Haiku Roundup for August 2021

I posted this a few years ago, but I think it’s worth posting again.

A while back, during a phase when I was having trouble writing fiction, a friend of mine showed me a haiku they’d been working on. I couldn’t manage something like a whole story, but writing seventeen syllables of poetry came easily, and felt right. 

These poems are only sort of traditional haiku. For one thing, I used English syllables instead of trying to adapt English words to Japanese morae which are similar to syllables, but not the same. I did use a seasonal reference in the first line of each, but they aren’t necessarily the kind of seasonal imagery that would have been used in a traditional poem. Also, I talked a lot more directly about what I was feeling, instead of using the metaphors to convey it.

However, I did try to convey my thoughts as I experienced them in that transient moment. I also tried not to revise, to just let them be as they were. (I think I cheated a couple of times, though.)  

These haikus aren’t necessarily in order, and they’re from a bit ago, so they won’t match up with the current weather, but I hope the words mean something to you.


Light through naked trees.
My dreams were not peaceful, and
I just want to sleep.

In night’s deep belly,
midnight is a great crevasse,
dark but sheltering.

Pet me, please. Now, please.
Stop tapping on that machine.
I’m here; I love you.

Evening starts at three.
I have a day’s work to do
in the waning light.

The twilight sky bleeds
to deeper and deeper shades
of thoughtful Winter.

Half-naked branches,
black, with yellow flags waving
gently in the wind.

Bitter, windy, dark,
clattering cold strikes the rain,
sharp, overwhelming.

Hasten through the cold,
the wind pushing you backward.
The windows are bright.

Zombies Need Brains Kickstarted Three New Anthologies!

shattering the glass slipper cover image green background with various items in corner such as a broken glass shoe and dented lamp

Live happily ever after… or don’t. It’s up to you.

Zombies Need Brains (@ZNGLLC) is kickstarting three new anthologies, including an anthology of fairy tales that have been smashed up and remade into something new, SHATTERING THE GLASS SLIPPER.

I’m one of the authors who’s signed up to participate, along with awesome folks like Alethea Kontis, Cat Rambo, Jose Iriarte and lots of others whose work I’m excited to get to know. (The editors also plan to consider open submissions once the kickstarter funds.)

At the same time, ZNBLLC is also funding two other anthologies, NOIR and BRAVE NEW WORLDS.

I’m contributing some rewards!

I’m offering up to three backers a printed copy of one of my short stories with  margins full of ridiculous, hand-drawn doodles. When I’ve done this in the past, I’ve drawn on copies of my flash stories “Death and the All-Night Donut Shop” and “Again and Again and Again.” Not sure which story I’ll pick this time!

Early backers who contribute before the Kickstarter reaches its goal will get an original poem that’s not available elsewhere online. If the Kickstarter reaches its stretch goal, I’ll send all backers a copy of a short chapbook including six flash fiction drafts and an original poem. 

As for my story, I’m planning a Rapunzel set in an urban fantasy version of Seattle–not my usual thing! However, I’m also working on a Little Mermaid retelling about alienation, fish reproduction, and the combination thereof. Hopefully, I’ll be able to offer the editors a choice.

I adore fairy tale retellings, both writing and consuming them.

As a child, I obsessed over Shelley Duval’s Faerie Tale Theatre, Datlow & Windling’s fairy tale anthology series, and Tanith Lee’s collection, Red as Blood.

Here are a couple more recent retellings I adore:

And here are a couple of mine (I swear not all my retellings are NSFW!):

  • All That Fairy Tale Crap” — NSFW post-modern Cinderella
  • Tea Time” — NSFW (especially if you happen to be working in a Victorian time travel situation) romance between the Mad Hatter and March Hare

Thanks to ZNBLLC for doing the work to keep small press anthologies alive!

Check out the Kickstarter for SHATTERING THE GLASS SLIPPER and its siblings, NOIR and BRAVE NEW WORLDS.

You can follow Zombies Need Brains on Twitter for updates regarding the kickstarter and anthologies.