marlene mountain
reviews of mm


Elizabeth S Lamb:

pissed off poems and cross words

Marlene Mountain is noted for her fine early haiku and her experimental eyeku [sic*] and effective one-line haiku. She has become an artent feminist now, with her art and her poetry moving very far in that direction. Leaning toward sequences of one line haiku, much of her recent work has lost touch with that central core of perceptive depth and suchness of true haiku and become a cry of rage. POP&CW is in two sections. The 'cross words' at the end of the book consist of thirteen crossword puzzle shapes with words filled in--in 'cross word four: madam' the predictable words are madam, harlot, fallen, doxy, etcetera. But these pieces are not labeled haiku. However, Mountain gives a word of explanation about the first section of the book: 'The Pissed Off Poems (a series of one line haiku sequences) were written September 85 through January 86. They appear here en masse, unedited.' There are 18 pages of sequences 2 lines to 2 pages in length with titles such as 'hostage 5000 years,' 'think tanks,' 'rain a nature sequence,' and 'not an ode to haiku.' 'haiku spirit' is the briefest but it is not unrepresentative. It consists of 2 lines: 'pornography/fuck it'. It is possible to find, here and there, a haiku but it is not easy. Two lines which ARE haiku: 'nativity scene in snow a camel blown over' 'old pond a frog rises belly up'

[books in print: equal hell, art,  moments/moments,  pissed off poems and cross words, tonight i am mountain; articles: who i am, Women and Language]

Haiku Review '87 article on haiku books by Elizabeth Lamb


mm note
eyeku [sic*]  i believe the term 'eyeku' is the creation of bill pauly. my term c 1976-7 is 'unaloud haiku' with its pun: unallowed haiku.

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