Sexy Hieroglyphics

First published in Woodnotes #19, Winter 1993, page 46.

Sexy Hieroglyphics by Laurie Fox. Chronicle Books, 1993, 36 pages, spiral-bound paperback, 5¾ by 4 inches. $6.95 at bookstores. The cover identifies this book as offering 3,375 do-it-yourself haiku. Each page is split into three sections with one line on each part, allowing readers to mix-and-match lines and create their own haiku combinations. Given the permutations, 3,375 inventive and sometimes surprising poem combinations are possible. The lines, written in the 5-7-5 structure, are sometimes erotic in nature. This novel book could make a good stocking-stuffer at Christmas, or provide an interesting alternative to the photography books on your coffee table. If you’re looking for an intriguing haiku book that appeals to a wide audience, try this out. Some lines are intellectual rather than objectively imagistic, as in “the liquid gesture” below, but the book is still a delight. An almost random sample:

The liquid gesture

The poem left in her hand

Desire me, she said.