December 2003, Volume 1, Number 6

Book Review: Old Pajamas, Biting the Buddha, Blue Cottage Press
by Robert Wilson

Alan Segal, pen name "old pajamas' is the author of Biting The Buddha, published by Blue Cottage Press.

Most books of modern haiku by non-Japanese writers do not impress me. Many lack the ephemeral haiku spirit, say little, and are not indelible. . . . Simply said, they are not memorable.

Biting The Buddha is not such a book. Old Pajamas has a distinct voice. His haiku, powerful, soulful, and truly original. After reading his book, several of the images he painted with words continue to speak to me.

Old Pajamas--what a moniker--goes to the heart of whatever subject he is writing about, peeling away all layers until he has a haiku that is lean, simple, yet complex.

His haiku are worth studying, especially for a person new to writing haiku. I heartily recommend Biting The Buddha. It is a good read. It is not a book that will gather dust on your bookshelf. You'll want to read it again and again.

Here are some haiku from the book:


Horsefly.
Such a look on your face
Biting the Buddha!

Under the street lamps,
A light rain falls otherwise
Unnoticed.

Snowy egrets slip in
While I dream
Of Argentina


A children's song
Through the bullet-riddled
Rainbarrel

From my lips rises the full moon
To stare at her white belly


At the crossroads
Do my evening prayers
Get by the hawks?


Dead weight...
More than ever flies gather
In the horse stall

The night is done,
Even his mouth at my breasts
Cannot hold the tears

Flower, little bud,
I will die with beauty
In my one good eye


Autumn gust,
Still leaves
Scatter again


Autumn branches
Scratch
The night wind


Above the ice
A fawn's head, the moon passing
In its eyes

Across the marsh
All life flies on the wind
Of a new year

Book Review by Robert D. Wilson


Those wishing to purchase a copy may
contact Old Pajamas at: segals@gis.ne


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