Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Manu Kant

Comrade Manu Kant, is a journalist and editor from New Delhi, India. His haiku are refreshing, sharp and engaged - the most acute and politically active haiku I met until today in actual world of haiku... One of my favorite, perhaps haiku I wanted to write myself many times during endless formalistic discussion with American haiku poets:

haiku vs senryu business--
tell me instead if America
is a totalitarian capitalist state?

Other haiku too actual and sharp. How many of us dare to write so direct poetry?

Colorado gunman - a joker?
Who were the soldiers in Iraq?
& who are in Afghanistan?

Batman movie shooting--
I recall Reagan's words:
'The USSR is an evil empire'

another US shooting--
just like the cyclical crisis
of capitalism

a missing Alzheimer's patient--
oh, my Soviet nostalgia
so tenacious

before the mirror--
a Dalit* makes up
for a smile to alight on her face

* the lowest rung of Hindus in the casteist Hindu religion who generally do all the manual & menial work. Dalit is a designation for a group of people traditionally regarded as untouchable.

drought conditions--
the poor farmer's eyes
a broken mirror

12 killed in Colorado shooting--
I scatter feed to the pigeons

a rush of Soviet nostalgia
I inhale the
beedi's smoke

this talk, again
of Lenin's burial
why not his resurrection?

telling my daughter about the Soviet Union-
I begin with
once upon a time

my daughter's maiden flight
to see Lenin entombed

reading Krupskaya's reminiscences--
Lenin didn't get October
on a platter

with a human face-
there must be a copyright violation

*a big landlord in Russian

fresh reports of Lenin's burial--
reading Krupskaya's* reminiscences
Lenin springs to life

* Lenin's wife

you swear by your Santa--
I have seen kid ragpickers
giving our world a second chance

I bump into my ex-psychiatrist--
she tells me
'you can step into the same river twice'

Marx on hold--
my 8-yr-old daughter
still obsessed with Barbie

two decades after the Soviet Union
my class angst
at a boiling point

47th birthday-
my daughter counts the years
I am older to her

with my ex-Soviet girl
on the Moscow streets--
now bearing different name

winter early morning -
on the pot
reading Lunacharsky's Lenin

peering closely at the tag
American flag
made in China

rising above
the National Anthem
the ringtones


robert d. wilson said...

Kant's work is political diatribe and is in no way haiku. It is senryu, without meter but with lots of hatred.

Izbrisani Delavec said...

I do not want to say Robert that you are not an expert for haiku (or poet) but your criterions about haiku are a little bit out of date or to much culturally determined. Have you heard for Gendai Haiku?