Lately I’ve been trying my hanen poetry. None of my friends can give me unbiased feedback so I thought I’d ask some PSU students what they thought of it.

Anonymous One

Have you taken any literature classes here at PSU?
No, I would say I study literature all the time.

Do you read a lot of poetry or whatever?
Not that much in what I’m studying, more like philosophical pamplets.

Do you have any favorite poets?
I like Charles Baudelaire; I was a French literature major [as] an undergrad.

Are you familiar with the haiku form?
Nah, I mean – heard [of] it, but I haven’t studied it, written or read any of it.

Can I read you a haiku by the Zen poet by the name of Takahashi?

It’s called “Chair.”
What’s it called?


Sitting in the Chair
All day long I dream of tits

Mom caught me stroking

What do you think of that?
Uh – that most males who have gone through puberty would identify with that statement.

So you think Takahashi is talking about puberty?
Well, I should hope so if he’s still beatin’ off at his mom’s after the stage of puberty that –

Well, Takahashi isn’t real, and he didn’t really write the poem. I WROTE THE POEM! Do you think I’m- weird?
I don’t think you’re weird, I just hope I don’t end up on the front page in some kind of like “YOU GOT PUNKED!” sort of setting.

I’m not punking you! I’m just doing an interview. Would you like to be anonymous?Ow-uh-I don’t really care, that’s fine. I’m not ashamed of any of my statements.

Have you ever been caught, ya know? By someone?
Ah – my wife caught me in the shower.

That’s it?
Yeah – I never had mom walk in.

It was actually my grandmother.
That’s worse.

I know, it was pretty disturbing. I was actually really stoned too. That really tripped me out – yeah, I don’t want to think about it.
Well, move on that’s the best thing you can do. It happens to the best of us.


Anonymous Two

Do you study much literature here at Portland State?
I have in the past.

What kind of literature?
European mostly – German and Danish.

Are you really familiar with much Danish poetry?
No, I’m not.

What about Japanese poetry?
Only the haiku.

Can I read you a haiku?
I would love to hear it.

‘Kay. This is by a Zen poet by the name of Takahashi.

This is called “Red Ink.”

Red ink is made of
The virgin’s virtuous blood
Oh lord, how she cries

Wow, that’s beautiful!

You think so?

What do you think Takahashi is really talking about?
What is he really talking about?

He’s talking about virgin’s blood!

But really what is ‘virgin’s blood’ in the context of this poem?
I believe in the context of this haiku, he’s talking about the penetration of a young virgin.
That’s what it sounds like. Is there any other way to take it that I’m not aware of.

Not that I’m aware of. There’s no real Takahashi, I wrote the poem.
Oh, you dog!

Yeah, I am a dog. You don’t think uh –
I don’t think it’s vague enough. it’s not open enough for interpretation, it’s a little explicit but it’s not entirely unbelievable, it’s pretty.

Could you do a haiku for me about ice cream?
I could try.

I love you ice cream
Senuous and creamy, good
Let me lick you, now


Anonymous Three

Would you like to be interviewed about literature here at PSU for the Vanguard?
I don’t think I’d make a good interview subject.

Why not?
Because I don’t know anything about literature.

Well, have you taken any literature classes? What is that you’re studying? Japanese?
Yeah, literature, yeah.

Have you studied any like Japanese haiku?
A little, yeah.

Can I read you something from a Zen poet by the name of Takahashi.

It’s translated into English.

Red Ink is made of
The virgin’s virtuous blood
Oh lord, how she cries

It’s pretty Zen, don’t you think?
My mind is completely clear.

Would you like to hear another poem? This one’s not a haiku, but it’s just a poem all the same.

Gogie bogie boy went boogieing down hep street
Heptown Johnny done seen ‘im and said:

“Yer hittin’ all bogies in the golf-course of cool
“Make way for the neatos or

Beat off right back to Dorksville”
Gogie Bogie boy said thus in reply:

“Eat it!”
“Eat what?” asked Herr Heptown

“A rotten bowl of clams,
a turd,

a miscarried kitten fetus,
your grandfather’s spooge,

and any other anti-edible object
That matches your wretched pre-occupation”

And so it was that the Gods
Reached down their hands from the heavens

Down to the mouth of Heptown Johnny
And Forced him to swallow

All he was commanded
Letting loose like a faucet

All the inedibles down his gullet
And Gogie Bogie did as he was commanded
And beat it right back to Dorksville

Where he lived happily ever after


Wow, that’s good.

Who do you think Gogie bogie boy is?
I think he’s probably a Portland hipster.

Think so?
Yeah, I see him around, and I think he should beat back to hep-town.

Do you like to linger in Dorksville?
Yeah, it’s kinda nice there.

What’s in Dorksville?
Um – there’s no people trying to be uh – hip, I guess.

And there’s nobody forcing things like, your Grandfather’s Spooge down people’s throats. Is there? In Dorksville.
It could happen in Dorksville.

I don’t know, I think people are pretty mellow in Dorksville.
That’s true.