Haiku Translation Game
July 10, 1999
San Francisco

Each player wrote a haiku; the papers were then passed. The next player either translated or continued the haiku, aiming to eliminate all words used above. The process was repeated, eliminating all words in previous stanzas


Open, like a mouth
that can give out my secrets,
vulnerable cage.

Gaping orifice,
wide to tell clandestine truths,
Ah! The bird has flown.

Uncovered yawn spills
confidential four-one-one.
Cat's not in the bag!



Are what make your food
have many tastes other than
its usual taste.

Cayenne pepper, thyme
Coriander, cardamom
Cinnamon, and salt.

What is the smell of
The bay leaf? The turmeric?
Of cream of tartar?


Demon Bunnies

Rabbits in the snow
Bite their little bunny lips.
They taste like cold blood.

Consume essences
Floppy eared animal treat-sies
Flow under surface

Ravishing lapines
choose cruel winter for their home
insides matching crystals.



Back to Providence:
The mall has grown, untrammeled.
Milhous stands, unchanged.

Nostalgic walkways,
a morphed house of Verbatim,
my heartstrings, plucky.

Television town
Commerce now not challenged here
Shopping, co-op stay [s? -ed.]



The current was swift
in the river where a bird's
egg sat in the foam

water flowed quickly
between dry banks. Pavonine
young, unborn, lay there.

Speed's legal tender
for drowned robin's castaway
fledge. Pledge? No, a fledge.



Here is a pansy
For Nancy Ann Cianci
A fan of her man

Cold purple petals
On a johnny jump-up for
A dame with a flame

Deliver this rose
To our mayor's loving spouse.
That girl, she's the pearl.


Chemicals That Misbehave

Sodium bromide
Occidental penthanol
Stop pulling my hair

Hey! I said cut that
out this instant! Ow! Quit it,
you chemical pest!

Your miniscule bonds
are too small for these fingers.
Not fair. Release me.



there's condensation
dripping from the dorm fridge.
one fruit fly buzzes.

my good ear fogs up --
refrigerator magnet
an earwig visits.

in summer weather,
our cooler is not frost-free.
A single gnat swoops.