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

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