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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Haikupalooza Project

Sometimes New Year's resolutions are merely guideposts for what to accomplish in the year to come. Lose weight, be a better person, try not to kill anyone are all typical New Year's Resolutions. For me, these resolutions are kind of amorphous and don't really have any meaning.

This year, on a whim, I decided to write a haiku for each one of my Facebook "friends".  I really didn't think it through, nor did I think it would be that hard. I mean how hard would it be to write a short phrase of 17 syllables for the 365 people I had on my "friends" list. I mean, as someone pointed out, if you can't spare 17 syllables about someone how much of a friend could they really be?

I set up a few rules to make the project more interesting and keep the surprise factor going. First rule of Haiku: you can't ask for it. If anyone asked for Haiku they would be among the last to receive one. The hope was to keep it random and special for me and the person receiving the poem. 

The second rule was to keep it nice. That was my rule and the temptation to use the words bitch, whore, slut and moron was always there.  I admit some of my friends are whores and morons and it would probably be a badge of honor, but Facebook, like your name drawn in wet sidewalk cement, is forever. 

The third rule was, I could change the rules as I saw fit. So by the end of the project I ended up abandoning randomness in favor of alphabetical order. 

So I've written 322 poems for my friends. You might have noticed I started out with 365 friends.

What I learned:

1. Not everyone deserves a haiku.
2. There are people on your Facebook page who you don't like at all, they are are there for "political" reasons. They've been defriended.
3. There acquaintances on your Facebook who you have a lot of respect for and would like to count them as your friends.
4. It's as hard to write Haiku for someone you love as for someone you don't know.
5. You become very picky who you let "friend" you when you are committed to writing a Haiku for everyone. 
6. There are people who don't read your page and don't know why the fuck you sent them a Haiku.
7. There are people who can't say thank you.
8. Writing a haiku to someone you don't like at all is very uncomfortable but I did it anyway. Defriended.
9. Some people lie to get more haiku.
10. How many people actually get their own special unique personal poem? I know 322 people who have.

The best responses seem to have come from people who were having some kind of hard time that I was not aware of. They would say things like:
"you don't know how much I needed to hear that" 
"this came at the most perfect time, how did you know I needed this?"
"you made my day, it was such a hard one"

When I read those responses it reaffirms my belief in faith and destiny.  That somehow fate steps in works through someone to give them 17 little syllables to add a little wind to their sails. It was nice.  I doubt I will do it again.

Happy New year. 

Next year's resolution: lose five pounds.