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Weekly Alibi Haiku You

"Weekly Alibi"'s Fifth Annual Haiku Contest Winners!

By Alibi Readers

SEPTEMBER 29, 1997:  Best Traditional

O, the ancient art of haiku--compact, sleek, economical--in fact, not unlike a Japanese car. And as poetry goes, it's pretty fun, too. You etymology buffs may be interested to know that the term haiku actually refers to two different, yet very writerly, ideas: hai for "recreation" and ku for "sentence." But if my understanding of the genre is anywhere on target, the perfect haiku should be as intensely visual as it is brief--almost always an image from nature. This year, the competition in this rarefying form was stiffer than usual. But when it came to constructing the most succinct visuals, the top honors went to J.T. Craig of Albuquerque. Like all of our winners, Craig will receive an Alibi Prize Package, consisting of a Weekly Alibi T-shirt and a $10 gift certificate to Rio Rancho Flowers. And as an added bonus, we've also thrown in a $17 gift certificate to Tulane Exchange--get it? A dollar a syllable!

Thanks to everyone who entered--in every category--and keep tapping those fingers to the haiku beat. We'll be back next fall!

--Blake de Pastino

First Prize

Wind bends the grasses
deftly initialing snow,
then erases it.
--J.T. Craig

Honorable Mention

Afternoon centaur
ferryman withers to flank
brash nimbus hoofbeats
--B.K. Page

Stupid pouring rain
My house is made of paper
Now I live in pulp
--Robyn Wagner

True green, potted mint
Shimmies in the carbon air--
A "traffic" salad
--Melody Naifeh

Standing naked under the full moon
to cleanse my soul.
I shiver at its lunacy.
--S.E. Jennings

A young sparrow flits
skipping between the branches
on pointed wingtips
--Robert Huber

Most Likely to Get You Elected Mayor

With election season upon us, our contestants in the category called "most likely to get you elected mayor" knew where to look for inspiration. The best of the bunch drew on the recent raises for police and city workers, teen curfews, Intel and general political grandstanding to create their verses. Our winner, Jeff Miller, crafted a touching paean to the passing of Mayor Martin Chavez's administration, which mentioned controversies like the Montaño Bridge and the proposed extension of Paseo del Norte through the Petroglyph National Monument. For his work, he gets his own Alibi Prize Package (T-shirt and flowers), plus two passes to the Guild Theatre.

--Angie Drobnic

First Prize

promise: roads through ruins,
a bridge, kick out the homeless
well, it worked last time
--Jeff D. Miller

Honorable Mention

This job seems somewhat
degrading for someone of
my high caliber.
--Steven Robert Allen

So you want a raise?
I'll give you a goddamn raise!
Come on! Work with me!
--Matt Hunter

My friends, I'm like you.
We all want lower taxes,
no crime and free booze.
--Michael X. Goodrich

Keep the kids locked up
Under seventeen a crime
Then we will be safe
--Rev. J.B. Bell

Best Chicano

When reading poetry, it is natural to apply the words to your own life, so here is my story. When I was much younger, there was a wonderful Hispanic woman whom I called Mabel because I could never pronounce her real name correctly. Once every week, she would come to my house and speak to me in Spanish, knowing full well that (at the time) I could not understand what she was saying. One day Mabel came over with a sack of flour in one hand and a container of lard in the other. This was to be my hands-on introduction to the richness of her language and culture. We stayed in the kitchen all day making tortillas, Mabel explaining the process in Spanish as I gradually began to understand. And if you have never had a tortilla straight from the cast iron skillet, you are missing out on the good life! Which brings me to our First Prize winner, Manuel Romo, whose mother's tortillas apparently rival Mabel's. For his effort, Romo gets a Prize Package and two passes to the Guild Theatre.

--Kristin Henningsen

First Prize

O las tortillas
De mama, sol caliente,
La vida Buena!
--Manuel Romo

Honorable Mention

So hop on esa
And hear mi poesia
Tan Japonesa
--David Peregrino

Clean, nothing to hide
Passion in dark eyes seize me
Cholo fun for life
--Tanya Miller

Chica bonita,
Ya se que te quiero
Siento ser tan feo
--Kelly O'Rourke

Best as Written by KOAT-TV's Dick Knipfing

It's not so much that we have it in for longtime newscaster Dick Knipfing; we just really like hearing his name. Saying it is also kind of fun and, as some of our Haiku Contest entrants explained, there are more variations of his last name than you can shake a stick at. Love him or hate him, Dick's got that hair--that silver helmet of the gods--and the distinction of being the only newscaster in New Mexico who, so damned concerned with political correctness and correct Spanish pronunciation, once referred to a candlelight vigil as a candlelight Vee-HILL. He was also voted Albuquerque's "Scariest Local TV Newsperson" in our 1997 Best of Burque Readers Poll.

All of the above is enough to make any self-respecting, sane human being lock themselves inside their home, paint the windows black and spend the rest of their lives eating Takeout Taxi and existing vicariously through their chat groups. Not Dick, though. Silver helmet and all, the guy shows up to work every night and even has an occasional meal at the Frontier Restaurant. It may seem like we pick on Mr. Knipfing with startling frequency, but the fact is that we love Dick as much as the next person.

B.K Page took the lead in this category, snagging an Alibi Prize Package and--appropriately enough--a free haircut at Waves.

--Michael Henningsen

First Prize

We'll take you there, but
first: Howard's etherized sky
And Barry Ramo
--B.K. Page

Honorable Mention

Augusta, come here.
How 'bout some Action 7
kind of action, babe?
--John Kallman II

Dick in the Morning
"Huevos rancheros,
and a Frontier roll.
--Rick Holland

stay tuned for more news
tonight we investigate
Tim Gallegos' hair
--David Peregrino

Most Romantic

Forgive me my judging; I'm jaded. The way romance is often written about--sunsets, blossoms, butterflies, soft kisses, satin--is all so tired. What our winning haiku contestant and the runners up have to say about romance--an ambiguous little category, though it wouldn't seem--is as gritty and bare as the feelings themselves. In 17 syllables only, these haikus sum up hundreds of torrid emotions--whether simple, juvenile, twisted, transcendental or sublime. Romance is a matter of interpretation, and it is not about fluffy puppies and rainbows. Sorry. For being the girl after my own heart, Marisa Young gets a Prize Package and two tickets to the Guild Theatre.

--Jessica English

First Prize

Broken eyeglasses:
I gave him a good reason
To stop seeing me
--Marisa Young

Honorable Mention

Here, put your clothes on
the naked city hollers
what we bare is ours
--B.K. Page

Easy, I see now,
from his lips tumbled faux gems.
With each kiss, a cut.
--Madeleine Havas

Would you care to see
me naked? I'll strip if you
really want me to.
--Steven Robert Allen

The rain was gentle.
I was resting in her arms.
So what if she's dead?
--Christopher Kallman

I could taste the zen
the waves of her tongue washing
thought away from me
--Felix X. Wyldflower

Best Haiku for Tantric Sex

Tantric sex. Most people ask, "What is it?" Well, it's not found in a two-seater, rocking back and forth somewhere in a dirt-packed Rio Rancho housing tract. Oh, you curious ones, I wanted to pluck a book from the main library's shelf, look up tantric sex and give you a definition. However, the librarian who cocked her head along with me to read spines told me such volumes (none could be found) were probably stolen. Karma will prevail, I snickered. Then it occurred to me that, although you could read about it, hear about it, even watch it, you won't really know it unless you experience it.

What are you waiting for? Grab your partner, Kama Sutra oil and some incense, make your way to the bedroom and read our entries by candlelight. Our "Tantric Sex" winner, Seymon Koravik, reveals what it's like to "Let Go. Let God." Your Prize Package and Guild passes are on their way.

--M. A. McDonald

First Prize

O, circumference
thrumming cyclic powerhouse
known, our loving wakes
--Seymon Koravik

Honorable Mention

My kundalini
awakens--your touch sends a
shiva down my spine
--David Peregrino

Riding waves of bliss
in extended orgasm
total fulfillment
--Heather O'Daniel

Mystical melding
kindred souls entwine hours pass
get off me asshole!
--Mark Edmands

Tantric tedium
last all night, quite an ordeal
--Christopher Bragg

He comes. The baby
wakes, cries. I pull on my pants.
Next week, I will come.
--Beth O'Neall

Best Personal Ad

Thousands of personals have burned into my cerebrum over the years, but here today I find delight in the form, and once again appreciate the twisted calls to mate. As his prize, our winner Paul Rueckhaus will get full exposure of his haiku as an "Ad of the Week" in the Alibi Personals, along with a gift certificate to the Alvarado Restaurant on Central (the former Rio Bravo) for food and drinks and a $20 credit at "Block Party."

Are we having fun yet?

--Norma Jean Thompson

First Prize

Eat gefilte fish
Steam my matzo balls in soup
Please, roast my shank bone
--Paul Rueckhaus

Honorable Mention

Old, bald, overweight
Seeks buxom, young, thin filly
into fantasy
--Jessica Schurtman

Strap-on Menorah
Give me one hot Chanukah
Light my nine candles
--Paul Rueckhaus

Supple pliant back
Seeks naked stiletto heels
For short walks, friendship
--David Peregrino

Straight guy with bald spot
Picard/Gumby cross, employed
Will pay for respect
--Dan Shoemaker

Finicky red head
Seeking man of her dreams
Must be her husband
--Katie Stone

Using the Phrase "Groin Pull"

I don't know much about poetry, but I do know my groin pulls. I sustained one while chasing UFOs around northern New Mexico late one night--but that's another story. The screaming tendon, the funny walk: These things speak to me more than do clever rhyme or fancy meter. So, in a brazen attempt to bring high art to the lowly masses, we unveil the "Groin Pull" category. A distressing number of entries here chose to dwell on "Monday Night Football" or other rather prosaic descriptions of athletes injuring themselves. Our winner, Rick Holland, I am sure you'll all agree, is most deserving of his prize: the super Alibi Prize Pacakge and a $17 voucher for Tulane Exchange.

--Devin D. O'Leary

First Prize

The truck's on blocks. My
trailer leaks. I'm out of Skoal.
Groin pulls! What channel?
--Rick Holland

Honorable Mention

Ecstatic groin pull
at the Midnight Rodeo.
Sorry, li'l missy.
--Dan Shoemaker

Balletomane's bane,
a rugger's royal ruin,
oh grievous groin pull
--David Peregrino

I used to play ball
until I pulled my groin out
now I just watch
--Christos & Stacy Hankins-Torres


Have you ever thought about why the color blue is synonymous with feeling low? The other day I found the bluest nail polish I'd ever seen: Ink. I snatched it up, gave the clerk a five and told her to keep the change. I was mournfully happy. What I needed was to show the world how blue I'd gotten lately. It gave me something to smirk over, an inside joke (choke). No journal entry over some fickle lover that evening before bed!

Here we have the bluest haiku. Our entrants have pulled bits from their aching innards, given you glimpses into their deep thoughts and feelings as souls hit bottom (or just an itchy bottom). For getting to the heart of all this, Robert Huber gets a Prize Package and two Guild passes. Read on and wear your blue on the outside.

--M. A. McDonald

First Prize

Late night loneliness
presses down upon my soul
like winter silence
--Robert Huber

Honorable Mention

I wonder how much
it would hurt if I jammed this
pen right through my hand.
--Steven Robert Allen

Get away from here.
I don't care where you end up.
Just leave me alone.
--Christopher Kallman

Bright viscous liquid
encased in clear plastic. Freeze.
Snip off the top. Squeeze.
--Rick Holland

Can't get out of bed
Can't face one more day of this
Can't cope, won't hope, can't
--Jeff D. Miller

I suffocated,
in an ice-cold swimming pool,
above me no clouds.
--Nick Tauro

Bruised balls and itchy
stitches. Can't come for five days.
Oh, man, am I blue.
--Beth & Hugh O'Neall


The miscellaneous category: what can be said of it? Wacky, zany, crappy, eclectic, blah blah blah. The haiku that attracted our attention were literary, self-reflective, full of pop culture references or--most often--gratifyingly random. First prize in this arena goes to Michael X. Goodrich, who wins a Prize Package plus a $17 gift certificate to Tulane Exchange. Without further ado ...

--Angie Drobnic

First Prize

There once was a man
from Nantucket. Oh, hold on.
That's a limerick.
--Michael X. Goodrich

Honorable Mention

I regret never
taking opportunities
to be immature
--Kelly O'Rourke

Tamagootchi craze
I feed my little darling
Flesh and blood child starves
--Rev. J.B. Bell

Broken hearts rare mend.
Doomed to numb blind kisses now.
Thanks for melting down.
--Suido Nyhm

We need more calgon!!
ancient chinese secret, huh?
clean clothes good, not bad
--Jim Crossland

Yes I cry sometimes
But I am still a whole man
Let me live in peace
--Christos & Stacy Hankins-Torres Esq.

Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks to everyone who entered. Special gratitude also goes to our sponsors--Rio Rancho Flowers, the Guild Theatre, Tulane Exchange and Alvarado Restaurant--who so graciously donated the prizes for this year's collosal contest. Now get cracking, because the Paper-Free Writing Contest returns this winter!

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