Wade on Birmingham

Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 36


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  1. rehearsals, day 17
    He would speak into
    the remote for hours. The
    dog was not impressed.
  2. just another day in the walmart parking lot
    Wrong-way Willie went
    barreling up the one-way
    lane dodging shoppers.
  3. the reset button
    Push it and start all
    over. Push it and wipe those
    cares away. Push it.
  4. the alpha and the part that comes after alpha
    That half of the year
    went by so quickly that this
    half will surely drag.
  5. after solving the artist royalties problem
    Taylor Swift fixed my
    iPhone at the Genius Bar
    while singing “Bad Blood.”
  6. driving to fun park usa
    Junior and Little
    Miss stare at the streaming flick
    while Mom stays alert.
  7. magic in the library
    Each shelf held the key
    to worlds unexplored and dreams
    and nightmares and frogs.
  8. missing mutt
    He felt a dog-sized
    hole in his life with an ache
    for a wagging tail.
  9. l-o-v-e in the u-s-a
    No court, no law can
    stop the force of love as it
    spreads from heart to heart.
  10. dear brutus
    The fault lies not in
    our stars but in ourselves, that
    we are underlings.
  11. the middle is always chaos
    The start looks like fun,
    and the end looks perfect but
    far off. Keep going.
  12. this is going to be the best half-year ever
    Lose 10 pounds, join a
    book club, eat healthier, watch
    “Game of Thrones,” try meth.
  13. the prison explosion
    Time to figure out
    who we’re mad at and who we’re
    really afraid of.
  14. firecracker follies
    Bang! Pop! Rat-a-tat-
    tat! Up and down the street boom
    the sounds of freedom.
  15. this land is our land
    America smokes
    pot, marries anyone and
    plays so much soccer.
  16. littlest victories
    Odometer rolls
    and the 12th free sandwich and
    palindromic times.
  17. flying fingers
    The violinist
    practiced to make performing
    look so effortless.
  18. from cradle to bigger cradle
    Helicopter mom
    and dad kept Junior tethered
    long past puberty.
  19. back of the industrial park
    Freight slipped onto docks
    unnoticed, cargo bound for
    here or overseas.
  20. lost in the grind
    I can crunch numbers
    or test theories, but my best
    side is creative.
  21. the stash
    Frozen balls of dough
    turn any sad day into
    fresh-baked cookie time.
  22. a state of limbo
    A life that is full
    and empty, blessed with friends but
    without constant love.
  23. melt into the sidewalk
    The dog just ambles
    and pants, dragging the leash and
    human in the heat.
  24. the power of nerds
    Postmodern culture,
    a mashup of comic books
    and highbrow humor.
  25. box office heroes of summer 2015
    Dinosaurs, Mad Max,
    the Avengers, Minions and
    a girl’s emotions.
  26. less comprehension in less time
    Words flash faster and
    faster, books and novels speed
    by the keen reader.
  27. writer’s blech
    What is the term for
    trying to write but held back
    by lack of talent?
  28. even majorities are minorities
    Everyone’s a vic-
    tim, everyone else is to
    blame, martyrs for life.
  29. the anxious mind
    A churn of worries
    that never comes to pass in
    a state of alarm.
  30. follicle frolic
    Hair grows so subtly
    you can barely feel it ooze
    out of your scalp holes.
  31. armed with popcorn and candy
    The kids scrambled to
    their seats to escape the heat
    with movie magic.
  32. citations no extra charge
    Inspiration comes
    from the unlikeliest spots,
    like term paper sites.
  33. make room for hashtags, too
    The Library of
    Congress must build shelves to store
    tweets and emoji.
  34. not hot enough for that
    The gluten-free ice
    cream truck circled round the block
    with zero takers.
  35. fast asleep in the urban jungle
    Car alarm at 2
    a.m.: Let me sing you the
    song of my people.
  36. little girl lost
    A voice, distinct and
    true, silenced too soon by a
    misguided lifestyle.
  37. friday evening downpour
    Skies darken, thunder
    erupts and sheets of rain wash
    the earth thoroughly.
  38. among the charlatans
    A sense of purpose
    may never ring true yet can
    guide us to safety.
  39. the neighborhood crank
    A loner with an
    agenda finds almost no
    support for changes.
  40. concrete rain
    Bits of freeway fell
    in storms of debris as cars
    shook the bridges loose.
  41. the pizza accords
    First party agrees
    to extra cheese, while second
    party requests ham.
  42. the meltening
    The molecular
    structure of all things breaks down
    in this goddamn heat.
  43. shuffle off this mortal coil? check.
    The to-do list will
    never be done. The good news
    is we’ll all be dead.
  44. the longest con
    Living a robust
    perpetual denial
    about growing old.
  45. annual assigned reading 3-day cram session
  46. a town without a watchdog
    Graft flowed to outstretched
    hands, while the downtrodden fought
    for their measly crumbs.
  47. early onset adulthood
    When spouses become
    singles. When daughters become
    caretakers. And on.
  48. beyond needs fulfilled
    What gives you pleasure?
    Is it intellectual,
    physical or more?
  49. settling in by the pool
    A tall iced tea and
    a glossy magazine was
    all she required.
  50. as seen on body cams everywhere
    The thin blue line is
    spattered with blood red streaks and
    black-and-blue lesions.
  51. the poison of nostalgia
    Living in the past
    seems to be the drug of choice
    among lost people.
  52. the skim
    Each dawn brings a fresh
    opportunity to fleece
    everybody else.
  53. liquid butter cut-off
    Summer ends when we
    run out of blockbuster flicks
    to watch with popcorn.
  54. not quite ready for the bell
    Reluctant pupils
    enter the classroom with heads
    full of fireflies.
  55. long after graduation
    The gossip girls shared
    conspiratorial laughs
    in the locker room.
  56. stillness along the ocean
    She looked out onto
    the gulf one last time, ready
    for the next voyage.
  57. a good mom
    Nothing would keep her
    from scolding, feeding, reading
    to, raising her girls.
  58. the festival of fall approaches
    A carnival of
    colorful trees and hazy
    nights heads for our block.
  59. every saturday over coffee and carburetors
    The parking lot filled
    with classic hot rods, gearheads
    and fans of sweet rides.
  60. sensation of singing
    The lyrics rolled by
    on monitors for us to
    belt out tipsily.
  61. fourth wave feminism
    Ladies choose to be
    objectors, objectified,
    their bodies their selves.
  62. emoji nation
    We started out with
    Shakespeare and ended with a
    suggestive eggplant.
  63. chores, then domination
    I’ll be ready to
    conquer the world as soon as
    I wash the dishes.
  64. the most awkward sales pitch ever
    It comes with something …
    let me ask my manager
    and not call you back.
  65. a reasonable exit strategy
    Put down the empty
    glass and slip out the back door
    with hoarded brownies.
  66. the cost of fame
    He made a deal with
    the devil, then acted shocked
    at the devil’s scam.
  67. misanthropic awakening
    The more you get to
    know people, the more you want
    to crawl back in bed.
  68. jersey sore
    The coach yells at the
    team. The players run their drills.
    Practice never ends.
  69. dare defend
    Fields of cotton, lush
    forests, manmade lakes, kind hearts
    in Alabama.
  70. shop and chop
    The big dinner needs
    sliced and diced vegetables and
    meats at the ready.
  71. proration 2015
    It’s the second week
    of school, and they’re already
    out of chalk and milk.
  72. dinner party achievement unlocked
    The satisfaction
    from a well-cooked gourmet meal,
    but mostly fullness.
  73. scattered but not forgotten
    Refugees from the
    storm found new homes far from the
    shores of destruction.
  74. the wandering governor
    He flew across the
    land with his wife sometimes and
    his mistress sometimes.
  75. twisted mobility
    The scooter helped her
    up and down the hall, if not
    back on her own feet.
  76. harvest of shame
    The biggest garden
    foe was not cat nor bunny
    but incompetence.
  77. electoral collage
    They rigged the ballot
    so only predetermined
    elites could win votes.
  78. the farm’s last stand
    The last jar of peach
    preserves and basket of plump
    tomatoes has sold.
  79. and don’t forget thursdays
    Friday night is for
    football, as is Saturday,
    Sunday and Monday.
  80. work-life balance
    First comes work, then comes
    life, and bringing up the rear
    is balance. Then … death.
  81. shells
    The exterior
    hides everything — joy, sadness,
    pain — within ourselves.
  82. mired in perceptions
    Paranoia bears
    a strong resemblance to a
    nonstop awareness.
  83. left to our own devices
    We can do almost
    anything we put our minds
    to, except focus.
  84. a post-9/11 world
    More patriotic,
    more alert, more fearful, more
    wary, more grateful.
  85. smiles for meters
    Is happiness a
    constant? A pool that slowly
    drains? A deep, deep font?
  86. the strain of babysitting pupils
    Fights stopped: Around 5.
    Phones confiscated: 13.
    Lessons taught: 0.
  87. before you know it it’s mlk day
    It’s time for Hallo
  88. the sweetest orchard
    Harvesting from the
    candied apple tree, wearing
    gloves and sneaking bites.
  89. digital scrapbooking
    My jukebox: YouTube.
    My photo album: Facebook.
    My memory: Shot.
  90. golden ghouls
    The grandmas on the
    block like to dress scarily
    for shakes and giggles.
  91. the real bogeymen
    We act out of fear
    to protect ourselves and our
    kin, which breeds more fear.
  92. sidewalk campaigning
    Cleanup and paving
    crews show up every 4 years
    before elections.
  93. a time of falling leaves and pumpkin spice and christmas sales
    When does fall start? Ask
    a weather forecaster, a
    poet and a child.
  94. introvert’s paradise
    Coffee and good books,
    jazz and blueberry pancakes.
    Not a soul for miles.
  95. the funniest person online is a pickpocket
    Authorship is dead.
    Digital miscreants take
    anything for fun.
  96. strength in numbness
    My superpowers
    are procrastination and
    working on deadline.
  97. stork 2.0
    A drone came to my
    front door to deliver a
    newborn and cigars.
  98. the decimal decimation
    If we scrimp and save
    and hold off on paying some
    bills, we can eat soon.
  99. a crowded field
    Fall TV endures
    as a launch point and graveyard
    of few sparks, quick ends.
  100. it’s a quiet afternoon at the taco truck
    The cook preps his stuff,
    while another fixes the
    awning. A third drinks.
  101. desperate men call for desperate measures
    The mass of men lead
    lives of quiet despera-
    tion, As they deserve.

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