Kurt Westley’s work, with its jagged edges and hyperreal images, often with a strident tone, pushes the envelope of haiku, but a careful consideration of his poems yields a clarity easy to overlook. Which is unfortunate, since the poems to be found in sleeping bear are challenging and rewarding, and evidence of his four-decade engagement with the genre. His voice, not well-known since he has largely eschewed publication in the haiku journals, is nevertheless unmistakable, as these following samples evince. A taste of this, once cultivated, will leave you wanting more.
of the gods . . .
still, I’m a bodhisattva of errors —
and his paean to Basho:
perched on a rimless backboard,
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Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by THF Digital Librarian Garry Eaton, and are used with permission