For the Love of the Haiku

I’m not going to say that I’m the biggest fan of the haiku, but they are fun to write. I once wrote a really dirty haiku on the wall of the men’s room in Tavern 33 on Lincoln here in Chicago. But I’m not gonna post it here. But if you’re in Tavern 33 anytime soon, feel free to copy it down and post it in a comment.

But what I will share with you are some other haikus I’ve written lately. These are often just left as random messages for friends via email or other random forms of communication. And I’ll write a few fresh ones, as well, simply because I’m in a poetic mood today.

Are haikus supposed to have titles? I’m not sure, so I’m not titling these.

Remember always
In the pants of the hairy
Strangeness lingers thick
(Posted for my friend Deb on her MySpace page)

Words, like bees, can sting.
Fly away, little words, fly.
Now fuck off asshat.
(Posted for my friend Matt on his MySpace page)

I just thought of an idea. Maybe it’s stupid, I’m not sure. I’ve got my iPod on shuffle right now, so I’ll write a new haiku inspired by each random song that comes up. So those will sort of be the titles for each of them. Yeah, this is stupid, but it’s fun for me.

“The Band In Hell” by Electric Six
In the devil’s house
The kitchen reeks of onion
And the grill is broke

“Well Well Well” by John Lennon
Five shots in the back
Don’t want to think about that
Plastic Ono Band

“Everything Counts” by Depeche Mode (from DM 101, Disc 2)
Sanjay’s favorite
It’s a competitive world
Parking lot anthem

“A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” by The Kinks
Is he Ray Davies
Or is he now Ray Davis
He kept changing it before

“Resigned” by Blur
Richard M. Nixon
Nelson A. Rockefeller
Spiro T. Agnew

“Crazy Angel” by Kill Hannah
Psychotic with wings;
Halo and a straight jacket.
Think I dated her.

“Still” by Lionel Richie
What was I thinking?
This song makes me want to puke.
That explains Nicole.

“Sa Prize (Part 2)” by N.W.A.
I’m just a white boy
Who likes some good gansta rap
Makes me feel bad ass

“Radio, Radio” by Elvis Costello
One of the best songs
With “anesthetize” in it.
Uncle Jim digs him.

“Tummy Tum Tum” by The Dollyrots
Dollyrots rock ass
They’ll be at the Note May 6
I’ll be there watching

“Sail On” by Lionel Richie
Oh God, please, no more.
All I wanted was “Hello,”
Now I’m stuck with crap.

Mark David Chapman movie – WTF?

I read this today and my stomach sort of got tied up in knots. This guy is planning on making a movie about John Lennon’s assassin, Mark David Chapman.

Chapman is the man responsible for one of my earliest childhood traumas.

But it’s not like the movie is going to glorify him, how could it? And who knows, perhaps it might even be interesting. But it seems to me that this is something that almost doesn’t need to be explored. I mean it’s pretty much a clear cut case of a fan becoming so obsessive that in his own mind, the only way he could express his adoration was to take the life belonging to the focus of his fanaticism.

But then again, is it? I’ve been doing some reading of transcripts of interviews and parole hearings of Chapman’s and one thing is clear, his actions were absolutely premeditated. In fact, he had made the trip to New York City months earlier to do the same thing, but couldn’t go through with it. As time passed, however, his mind got the better of him and he heard a voice say, “Just do it.”

He claims to have been inspired by J.D. Salinger’s novel, “The Catcher In the Rye.” Holden Caulfield is a character, as described in the link above, that hates phonies. And perhaps Chapman did think that Lennon was a phony, but he was also a documented fan. His belief that Lennon is a phony is, in my mind, a self-serving device used to justify his increasingly obsessive infatuation with the man. I believe it got to the point where he wanted so badly to become part of John Lennon’s world so badly, that it was almost as if he wanted to be him. And since actually becoming him is an impossibility, being the person to end him might be the next best thing.

I don’t know. I can’t decide if I’m indifferent to this or what. One thing it does do is give Chapman another level of fame. It will introduce him to a group of people to whom his name is not known. At the time of the killing, this was one of his motivations. To acheive fame and noteriety. He says as much in his parole hearing.

I guess that by even writing this right now, I’m betraying the emotions within me that think the making of this movie is preposterous. In otherwords, I’m giving him additional face time. But I also haven’t necessarily formed an opinion. I’m curious to know what others think.

The thing about the film is that they’re introducing a fictional teenage, female character that will serve as the conduit that allows the movie-goer to get into his head. I suppose this will help the Chapman character reveal himself more naturally in the film. Frankly, I’m not sure that any screenwriter could get to the bottom of Chapman’s paranoid schitzophrenic tendencies well enough to do a recreation of this. Therefore I think that I’m of the opinion that it should be let go.

There are a lot of messed up people out there who do a lot of messed up things. This one just happened to do it to one of (if not the) biggest icons in the world. John Lennon had a presence that we haven’t seen since. He wasn’t far off when he said that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. To many people, he was Jesus.

There was an interesting part of the Chapman parole hearing where he talks about whether or not he thinks John Lennon would want him to go free. Chapman said that he thought about this for a long time, but he thinks he would want him to be set free. Chapman pointed out that John Lennon was a liberal and that setting him free would go along with his beliefs. But to his credit, Chapman did say that he himself was a conservative and actually thinks that he has no right to even be alive considering what he did.

I, for one, hope he never gets out. I don’t even necessarily want to lock myself in a cell with him with the intention of causing him harm. What good would that do? He already knows that there’s a world full of people who’d like that opportunity.

I just don’t know if opening this wound by producing a movie about the guy who inflicted pain onto so many through an act so thought out would accomplish anything.

I don’t know. I also feel that this whole post is a little jumbled. It’s always hard for me to write about things that are so close to my heart, know what I mean? For whatever reason, John Lennon was a hero to me. Maybe it’s only because of the dramatic way in which he was killed while I was still so young and impressionable; maybe it’s because of the fact that I used to lay on the sofa in the living room listening to Beatle records and pretend to fall asleep so that my dad would let me lay there until the records were over; maybe it’s because I feel I can relate to him in some unknown way. Who knows.

Sorry for my rant. But I’d love to hear others’ thoughts on this as well.


Chapman Parole transcript
Interview where he discusses his time in police custody

The World was Round Before Columbus, but Flatter After John Lennon.

So today is Columbus Day, and were it not for him, the name of my blog might be called something like “Because the World Is…Crap I’m Falling Off!”

So, let’s hear it for Christopher Columbus traveling the seven seas in search of gold and slaves and discovering that the world is in fact round, and not just a giant Risk board. Though he may one day go down in history as an evil man looking to save his own ass lest his creditors string it up, today is his day. A day on which many of us received vacation from school. So to us, he was a true hero. Forget the fact that he never even set foot on what is the North American continent, forget the fact he ripped 1200 Taino Indian natives from their families and homes on the island of Hispaniola and paraded them naked through the streets of Seville, Spain where they were sold as slaves, and forget that within 50 years the Taino Indians were extinct, essentially making Columbus guilty of genocide. Forget all that, because in 1742, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria became the three most famous vessels right up until we saw the Millenium Falcon, the pink helicopter from the TV show Riptide, and K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. But happy Columbus Day.

Also, ironically, yesterday was John Lennon’s birthday. And of course, Lennon was the Beatle who penned the song Because, for which this blog is named. Hopefully you all celebrated accordingly.

I feel the need to write more about John Lennon, but he holds such a reverent position in my mind it’s really hard for me to sit and write much about him. As a six year old Beatle fan, I remember vividly the morning of his death. My dad woke me from bed and we watched Tom Brokaw on the Today show deliver details of the shooting. I remember crying. Even at six years old, I knew how significant that was.

But I still grieve for the loss of John Lennon. My dad used to say that there are two people for whom he grieves, one is was my grandfather, his Father-in-Law, the other is John Lennon. They were two men from completely different generations who possessed amazing character and who’s departures from this very round and diverse world have left it that much flatter.

Happy birthday John, and good riddance Chris.