Death Kit: Experimental Haiku by Abigail George


Haiku for Jean Rhys

The photograph in-the-red-box.
Like the juices of the succulent-roast –
The-death-kit it keeps me sane.


Haiku for Susan Sontag

Fragmentary in-my-world-reality.
Here comes the blue nurses’ sleepwalking-again-writing-on-her-body
Ice-cometh with their death-kit needles-galore.


Haiku for Sharon Olds

I like your death-kit-beauty that-pours-out-of-you.
Your territory so-pure-like-childhood – I-surrender-to-it –
Like Alice-in-wonderland, star maps, our-wedding-cake.


Haiku for Anna Kavan

In her volcano-garden there was-death-kit’s-silence –
Hellish ice-revisited. Human-stupidity. Heroin was-the-mistake.
Your weapons-against-the-tigers was writing-it-brilliantly off.


Haiku for Ann Quin

The-portrait-of-the-sea- came with mansions –
Brighton’s waves shielded all this-drowning-visitor’s-barefoot-experiments.
At-the-borderline bloodless-flesh staying at-the-death-kit-hotel-forever.


Haiku for Marilyn Monroe

Blonde-threads amidst the oblivion-of-Pompeian-earthly-possessions.
A symbol-of-North-American-royalty, the-showgirl, the butcher’s wife –
She was a-blue-phenomenon, her-skin-organic, nothing-dumb-about-her.


For Joyce Carol Oates

Knowing that there’s an-identi-kit-of-blood-never-to-return.
Marked. Drifting-into-widowhood. An induced-burial-garment touching her.
Her body-is-a-woman’s-body. Her brain a-man’s-brain.


For Assia Wevill – the poet

The-German-language. Tel Aviv. Oh-Canada.
There’s an opening-for-a-wife-housekeeper and poet boxed into-a-hut.
Life drawings of three-children-in-Yorkshire.


My Real Family

(Five haiku continued)

My Woolf in disguise –
My veil, my apprentice, owl wise.
Angelic-master. Ill, sick, troubled.

I see Rhys’s ghost in-intervals.
Joyce Carol Oates’s hands, and rouge.
Rapture. Oh, rapture.

There was Plath’s lipstick.
The milk, buttered bread, Ariel.
Gas. Gas. Gas and stamps.

Updike’s father’s tears.
A child’s eyes can see the worm.
Daddy’s painted drum.

Let the dishes rot-into-nothing.
Hemingway’s earth does not waste-anything-in-the-end.
Burning-fire are just words, flames.


All haiku © Abigail George
Image: Nosha

About the author

Abigail George

Abigail George’s fiction was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She briefly studied film at Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. She is the recipient of grants from the National Arts Council, Johannesburg, Centre for the Book in Cape Town, and ECPACC (Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council) in East London. She has been widely published from Australia, to Finland to Nigeria, and New Delhi, India to Istanbul, Turkey and Wales.
Her blog African Renaissance can be found online in Modern Diplomacy under Topics.
She contributed for a year to a symposium on Ovi Magazine: Finland’s English Online Magazine. She is a poet, fiction writer, feminist thinker, essayist, and a blogger at Goodreads.

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