Wade on Birmingham

Wade’s 101: Haiku retrospective 48


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  1. synaptic revolution
    The voice inside my
    head shouts at me (and others):
    “Fight, goddammit, fight!”
  2. the twilight of america
    Where once all (white) men
    were created equal, now
    they’re the master race.
  3. the best jazz comes from montana
    The best jazz comes from
    Montana, where the beats drop
    all around the clock.
  4. 400 characters or 4,000
    Just how long should a
    password be when companies
    get hacked anyway?
  5. voters of a certain age
    Young people don’t vote.
    Old people do. And make bad
    picks. Old people win.
  6. a holly jolly halloween
    Front yards aglow with
    inflatable ghosts and troupes
    of dancing pumpkins.
  7. and the shiny goes to
    All awards are trite
    and egoistic except
    for the ones I win.
  8. dressed to thrall
    A great costume sparks
    envy and awe among those
    stuck in basse couture.
  9. within one’s means
    The problem with a
    budget is window shopping
    becomes obsession.
  10. out of zany, one
    As long as we keep
    the old, the infirm, the odd
    out of sight, we’ll cope.
  11. the deep satisfaction of a cake maker
    Turning out layer
    after layer of golden
    baking perfection.
  12. a call to disarm
    Why fight when we can?
    Why fight when we can talk? Why
    fight when we can love?
  13. 4k 2bad
    Formats are higher
    in resolution but boast
    exact same plot holes.
  14. pumpkin spice infestation
    It seeps into your
    pores, turning you into a
    bright wack-o’-lantern.
  15. a dog when someone rings the doorbell
    Alert! Alert! A
    stranger is coming in. Let
    me sniff him and pounce.
  16. the loner at the patio bar
    The long drawn face tied
    to slumping shoulders. How life
    has beaten him down.
  17. at the corner of fourth and 18th
    No better way to
    meet people than at the scene
    of a big car crash.
  18. disguise discovery
    This mask we wear comes
    off but once a year to show
    the world our true selves.
  19. cuter looters
    At the door are quite
    a few short weirdos looking
    for candy to snatch.
  20. squiggles and sticks
    Each punctuation
    mark has a name. Who knows what
    they are period.
  21. retail ghost town
    The empty storefronts
    interrupted by a vape
    shop and boutique gym.
  22. the paycheck-to-paycheck stranglehold
    Ignore bill, ignore
    bill, pay a little, do with
    less, then start again.
  23. no campaigning within 30 feet
    With eager waves and
    greetings, they make a last-ditch
    effort to win votes.
  24. from all sides
    Tribalism takes
    its hold on the extremes and
    squeezes the middle.
  25. either/or
    A few hours of
    voting can transform the world
    for better or worse.
  26. all according to plan
    The frustration of
    being in control while not
    controlling a thing.
  27. down and out
    A broken man waits
    on the street for a wish that
    is never granted.
  28. a podcast a day
    History, local
    stuff, serial killers fill
    the ears and the minds.
  29. broken pen pals
    on one side of messages,
    postcards and letters.
  30. veterans on parade
    Riding the floats and
    waving to throngs of grateful,
    proud Americans.
  31. hobo king
    He rules the rails with
    dignity, compassion for
    all who seek jobs, jaunts.
  32. the group text
    A thread of catty
    remarks and blackmail pics to
    keep everyone sane.
  33. first heard
    Voices. All distinct.
    The light above. Faint footsteps.
    Blood pumps in the ears.
  34. the text of undoing
    His motivation
    revealed itself in a few
    poorly chosen words.
  35. my other super power
    Picking the item
    at McDonald’s that they’re out
    of today only.
  36. the universe in its infinite diversity
    On other planets,
    do they see us? Do they want
    to talk? Or hide out?
  37. deep fried turkey
    The only thing deep-
    fried on Thanksgiving was the
    chef’s unlucky leg.
  38. back to shells and disks
    The chip is maybe
    secure except when thieves scan
    it in your wallet.
  39. the cycle of resistance
    Every day is a
    new fight. Can’t back down. Every
    day is a new fight.
  40. the airing of blessings
    Look for the people
    who make your life better to
    express gratitude.
  41. a guide to thanksgiving dinner
    Break bread and tell tales
    round the table. Share wisdom
    and promote world peace.
  42. 17 rhymes
    Cats hats rats bats tats
    mats gnats fats pats stats lats vats
    slats gats flats brats prats.
  43. quantify everything
    Count all the oaks, fish,
    gulls, rocks, cups, stars, cars, peaks, caves,
    kites, dawns, dunes, breaths, souls.
  44. a cost of free speech
    A hidden army
    vets obscene and bloody pics
    for our social play.
  45. cartoon obsession
    So much joy from a
    set of squiggly lines and a
    troupe of strong voices.
  46. beauty and wonder
    To gaze at the blue
    sky with an armada of
    clouds shaped like tacos.
  47. scribbling towards ecstasy
    It takes a little
    bit of practice each day to
    become a writer.
  48. radical acceptance
    This is our moment.
    Circumstances don’t matter.
    It is what it is.
  49. the coming frost
    Soon, the harvested
    fields make way for death, decay
    and the coming frost.
  50. climate charge
    Snowflakes in autumn.
    Has winter solstice become
    too commercialized?
  51. death at our own hands
    More see the only
    way out is through suicide.
    Hope has gone away.
  52. tinder, but for swingin’ kringles
    Those dying malls can’t
    support Santa’s gigs, but an
    app can summon him.
  53. everywhere but inside of the eyelids
    Tired, exhausted, worn
    out, run down, sleepy, tuckered
    out, zombified, dead.
  54. the holiday rush
    … three smashed cars, two wreck-
    er jobs and a traffic jam
    on the interstate.
  55. the surly server
    Her feet ache, her shifts
    go forever and her damn
    diners forget tips.
  56. rabble with a cause
    A protest is not
    to reach consensus, but to
    speak truth to power.
  57. the perks of being a working stiff
    Sleep comes easily
    to exhausted souls trying
    to remain afloat.
  58. space opera
    A musical on
    changing interstellar trade
    policy and droids.
  59. the baby says hi
    He toddles up to
    strangers to welcome them with
    no guise but kindness.
  60. the monsoon
    Whoever is still
    praying for rain, please stop else
    we drown on our land.
  61. choose patience
    The hurry-up-and-
    go method gives way to a
    moment for breathing.
  62. youtube radicalization
    Watch a video,
    then three more, then parrot back
    hateful talking points.
  63. songs and sweets
    A time for candy
    canes and mistletoe, thoughtful
    gifts and caroling.
  64. ai is my co-pilot
    The long road to self-
    driving cars will be littered
    with bodies and wrecks.
  65. forget hell
    I had a better
    verse in mind, but I didn’t
    write it down in time.
  66. held up at the north pole port of entry
    Santa may delay
    his journey to sort out some
    weird tariff issues.
  67. they’ve even infected this stanza
    The Russians spared no
    expense in bringing chaos
    to other nations.
  68. the gentleman in front of western
    A looping voice box
    lures busy shoppers to the
    wheelchair bodega.
  69. my bully
    You can’t damage me.
    In every aspect, I am
    my own worst bully.
  70. the touch of winter
    Dark days, darker nights,
    a biting cold coupled with
    peaceful lifelessness.
  71. the heart of contempt
    The fragile white male
    ego, a foul entity
    to behold, to know.
  72. sugar cookies and crocheted stockings
    The best thing about
    holiday traditions is
    making up new ones.
  73. showtime from the apollo
    They looked back upon
    the earth in awe at the small
    blue marble called home.
  74. bundle of hope
    A package, neatly
    wrapped, beneath the twinkling lights
    waiting for a child.
  75. brick and mortal
    No more bargain hunts.
    No more long return lines. Just
    click, wait, knock, it’s done.
  76. art as a commodity
    What color palette?
    What themes? Which artist’s style? What’s
    your spending limit?
  77. maybe next year
    Catch up on some sleep.
    Finish clearing the garage.
    Learn a new language.
  78. missing sense
    My dog has no nose!
    — Oh heavens, how does he smell?
    (A pause.) Just awful.
  79. unable to escape
    Who designed such a
    fiendish trap that would keep me
    so paralyzed? … … Me.
  80. in closing
    All good things must come
    to an end. Fortunately,
    all bad things as well.
  81. the beginning
    The road ahead is
    long, maybe dangerous and
    ready to traverse.
  82. home for the holi-half-day
    She drove night and day
    across states to be with her
    kids for 12 hours.
  83. a little rain
    A light breeze became
    a little rain. That never
    stopped. The world flooded.
  84. malodorous realm
    I bet the worst thing
    about eternity in
    hell is the odor.
  85. a year for setbacks and setforwards
    She delighted in
    her many resolutions,
    kept and otherwise.
  86. rah deal
    Students stopped going
    to games and settled for score
    updates on their phones.
  87. found in the mail
    The box of goods wound
    its way across the country
    by way of Japan.
  88. ballad of the porch pirate
    Before, burglars had
    to break inside. Now, they just
    swipe our packages.
  89. comparison is the thief of joy
    Cupcakes are fancy
    muffins. Hotels are taller
    motels. All is lost.
  90. where ideas come from
    A hidden part of
    the lizard brain that defies
    logic and reason.
  91. the moral lesson
    Not one to absorb
    but to put into practice
    over and over.
  92. everyone is overqualified
    We are good drivers,
    with above-average brains
    and perfect manners.
  93. the perfect crime
    Don’t cry because it’s
    over. Smile because you got
    away with something.
  94. calibration dish
    If they can’t make a
    good cashew chicken, then they
    won’t see me again.
  95. modern civics
    Grab all you can get.
    The ends justify the means.
    And also meanness.
  96. to-done list
    It can be somewhat
    satisfying to cross off
    items from ’16.
  97. conversations in the air
    Ambling down the street,
    chatting with distant friends through
    hidden earpieces.
  98. the heap down the street
    We all end up like
    so much junk on the curb, sent
    to oblivion.
  99. the new new fandom
    Love what you love, but
    not to the detriment of
    others’ enjoyment.
  100. writing a hit song
    Catchy tune with a
    memorable chorus, plus
    lots of tambourine.
  101. winter emergency survival kit
    Light the fire. Pour
    the wine. Stay inside. Cuddle
    under the blankets.

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