.”

Jim Kacian

/ “first thoughts—a haiku primer”

seekings

Perhaps the appraisal of Marlene Mountain that is most important of all comes from Haruo Shirane, author of the influential book Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Bashō (Stanford University Press, 1998): in 2001, he wrote to her:

Dear Marlene,

I consider [William J.] Higginson to be a close friend and I admire his work greatly, but here I must offer a different opinion with regard to your work. Whether or not it fits some definition of haiku is of little relevance in the larger picture. The fact is that it is superior poetry, much superior to almost the entire body of what has been narrowly defined in North America as *haiku.* Bashō, like his great rival, Saikaku, felt that it was not form that counted, it was the poetry, the quality of the words, how it could move the reader. In their younger years, they broke all kinds of rules. Saikaku was criticized severely, and was told he was just *blowing dust.* But it was in the process of breaking rules that these poets often made their greatest poetic achievements. Great poets don’t stick to rules; they make their own. You belong in that company.

To put it another way, what was most important for Bashō was what was called *haikai spirit*, to be constantly seeking new horizons, new forms, new words, new emotions. In my view, you have that spirit.

Haruo Shirane (Columbia University)

 —

excerpted from Jack Galmitz’s essay “then I must go to the Mountain: (space reserved) for Marlene Mountain” (R’r 12.2), and can also be found in his collection of essays, Views (Cyberwit Press, 2012)

a thousand years

/ Far Beyond the Field: Haiku by Japanese Women (An Anthology) by Makoto Ueda

Sutejo Den (1633-1698)

*Ueda notes that “a pine mushroom (matsutake) is so named because it sprouts under pine trees. In Japan, pine trees were once believed to live for a thousand years. Buddhism emphasizes that each living thing possesses a different sense of time.”

john martone / molecular lament

Always a zephyr to find a new portfolio from john martone in the mailbox. His latest installment is molecular lament, and i thought i’d throw together some favorites. (In the course of doing a quick search for the cover image, i came across a nice suite of entirely different poems from this collection made by Jerome Rothenberg for his blog “Poems and poetics” thru Jacket2; do check it out.)

lettuce
seed

tastes
of dust

.

(the small
waves

too
dragon
flies)

.

now he’s dead
they tear out
all those walls

.

so many cells
but he can’t name
that bird song

.

bird-note
sails off
earth’s edge

.

everything
people have

given me
bird-note

.

box of photos
spilled on the floor

it’s all water

.

falling from
heights of that
molecule —

.

any
thing

single’s
a thorn

.

white hair
fluorescent
lights

.

what clock
ticking
so fast

.

say that word
feel the void’s
ligament

.

long
before

cunei
form

throat
carti
lage

.

those molecules
raise their eyes
it’s raining

.

john martone

/ molecular lament
sumaddo / ocean
2012

johnmartone@gmail.com

[an on-line version is available on jm’s scribd page]

One-Line Haiku Anthology

“Following two years of editorial research, Snapshot Press now invites open submissions of one-line haiku (also known as “monostich haiku,” “monoku” or simply “one-liners”) for the first tradition-spanning anthology of one-line haiku in English. Edited by John Barlow, the anthology will consider the conventions and history of one-line haiku in English, tracing the tradition from its beginnings in the 1960s and 1970s and celebrating the popularity of the form in the 1980s and its resurgence in the early years of the twenty-first century.

All schools of haiku will be considered.”

For what, when, how, and where on submissions, click here.

 

of the new

Ban’ya Natsuishi

/ Rhythm in the Vacuum (1986)

“[A]n example demonstrating how haiku bring the reader toward the phenomenology of the hard problem via adumbrations of the paradoxical and hypothetical can be found in this haiku by Natsuishi Ban’ya.

“Put a period” begins with what seems a trivial action: put a period somewhere. Usually we put them on paper; yet the second line represents a left turn with “into the desert,” reversing semantic expectation. Putting a period into the desert evokes a different line of image, action and form, from what might conceivably be done with a literal, textual period. And so, realism is subverted. The sense of paradox is heightened by the imperative grammatical tone. The poem is so short that while thinking this part out I’ve scanned the whole several times. Though having read this poem some years ago, I continue to formulate possible worlds: the aspect of explaining, in fact, the “explainer” of intellect rides behind the propulsive process of reading/misreading.

Some of my hypothetical speculations: the period implies “end of an era,” death, finality, a flag (of some sort); the desert is real and inhabits the new world, or a speculative new world; is an actual place (e.g. Death Valley, the high desert of Nasca); the haiku is political, “center of the desert” represents America’s current government and its war in Iraq; the period is a wounding; the haiku is historical, relating to Columbus’s “discovery” and eurocentrism; so, the haiku is revisionist and ironic, accessing “new world” in a post-colonial manner; the haiku landscape is that of another planet awaiting discovery; an alternative universe where putting a period exactly thus makes good sense; the haiku is a surreal remembrance, a novel myth. Alternativity spawns alternativities. The period is wherever my attention is.”

Richard Gilbert / “Plausible deniability: Nature as hypothesis in English‑language haiku” & in Poems of Consciousness: Contemporary Japanese and English-language Haiku in Cross-cultural Perspective (Red Moon Press, 2008)

beyond

“If what can be entrusted in this short poetic form [i.e., haiku] were no more than the feelings of the seasons captured in a diary mode, that would be terrible. The sort of poem that can’t deal with matters that go far beyond the seasonal feelings—the world, the universe, and man—can go to hell. If the haiku is what in Japanese can express cosmology and humanity most acutely, we naturally need categorical standards that transcend season or non-season.”

— Ban’ya Natsuishi

from Gendai Haiku: Keyword Jiten (Modern Haiku: A Dictionary of Keywords, Tachikaze Shobō, 1990); translated by Hiroaki Sato in his speech, The Haiku Form Revisited, with a Thought on Alternatives for Kigo presented 16 June 1990 to the Haiku Society of America

lakes & now wolves

Pleased to say that my first collection is now available from Modern Haiku Press.

Perfectbound, 64 pages

with an introduction by Philip Rowland

“In his haiku (one wants to say “in these creatures”) Scott Metz is both shaman and surrealist, evoking both an archaic time-before and our contemporary end-time. Word by word, these poems carry a primal charge, and one takes them up like so many amulets. He is a master of Dichten = condensare, making leaps that can remind me of Philip Soupault, Michaux and Kitasono Katue, and still these radical poems always go literally to the roots of haiku—each an embodiment of unapproachable sabi.”

john martone

“Over the last decade, Scott Metz has become one of a handful of innovators leading the way towards a new form and style for haiku in English. The poems within represent the fruits of that labor, their depth of emotion, range of expression and creative freshness articulate landscapes of rare intimacy. Here is haiku at its best, offering a nobility of spirit and a passion for poetry—for love itself.”

Richard Gilbert

R’r 12.2

 —click on the image above to read the issue as a flipbook via issuu

OR

—DOWNLOAD A PDF DOCUMENT OF R’r 12.2 : 2012

cover: Masako Metz (2012)

scorpion prize 26 by Mark Wallace

* 78 ku *

two essays by Jack Galmitz:

then I must go to the Mountain: (space reserved) for Marlene Mountain

&

Descant: Dimitar Anakiev’s Rustic

*

submissions for 12.3 due by December 1st / send to: scott@roadrunnerjournal.net

space

Kitasono Katue 

/ “Semiotic Theory” / White Album (Shiru no arubamu, 1929) [tr. John Solt]

Excerpts from and extensions of                                                                                  Oceans Beyond Monotonous Space: Selected poems of Kitasono Katue