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 studied film and television production for a short while, followed by a brief stint as a trainee at a production house. She is a Christian feminist, writer and poet. She lives in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She has had poetry published in print and online. She has had short fiction published online. In 2005 and 2008, she was awarded grants from the National Arts Council in Johannesburg. She is not purely devoted to poetry but to pursuing writing full time. Storytelling for her has always been a phenomenal way of communicating and making a connection with other people. She writes for Modern Diplomacy and contributed bimonthly to a symposium on Ovi Magazine: Finland’s English Online Magazine. Her latest book Winter in Johannesburg is available on Kindle via Amazon.

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