Poetry

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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All haiku © Abigail George
Image: Nosha

About the author

Abigail George

South African Abigail George is a blogger, essayist, short story writer, screenwriter, novelist, and poet. She briefly studied film in Johannesburg. She has two film projects in development and is the recipient of two grants from the National Arts Council, one from the Centre for the Book and another from ECPACC. Her publishers are Tendai Rinos Mwanaka (Zimbabwe, Mwanaka Media and Publishing or Mmap), Xavier Hennekinne (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books), and Thanos Kalamidas (Finland, Ovi). Her literary representative is Morten Rand. She is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net nominated, and European Union Poetry Prize longlisted poet. Her poem “The Accident” was Identity Theory's Editor's Choice for Spring. Ink Sweat and Tears chose her poem “When light poured into me at the swimming pool” as a September Pick of the Month, and she recently made the shortlist of the Writing Ukraine Prize 2023. She is a poet/writer who believes in the transformative, restorative and healing powers of words. Her latest book is Letter To Petya Dubarova (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books). Young Galaxies (a poetry book) was released in 2023 from Mmap and a memoir When Bad Mothers Happen is forthcoming. “Clarissa, Hector and Septimus Redefined” was recently published by Novelty Fiction in Kindle format.

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