, , , , ,

Welcome, poets, to another Haibun Monday, where we mix prose and haiku together to forge haibun! Frank Tassone here, and today, I want us to face a writer’s grand frustration: Writer’s block!

Haven’t we all experienced it? We face the blank page, move our hand(s) into position to initiate the first word and… nothing. Nada. Nunca. Zilch! Our minds just refuse to go there. Whatever thoughts we had for a written work, the words just don’t come. Sometimes, we can perceive the writing we want, almost as if we could taste it, even! But we just can’t write it out.

Ironically, I’m currently going through a particular writer’s block—in writing haibun! Some of you may have wondered why I didn’t contribute to the last Haibun Monday. Well, I wanted to. I intended to chronicle dropping Frank off to Binghamton University, but the words did not come.

I barely completed one for today’s Haibun Monday!

When we go through these blocks, know that we are not alone! Here is how some other poets have experienced it, or overcome it:

For My Friend Who Complains He Can’t Dance and Has a Severe Case of Writer’s Block


Then, take this tambourine

inside the sheep barn,

listen to the anaconda’s intestines,

the shark’s walking stick,

learn the river insect’s secret

neon calligraphy,

swim through Frida Khalo’s hair

and come out smelling like orchids,

lift your appetite

towards the certified blue turtle,

feast on Garcia Lorca’s leather shoes

and taste the sun, the worms of Andalusia,

don’t hesitate in front of a donut,

a ferris wheel, the crab nebula,

excavate diamond-eyed demons,

Chaucer’s liver, Minoan helmets,

paste Anne Sexton’s face on a $1,000 bill

and purchase a dozen metaphors,

beware of the absolute scorpion,

the iguana with the limping leg,

permit indwelling, white words around the eyes,

the confrontation of windows,

never feed your towel to the alligator,

he will eat you and eat you and eat you.

Nick Carbo, “For My Friend Who Complains He Can’t Dance and Has a Severe Case of Writer’s Block” from El Grupo McDonald’s. Copyright © 1995 by Nick Carbo

Writer’s block

by Helen Nicholson

If I dared write
I would carve my words from a rock;
scrape a line with a flint
sparking off malachite,
or smell the sulphur linger from a struck match
as I flare what I feel to the world.

I would give you cadences Cuillin-sharp
or rolling as the ocean;
line breaks dangerous as a
assonance subtle as the dying wind.
I would write of tears and dissolve your page.
I would write of drought
and you would scrape the dust from your hands.
The tinder of my parched heart

would spark forest fires.
I would growl a word
and you would hear the thunder.

Courtesy of Magma Poetry (Magma 14)

Feeling a little blocked? Vent about it! Have a story to tell about a recent writer’s block? Go for it? Never had writer’s block? Tell us your secret! However you approach it, write your haibun that alludes to this perennial frustration of writers.

New to haibun? The form consists of one to a few paragraphs of prose—usually written in the present tense—that evoke an experience and are often non-fictional/autobiographical. They may be preceded or followed by one or more haiku—nature-based, using a seasonal image—that complement without directly repeating what the prose stated.

New to dVerse? Here is what you do:

  • Write a haibun that includes, states, or references Writer’s block.
  • Post it on your personal site/blog.
  • Include a link back to dVerse in your post.
  • Copy your link onto the Mr. Linky.
  • Remember to click the small checkbox about data protection.
  • Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.
  • Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.
  • Have fun!