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Controlled Chaos: A Series of Meandering Haiku

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  • Controlled Chaos: A Series of Meandering Haiku

    This is a collection of 10 of a sort of mixed haiku sequence I've developed. I'll first share my artist's statement and one example, then a bit of the backstory. You can click through on the link to see the series, published at Sonic Boom.

    Artist's statement:

    In this collection of penned landscapes, I want to invite readers to take a leisurely walk through the words, the way one might through a field or forest. The words are loosely grouped, similarly to how wildflowers or saplings might be found, in relative proximity to one another, yet in no strict order or arrangement. This allows the space for other words to mix their way in, akin to plants spreading at the root and growing into one another.

    With this form, much focus is put on drawing the reader in to interact with the haiku—but not only that. What I wanted more than anything was to reinforce the idea that no two people will experience the reading of any haiku in the same way. My hope was that this method of writing and arranging would lead to the sequences being read in a variety of directions and configurations, encouraging the reader to insert themselves by manipulating the language and filling their own words into these new arrangements. Each meandering haiku consists of a mixed sequence written such that each can be read as three primary haiku, as well as numerous secondary and tertiary haiku. There is no correct way to read them.


    What first inspired the creation of this format was my personal desire to convey the way I encounter haiku, as a writer, and a reader, and a neurodivergent. In discussions with people who don't really know me, it has often been hard for me to communicate my viewpoint--the idea of what not only lies "between the lines" but also between and tangential to the words. What space is there for insertion (and what might the reader place there) and what may have been omitted (what can readers imagine)?

    Additionally, I wanted to strengthen the idea that there is room in the community for a wide variety of haiku, stylistically. I've included haiku that are geared toward social consciousness, some that are natural history-based, some that are humorous, some that are philosophical, some that might make some scratch their heads, the short, the long, and the in-between in length.

    I worked for a long time on a suitable delivery system. After many different types of visual formats and explanations, I settled on this, which is based on the controlled chaos of nature. My first several attempts looked very clinical and uninviting. I tried my best to form this into something that would draw people in to where they actually wanted to experience it, spend time with it. I hope some of you will take the time to interact with these short sequences and feel free to ask any questions.

  • #2
    Robin, these really excite me - excellent! I’ll put my comments in the workshop.