Friday, June 17, 2022

Split Sequence linked Haiku

This new variation on linked haiku sequences is explained by its innovator Peter Jastermsky. Try writing some yourself with a trusted partner and discover how addictive this form can be.  This excerpt is copied from the Frogpond website:


An Introduction to Split Sequences
(complete PDF version) 

by Peter Jastermsky

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

This essay will offer a brief history of the split sequence, with examples of collaborative and solo versions, as well as a brief how-to primer on writing a split sequence at the end.

I created the split sequence form in 2017. Having just written a selection of haiku and senryu, I looked at the poems in front of me and asked myself, “What would happen if I did this?” I took one of the haiku, split the three lines apart, and placed a haiku between each of those three lines. The line format became 1/3/1/3/1/3. After some tweaking, and adding a title, I realized that I had created a linked piece of some kind. But what was it?

Garry Gay created a linked verse form, the now famous rengay, in 1992. Perhaps the aspect that has been rengay’s staying power is its communal aspect. My 2017 discovery is also a linked form maintaining certain elements of renku. Over time, the rengay caught on with poets, and that communal form is strongly being written 30 years later. Linked verse brings us together. So let’s share a split sequence!

A split sequence starts once an original three-line haiku is picked that you judge will be suitable in its individual lines to split into thirds.

[essay continues for several more pages] . . .

. . .

Jastermsky, Peter. "An Introduction to Split Sequences." Frogpond 45.1, Winter 2022, 91-95.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Space Cowboys!

Two new split-sequence linked haiku written by Deborah P Kolodji and me have been published in Eccentric Orbits #3, a speculative/scifi poetry anthology released by Space Cowboys Publishing. Many thanks to editors Wendy Van Camp and Ken Goudsward.


What Knockers
     Billie Dee, New Mexico, USA
     Deborah P Kolodji, California, USA

electric storm

     your face for a split second
     in a flash of light

Igor shambles

     Tesla coil
     the stench of fresh grave goods
     clings to his cowl

 into the windmill

      the world tilts 
     air circulates 
     in an Abby Normal brain 

 [with apologies to Mel Brooks and the late greats Marty Feldman and Gene Wilder, staring in Young Frankenstein]


 One Arm of the Spiral 
Deborah P Kolodji, California, USA

Billie Dee, New Mexico, USA

galactic neighbors

     how many light years
     between your planet
     and mine

the brown dwarf

     dark nights together
     a lack of heat
     or energy


     into the void
     feeling the gravity




Here's a link to a new YouTube reading that we performed at the opening party for the book: What Knockers. (scroll to 14:10)

Monday, May 09, 2022

 What's a Rengay?

Here are a few articles that explain this collaborative haiku sequence form:

    Michael Dylan Welch
Rengay: An Introduction
            More essays on rengay

    Joan Zimmerman
The Rengay Verse Form

Saturday, May 07, 2022

Contest Results

I am pleased to announce the following two rengay have placed in the 2021 San Francisco International Rengay Contest (scroll down to read judge’s comments). Many thanks to my talented writing partners, Naia and Deborah P Kolodji, to Haiku Poets of Northern California, who sponsored the event, and with deep gratitude to the judges: Julie Schwerin and Dan Schwerin.

           Naia, USA
           Billie Dee, USA

     prairie stillness
     awaiting the foal's
     first breath

     drinking from the same trough
    old gelding and I

            curry comb
            the roan stallion pins back
            his ears

            horsefly weather
            my bowlegged grandfather
            brushes his Stetson

    cowpoke on all fours
    the toddler squeals giddyup!

    the farrier's wagon
                lists to one side
    lazy afternoon

                           Honorable Mention, 2021 HPNA Rengay Contest


           Deborah P Kolodji, USA
           Billie Dee, USA

    gray January
    the only visitor    

    the softest pink    
    first mourning dove song

            crow caw
            no more room
            in the morgue

            am I telling you this
            screech owls all night

    mask mandate
    a peacock's reflection

    the last nestling
    left to feed
            cuckoo chick

                           Second Place, 2021 HPNA Rengay Contest

Saturday, October 30, 2021


Recently Published

First Frost, #2, Autumn 2021


          cupping my hands a minnow slips in



Kingfisher Journal, #4, Autumn 2021


          the empty socket 
          winter moon 


          the memory of your scent 
          naked ladies in bloom


          blue virgin the broken chalice within me