The Renga Party

First published in Brussels Sprout XII:1, January 1995, page 39. Written from 1992 to 1994 (many verses in January of 1994), mostly in Foster City, California.

The Renga Party: To Boldly Go Where No Link Has Gone Before

the renga party—

a choice between

sake and wine

a bird book

in one hand—

the master’s fingers tremble

a moon verse—

all I can think of

are puns

between links,

his blank poem slip

becomes a paper crane

the master rejects

the verse without a kigo—

harvest moon at the window


at last

for the missing link

not her turn—

she picks up a dictionary

. . . the hall clock chimes

in the quiet

after the night cuckoo,

sound of erasing

a sudden sneeze—

I must be allergic

to flower links

the master’s thumb-worn saijiki

. . . my slip of paper

folded as an airplane

renga party over . . .

breeze from the window

scatters all the paper