In Lieu of an Elegy

My great aunt Lois passed away this week and Cara left town for a training, which meant there was more time for writing but also more of a chance for that writing to just be bad—sentimental and stereotypical themes. So it’s been a mixed bag, which is frankly how I felt about Lois, as well as this week’s poetic form, the lune.

Robert Brewer introduces the lune as “the American Haiku” and it fits. At thirteen syllables, the lune is shorter than a traditional haiku, but like a terse Hemingway sentence, somehow still carries the same weight as a much more flowery phrase while being refreshingly light. However, like any haiku, I find it to be annoyingly predisposed to rendering bullshit Kerouac-style koans. I’ll leave it to you to decide which way this week’s poem fell.

In Lieu of an Elegy

Death does not exist
than open spaces.

I experimented with the variant that Brewer ascribed to Jack Collom. At first, it seemed more appropriately Westernized as it measures words, instead of syllables (a tercet with 3 words, 5 words, and 3 words per line, respectively). Ironically, I think by providing the extra space to work, it loses the American feel of the previous form. Take the example below:

Lune No. 4

At the sink
arms crossed, talking—Midwest kitchens
work like spiderwebs.

Maybe I was in the wrong head space and using it wrong but I kept wanting to spread the poem across multiple stanzas as soon as I had the extra room Collom’s version provides.
Now, if you are here, near the end of the post and wondering about some of the hanging threads (What about Lois? What’s with the dinky poems?), some of the writing is just on a the cutting room floor, some might be popping up elsewhere, and if we’re friends on Facebook, you can see my thoughts on Lois more explicitly. Photo credit goes to my wife, Cara Eandi, for a great shot of Bayan Olgii, Mongolia.