HAIKU CHALLENGE

Posted: May 18, 2015 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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HAIKU CHALLENGE

Working as a news bureau chief for Stars and Stripes on Guam and Okinawa were the best 19 years of my newspaper career. There usually was plenty to do, but sometimes the news was slow and the staff, scattered across the Far East, shared haikus to while away the time. Here’s one started by The South Korea Bureau Chief one day:

The subject: Base PAOs. (Don’t forget, 5,7,5.) I’ll start:

“E-mail the question
Expect an answer by 5
No comment, thank you”

So, I answered with:

I NEED AN ANSWER NOW
“Dammit,” he replied.
“How do you spell that?” I asked.
“D-A-V-I-D.”

And another reporter came up with:

Ask me no questions,
I’ll tell you no lies, unless
you prefer bullshit.

So, an editor wrote:

Jack Daniels, my friend.
Please prevent me from killing
The guy on the phone.

My next submission was:

the questions are old
I await the brasshole’s call
and his blank reply

Which was promptly answered with:

Warzinski speaks fast:
“Mmmm srnn fennn bumn mmm Japan”
What the fuck was that?

Followed by a reporter:

Thank you for calling.
Leave a message…we’ll call when
Sherman leaves Georgia.

And another by me:

deadline is looming
the telephone remains mute
Sid says, “killing me.”

Followed by an editor’s:

We pulled the curfew.
Not because of your story;
Ummm, we planned it. Yeah.

To which another editor responded:

The razor is dull
and my wrists are deeply scarred
when the phone call ends

And I answered:

“why not write good news?”
the Marine officer asked.
when you are we will.

Another editor then wrote:

Interview request?
Just e-mail us your questions.
We like that better.

To which the founder of the challenge answered:
Since this one is almost a perfect quote – and Joe will back it up (remember the conversation with Nowell?) – I think I win!

Why would I give you
information when I can’t
control what you write?

Followed by this protest:

In twenty-four years,
Flack is most unfair and mean.
Take ball and go home.

-30-

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