It’s an art form. It’s therapy. It’s both!
This site started because I had a miserable commute.
One of the ways I passed the time and stayed sane traveling 4.5 hours a day squeezed on a bus next to rude, obnoxious, noisy, horrible people is to write angry Twitter messages about them. One of my favorite recurring characters was a large older woman who smells of bleach and feta cheese. I called her Ethyl McCheddarSnatch, and anyone who follows me on Twitter for a while has heard of her.
One day, I decided to make the extra effort to put all of my venom in haiku form, using the 5-7-5 syllable pattern loosely based on traditional Japanese haiku.
Haiku is an art form that works perfectly within the micro-blogging platform, since Twitter users only have 140 characters per “tweet”.
I discovered that although my non-structured angry rants were cathartic in a way, the haiku versions were even better at diffusing my anger.
I think the reason for this is likely because I have to take the time to think through the phrasing in order to make it fit within the haiku format, and once I’m done, I get a sense of pleasure or pride from my carefully crafted rant. I enjoy seeing the responses from people, and knowing that I’ve been able to make my Twitter followers laugh. It’s my way of turning something miserable into something… well, less miserable.
It is my hope that this site can serve as a constructive outlet for you, in an environment where others can relate to – and maybe even get a chuckle out of – the way you’re channeling your own feelings of anger and frustration.
A technical note
The haiku here are not technically haiku. They’re more like faux-ku. Besides the 5-7-5 pattern (which doesn’t exactly match our version of 5-7-5, since in Japanese, some sounds count as more than one “on”, or sound unit, but only count as one syllable in English – traditional Japanese haiku will also generally make a metaphoric reference to nature or a season. Unless I’m bitching about commuting in the dead of Winter, most of the haiku here won’t follow the traditional rules.
If they fit into any classification, it would be most accurate to call these tiny works of art “senryū”, a poem that is written in a similar form and emphasizes irony, satire, humor, and human foibles rather than seasons.
With that said, we extend our apologies to any actual haiku artists that may stumble across this site. We genuinely mean no offense or affront to what you do.
To learn more about real haiku, check out the Wikipedia article.
One more thing
I recently moved this site to Tumblr from a self-hosted site. Unfortunately, the platform of the self-hosted site didn’t make it particularly easy for me to see (and therefore move) the original authors. While I have personally written many of these, if you see the poetry you or someone you know wrote or submitted, PLEASE tell me and I’ll update it or remove it according to your wishes. This is just meant to be fun, and I regret not keeping better track of folks who contributed. With the new Tumblr format, you can submit a post and it will retain the original submitter’s info.