Yeah, that’s a little tag-heavy a post title.
Okay! So it’s April Fools Day and the beginning of National Poetry Month (#npm) here in the United States (elsewhere I think National Poetry Month is in October, but no matter). It’s also Poetry Friday on the Internets so I fully expect there to be an explosion of meter and verse all over the place.
For the third year running I’ll be tweeting at least one original haiku (or #twitku) a day. I read recently about this “new trend” of poetry on Twitter called twaiku, like hundreds and thousands of other people haven’t been doing it for some time. Harumph. Anyway, last year I had a former facebook friend (the aren’t a former friend, I was formerly on facebook) suggest I add a challenge and write an original limerick every day as well. Foolishly, I didn’t think that was challenge enough and attempted to make all the limericks about monsters or nautical. Yeah, that got tough after a couple days.
This year I’m simplifying things and just going with the twitku. With a theme. The blues. I’m wondering if it’s possible to make haiku into mini blues songs, like this:
you got to work through
every other color first
then you can sing blues
Which sort of work if you want to hum a little blues riff in your head while reading it. You’ve got to imagine maybe Etta James voice, or Muddy Waters. I was also thinking about the blues in a more general sense, like what it might feel like for other people or things to get the blues. Like a crustacean for example:
the hermit crab snaps
his briny beat-a-be-bop~
we collect his shell
I don’t know what this fascination I have with the sea is all about.
I also was thinking of maybe trying to revive another form of Twitter poetry this month as well, what I call the Burma Shave poem. Burma-Shave was a popular shaving product in the early to mid 20th century that used a series of roadside signs across the country to advertise. As you drove there would be four red signs with white lettering (usually) utilizing a rhyme scheme of ABCB followed by the name of the product. Like this:
Train approaching / Whistle squealing / Stop / Avoid that run-down feeling / Burma-Shave
Or maybe it’s just a couplet spread across several placards for ease of roadside reading. I remember the first time I ever saw one of the few remaining roadside poems (though I don’t actually remember the verse) because I was able to say “Hey! I saw one of those poems in a bathroom once!” Naturally, I spoke without thinking because I was asked to repeat the poem which I then realized I should have kept to myself:
Be like dad / Not Like Sis / Lift the lid / When you piss
I now realize this was probably some old codger’s way of training us youngsters a little public bathroom etiquette, in the grand (and long lost) tradition of toilet stall poetry. So while I hope to preserve the spirit of these Burma Shave verses I hope to make them a little more relevant
Social networks! / Make new friends! / Alienation / Never ends!
Of course, when I post these on Twitter I follow them with the #burmashavepoem so that I don’t lose that full-stop feeling from the original.
I know lots of people have lots of goodness planned for the month, and this is what I’ll be up to. It would be swell if you followed along on Twitter (@delzey) but if that’s not your thing I’ll be rounding up my weekly poetic tweets here on Poetry Friday.
Speaking of, for more of that poetic goodness I mentioned, why not head on over to The Poem Farm where Amy is not only hosting this week but wrapping up her year of poems and included a whole slew of dogku. You can probably guess what those are.
And by all means, if you come up with some twitku or burmashave poems of your own, be sure to tag them on Twitter!