The idea with this song was to set haiku to music, using the same structure as that which governs haiku: 5-7-5 syllables. So this song is in alternating sets of three measures with time signatures of 5/4, 7/4, and 5/4. Alternatively, one could probably argue that the song is actually in 17/4, but either way it’s a pretty interesting meter.
This was great fun to record. The original song was 30 minutes, and included all the haiku I’ve ever written (years worth). I soloed over top first with guitar, then with guitar/sax, then selected the best of the session — about seven minutes worth of quality haiku and jazz.
You’ll notice a strong sense of place in my haiku. I travel a lot, so many of these haiku are postcards from places I’ve been.
Couple at the gym She speaks only in questions He in short answers Full bodied, balanced with delicate floral notes. Chardonnay and Jazz Bright white icy peaks shadows in an endless night Denali winter Hotel caretaker Last man in a tourist town, waiting for winter The twenty sixth floor, high above the bustling street, is silent and still. Wakened by sunlight, a robed woman sips coffee on her balcony. A strong stormy gust, The screen door flies open: fwak! Mischevious wind. Chestnut and Maple Crisp leaves pause at the stop light Then scamper on green. Cold gray windy wet Roof tapped rhythmically by rain Tears on my windshield Cool pink desert sky Strange birds flit among cacti Hail the newborn day! Glass Buddha's candle Dim light in a pre-dawn room shadows and silence One bird greets the dawn Then another, Then many Morning symphony White rectangle plate Five savory roasted beets, Buck o Five per beet. Endless human sound One thousand conversations. Silent at the bar Big City of ghosts San Francisco smoky jazz Kerouac in my beer In ten directions People, cars, buses, rushing I sip warm coffee An aging stranger sadly staring back from my cup of oolong tea We eat to sustain life Bread, salad, spicy currie and tea at the Greens. Going home, somewhere New Castle? Kansas? Page Street? Another sunrise. Curried chantrelles, peas, cauliflower, carrots, leeks Chew, swallow, and smile I ask, what is mind? Music, poetry, peace, sex Another deep breath One man, Union Square Amidst umbrellas, rain, wind, doing a headstand. Nauseous, feverish, Stiff joints, waiting for a cab. Full moon gives me strength Urinal spider Scrambling to avoid my stream. I gasho, then flush.
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