Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm not announcing the winner until you scroll down

I do NOT envy the winner of HHD every week. This is like trying to choose between your children. Each individual is brilliant for their own reasons, and to watch the mental acumen of the group at large roll in like ocean waves over the course of the day is nothing short of beautiful. I was lucky to have a 16 hour workday where I could monitor the site, which doesn't always happen.

I am still honored and surprised at JPX's selection of me last week; it is an honor just to be here. To try to rank and evaluate the myriad talents of this group is like trying to compare the sweet juiciness of a tropical fruit with the overall thrusting power of a jet engine.

My point, and the thing that I really learned today, is that there is no one single member here that writes a better haiku than anyone else. They are ALL incredible, ALL different and great, and you are ALL brilliant, and I mean that in the most serious way. What it comes down to is that you are all, in fact, winners.

In another, more accurate way, Octopunk is the winner:


See my invention!
The boomerang shuriken
Lodged in my forehead

Really, though, it was an agonizing decision. In the end, Octo's was the FIRST one to make me spew out liquid, and I must confess to being influenced by some of his past work. In this instance, it paints an extraordinarily large picture in only 17 syllables, which is the beauty of the art form. Achieving brilliance through limitation. Here, Octo introduces us to a ninja who, unsatisfied with the conventional tools of the trade, decides to invent a new weapon. Right there, we have a sense of the overall intelligence of this ninja. The usage of "shuriken" wins super vocab points as well, as it's the kind of word that we would all pretend to know what it means even if we didn't. (It's a star, right?)

Anyway, Octo brings it all home in the final five syllables, weaving a tapestry of this brilliant, proactive, intelligent ninja walking out to the field one day in front of fellow co-workers to demonstrate his new invention. The last line indicates something that could have been said immediately after impact, or weeks later after recovery. The dichotomy of the brilliant ninja that manages to spear himself in the forehead, and the depth of that story, is what made Octo's haiku this week's champion.

The VERY VERY close runners-up, which my girlfriend also had strong opinions about (but in the end, come on...I AM Handsome Stan...)

Blacker than the night
Cold steel on the unwary
- Damn forgot my sword

(Same exact indication of depth and inept ninjability. Literally, as close a second as you can get. The ninja that purposely calls attention to himself and stabs himself in the forehead just had a SLIGHT edge on the ninja that simply forgot his sword. But I loved the implied image of the badass line being cut off when he reaches for the sword.)

Off into the night
He is not looking for love,
but he'll take your heart

This one was just fucking awesome. Juxtaposition of "love" and "heart," with subtle allusions to Mortal Kombat finishing maneuvers, this one had it all. But not an inept ninja. But I LOVED this one.

Good luck next week, Octo! I don't envy you! But the experience is awesome!


Johnny Sweatpants said...

*clapping slowly*

Well played Octopunk. Truth be told I never stopped laughing at your Star Wars haiku:

Kenobi sighs, looks
Calendar says Luke is five
Holy crap I'm bored

Yup - full bodied competition today. Also I really liked the pictures for inspiration, especially the wedding cake one. The newlyweds have no idea that a ninja is in their midst, about to fuck up their world...

Octopunk said...

My GOSH! Thanks. Personally, I would've voted for Miko's. I love the challenge of the funny haiku, but when I think of the art form in its natural state, haikus are like little caligraphy signatures of true beauty, with that whiff of poignancy that accompanies most true beauty. And they tend to be a little more serious.

I tried to hit that in two of my fanboy haikus, but better examples would be Catfreeek's "we used to live there" entry and Miko's. But he will steal your heart.

But I won! Woo hoo! That does bring a certain satisfaction because the bloglords had informed me before Xmas that my Kenobi poem had won that week, and in the flurry of the holiday I completely forgot to start it up or even participate.

Thanks to Herr Sweatenzeepants for the reprint, and for subbing in for me on Christmas Eve (he picked the subject of Christmas, I was gonna do Santa, so it worked out).

Thanks for the honor, Herr Handzum Staninzeepants.

I'm juggling three possibilities for next week...

Catfreeek said...

Congrats to you Octo on a brilliant win.

HS your wit is always a welcomed sight on the blog, nice intro :)

JPX said...

Congrats, Octo. As always I enjoyed every one of them. I think I would've given the edge to Miko's "heart" haiku, but it's all great stuff.

HandsomeStan said...

Believe me, it was agonizingly tough to NOT pick Miko's. I can't second-guess myself, but it's the kind of thing that's going to have me sitting bolt upright in bed at 3am for years to come. (hand smacks forehead) "Did I pick the right one?"

Like I said, it's like picking your favorite child. It CAN'T be done.

nowandzen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nowandzen said...

Johnny Sweatpants said...

*clapping slowly*

lol That's good stuff Johnny because I could actually see you clapping slowly with a smirk look. :p

I love your choice handsomestan, I thought Octo knocked it out of the park with that one. I totally agree with Miko's heart haiku too as when I read that one I thought, "damn, that was sweet." It had sweet layers of haiku goodness. Thank you for mentioning mine too as I was pretty happy with that one.

Other favs from the day for me:

JPX said...

He moved quietly,
Trying to surprise his foe
Damnit, peanut shells!

Blogger HandsomeStan said...

Gonna kill that guy
Whoops I failed in my mission

HandsomeStan said...

To look good in black
To wield swords and throwing stars
Purpose? Don't need one.

Catfreek said...

All dressed up in black
Lurks back stage, Ninja attack!
Wait! It's Johnny Cash

HandsomeStan said...

I meant to mention the Johnny Cash one, I just ran out of space. Catfreeek definitely got the "First Big Laugh" award...

DCD said...

Congrats all 'round! Sorry to be so out of the haiku Wednesdays. My best intentions of last night went to hell in a hand-basket when Maggie's guts exploded at about 8pm. (Okay, not really, but I swear she threw up everything she has eaten in the last week!)