“Nothing Special”

First published in Woodnotes #26, Autumn 1995, page 52.

“Nothing Special” edited by Brian Tasker. Bare Bones Press, 1995, 58 pages, hand-tied paperback, 4 by 5¾ inches. £3.00 postpaid from Brian Tasker, 16 Wren Close, Frome, Somerset, England BA11 2UZ [address no longer correct]. Nothing Special is a pleasantly varied collection of haiku and short poems on the essence of the journey. This book, like the editor’s recently discontinued magazine, Bare Bones, is a labor of love, borne out of a deep passion and concern for the art of haiku. There is a paradox in haiku. They can be moments of intense enlightenment, yet at their heart they are also “nothing special.” As Bare Bones passes away, we are reminded of journeys and the passages of time and place. This book shows the fleeting nature of where we are, where we travel, and the notion of time and the infinite now that frames our experience. “The journey itself,” as Brian tells us, “is home.” As a fine sample from this collection, consider the following two poems, by Tom Clausen and then Jerry Kilbride, deftly placed together:

waking up, stretching

in the bus—

my erection

above Pisa

the quarter moon

leans a little