Another day on earth, and another haiku, my cool new project

"Another day on Earth" by James Dignan (photo via
"Another day on Earth" by James Dignan (image via

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I haven’t been doing enough creative work. It has all been just work, and it’s burning me out. So I’ve been trying to read more of the blogs I find interesting, for inspiration. Most recently, my husband hooked me up with the super excellent Broke-Ass Stuart’s Goddamn Website, which—aside from having one of the best names in the world—has been introducing me to all manner of broke-ass creativity and reminding me that life is most definitely not about the money you make, but about the fun you can create for yourself.

I seriously heart Broke-Ass Stuart. He knows all the cool places in San Fran and NYC, plus he’s got some hilarious writers working that site. I mean, What Your Girl’s Male Celebrity Crushes Say About Them and, for the ladies, What Your Dude’s Female Celebrity Crushes Say About Them? Pure genius. Sample silliness:

There is an idea of a guy who likes Katie Holmes.  Though he can hide his cold gaze and you can shake his hand and feel his flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense that your lifestyles are probably comparable, he is Simply. Not. There.   Run while you still have the use of both your legs.

Anyway, Broke-Ass Stuart, in turn, turned me onto Lawrence Bonk (via his “Broke-Ass of the Week” section) of Another Day On Earth, a neat little blog where the author posts a song a day. Which has me thinking… what happened to that 500 words a day? What happened to doing anything for me, and my own creative intents, daily? Why do I always put it as the last item on my to-do list, devaluing my own desires, my own needs? Yeah, sure, I need to do my work. But work only extends from 9 to 5, and there are plenty more hours in the day.

I need to make a ___ a day commitment to my own work. And I think that it needs to be something small, so I will not feel intimidated about keeping it up, but not so easy to do that I can just coast. It needs to be something structured, because 500 words could be anything but, say, a haiku a day has to be something specific, a definite outcome, judged as done or not-done. Good or not-good. Success or failure. All or nothing, just like the Libra in me.

I’ve always been rather partial to the haiku. It’s just restrictive enough, with the 5-7-5 pattern, to impose order without being insanely hard to achieve (like, say, a sonnet). It’s creative. It’s poetry that need not rhyme, nor be cute. People can read them quickly and easily, without having to struggle to understand many concepts. They’re snapshots, for people who create pictures with words.

So, how about this: a haiku a day, based on a photo. The photo can be one I am inspired to shoot myself (adding an extra dimension of creativity), or a found photo. You can send me shots if you like. The photos may not inspire a direct haiku, but the photos are the creative prompt, so the haiku should not be something I conjured up previously (I know I have a few “angry haiku” somewhere on my hard drive, which I may share at some point).

The title of this post is my first haiku:

Another day on
Earth, and another haiku,
My cool new project

It may not be genius, but they’ll get better, I swear. In fact, I promise to think about my second haiku for more than 10 seconds before I post it.

For those that are interested, there’s a website called Haiku of the Day which does, in fact, post a new haiku every day (and is still being updated, unlike some other so-called daily haiku blogs), as well as DailyHaiku, whose former editor Mike Gravel once upon a time helped me judge a contest of dirty haiku poems for Black Heart. You should definitely check them out.

Want to point me to a photo that might inspire my daily haiku? You can mail me a direct link to anything that catches your fancy via my contact form, or link me in the comments section below!

And now, I leave you with Broke-Ass Stuart’s tagline and words of wisdom: You are young, broke and beautiful.