Vic Gendrano and Stevie Strang
First on the agenda was a performance of haiku and haibun inspired by the art of Hyunsook Cho, organized by Naia and Kathabela Wilson. Cho's "Sketches of China" was part of a special exhibit in the auditorium foyer. Rick Wilson accompanied the poets on flute. Poems were collated with photos of the art in a gift booklet for meeting attendees.
Naia and Hyunsook Cho, Rick Wilson on flute
Although I've written ephrastic poetry, this was the first time I'd tried to write ephrastic haiku. It was much more challenging. Haiku works best for me when it is something I've physically experienced. The sound of the egret at Bolsa Chica, the smell of a homeless shelter under a freeway overpass, the fins of a koi slowly undulating in a hospital garden. It might be a memory, it might even be a speculative fantastical rendering of an actual event, but it needs to be physically real to me before I can write it effectively. Hyunsook Cho's paintings, while lovely, seemed too abstract for haiku at first. I discovered I needed to sit with them mentally for several weeks before I could get my haiku mind around them. Then, suddenly the dam burst, and I wrote four all at once.
we blow bubbles
into the sunset
Susan Rogers and Maja Trochimczyk stand in front of the art piece that inspired the above haiku.
Next we walked the entire group down Colorado Boulevard to Sitar Restaurant, where we had an amazing champagne buffet.
Returning to the museum, our afternoon flew. Three HSA officers were present: President Ce Rosenow, Vice-President Michael Dylan Welch, and Newsletter Chair Susan Antolin. After a haiku read-around to kick things off, Ce Rosenow reported on the state of the HSA.
Above, in a photo by Naia, Rebecca Lowry reads a haiku from her phone during the haiku read-around. (Lowry is the artist behind the West Hollywood haiku street signs.) After Ce's report (above right), Dr. Thomas Rimer presented "Round Holes and Square Pegs: Translating Classical Japanese Haiku into English."
After a short break, performance artist Genie Nakano translated classical Japanese haiku into movement with "Moving to Haiku." Susan Antolin read from her new book of haiku, "Artichoke Season."
Michael Dylan Welch finished up the afternoon with a presentation on "Editing Haiku" before we all walked across the street to McCormick and Schmick's for dinner.
After dinner, we gathered at the home of Rick and Kathabela Wilson for drinks, dessert, and a poetry salon. Ce Rosenow read from her book "Pacific," Rick played from his extensive collection of antique and ethnic flutes accompanied by Kathabela on percussion, and Michael Dylan Welch led us in an anonymous haiku workshop that lasted into the wee hours of the morning.
eyes half shut
the flute in her haiku