The Haiku by Carol Graser

The Haiku realized
several syllables later
that weather patterns had changed
that she was wearing a bikini
over goose pimpled skin

In a cold blast of starting over
she grabbed a run-on sentence
out of a five page essay
on the Industrial Revolution
wrapped it scarf-wise around her neck

She knitted a thick dress
out of lines unraveled
from random Wikipedia entries
let the loop and bind of wooly facts
kept her free from artistic drafts.

She plucked a hat
from the local section
of her daily newspaper
let minor assaults and drug busts
insulate her scalp.

She fashioned boots that looked
exactly as if they were durable
from volumes in Wal-Mart’s
book aisle, laced them tightly
to the soles of her mud stained feet

She started eating pizza
in front of the TV
No more baby salad greens
drifting gently onto her plate
She took to sleeping late
and avoiding mountains

She kept in touch with her sister
haikus, listened to their short
bursts on waterfalls and birds
but took no joy
in the conversations

She longed for work
that was fleshed out
something how to or hilarious
something unputdownable or
authoritative and vast in scope

She started watching sunsets while eating
ice cream and weighing her options. A cookbook
occurred to her during one fiery orange display
A cookbook, she considered, is something
to drip batter on, leave open

to the heartbreak of unpredictable grease
A cookbook,
she thought, setting down
her bowl and licking her spoon
with lazy, rambling directions
recipes with 17 ingredients each


Carol Graser has run the poetry reading series at Saratoga’s legendary Caffè Lena since 2003 and has performed her work at various events and venues around New York. Her work has been published in many literary journals and she is the author of the poetry collection, The Wild Twist of Their Stems (Foothills Publishing 2007).

Fiction                                                                            Issue Eighteen                                                                            Next

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