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Per Diem Archive: S. Chhoki Nov. 2014, The Difficult Thing

Writing the Difficut Thing -- 

Peter Benchley famously wrote “I hate writing. I love having written.” This is probably a familiar feeling to most of us. But it is only one of many malaises that affect us as writers.

Guest editor Sonam Chhoki explores another fraught area in this month’s Per Diem gallery. As she has written elsewhere: “. . . there is another kind of difficulty: that of writing about ‘harrowing’ and ‘dark’ subjects where words themselves break down. This is an instance where the diabolic appears to have entered into the human life.”

She goes on to quote Anaïs Nin: “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” Bringing perception to language is challenging enough, but to bring that which resists our formulation or our sense of propriety to our art is yet a further challenge, even in a genre so accustomed to the slipperiness of articulation as haiku.

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Author: Don Baird
nagasaki . . .
in her belly, the sound
of unopened mail
Author: Saša Važić
cracked soil
a day laborer bent 
over his shadow
Author: Lorin Ford
wide blue sky
a wisp of moon above
the razor wire
Author: Seánan Forbes
heat-cracked stone the weight of a gun in a child’s hand
Author: Seánan Forbes
fifth shower no soap cleans their hands from her skin
Author: Rebecca S Drouilhet
not named in the will
 the man and woman
  bequeathed to his children
Author: Rebecca S Drouilhet
shooting star...
a child loses his war
 on drugs
Author: Robert Michael Drouilhet
trembling fault line—
her next beating
in his voice 
Author: Robert Michael Drouilhet
online hunting
he scores for a fee
little boys and girls
Author: Sergio Ortiz
rape –
the breaking off
of everything
Author: Martin Lucas
crescent moon
the air we breathe
is propaganda
Author: Susan Constable
war movie
everyone goes home
when it ends
Author: Patricia Prime
last message
from the Boston bomber:
"They set me up."
Author: Stewart C. Baker
another lunch-time walk
in some places mothers
drown their young
Author: Stewart C. Baker
revolution again--
a copse of cherries razed
while still in bud
Author: Chen-ou Liu
last pencil marks
on the wall
Anne Frank House at dusk
Author: Stella Pierides
winter wind
feathers and fishbones shift
inside the eyrie
Author: Ian Storr
butterflies among the brambles in a field of bricks
Author: Terri L. French
cyber bullying
hashtags on the
fat girl's arms
Author: Martin Gottlieb Cohen
Hiroshima
the shadow of a tree 
in the old wall
Author: an'ya
war zone--
on the newscast a bucket 
marked red paint
Author: Michael Rehling
the maple
has chosen today to turn
September 11
Author: John McDonald
tick tock...
the bombed bairn
pendles on's stilts
Author: Beverley George
three brothers–
the dais wreath she plaited
from palm fronds
Author: Michael Dylan Welch
the siren stops
at the draped body—
hopscotch markings
Author: Robert Epstein
a woman beheaded
I let the dandelions
go to seed
Author: Glenn G. Coats
where did I learn
this awkward embrace?
brittle grass
Author: Beate Conrad
Stasi files -
the sweaty silence
between old friends
Author: David Terelinck
lightning flash
a policewoman arrives
to take her statement
Author: Carole MacRury
a train in Madrid. . .
so many cell phones
unanswered
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