Que Sera Sera

Really, everyone’s a winner. Except for the ten of you who lost.

A big hand to the winners of the haiku contest: Jackie-O and Mrs. Kennedy. (That’s right. What fodder for the conspiracy theorists!) Below are all the entries, along with our esteemed judges’ comments. This was definitely a good time, and thank you all for participating in the fun. Adam suggested cinquains sending props out to the cast of Saved by the Bell for our next endeavor. We shall see. (Right after I look up “cinquain.”)

Without any further ado:

Judges’ Comments, by Helen Jane: I have three qualifications for determining the winner.
First, the poem must follow 5-7-5.
Secondly, as Adam said, it must be humorous.
Finally? It must realize a deeper truth through the YG2.


Personal letters
sent to the stars of Young Guns
Two: A collection

R.D. Call: Sorry
about your career; I saw
“Murder By Numbers.”

Mr. Phillips: I
haven’t seen “Bats,” but I still
want my five bucks back.

James Coburn: Do your
friends still make fun of you for
“Eraser?” I would.

Kiefer: Can I call
you Keifer? When did “Freeway”
sound like a good plan?

by Brian

Adam says: An interesting concept by creating a haiku sequence dealing with the respective careers of the YG II cast members. The series seemed to fall short because it doesn’t comment on their appearances in the movie so much as it deals with movies later in the respective careers. A parallel drawn between YG II and the latter films would have no doubt added to the already funny, yet sad quality of these poems. The conversationally quality of it is funny, yet melancholy because the films are sad, in themselves.

Helenjane says: I assume the Kiefer-Keifer was intentional.
And in the voice of Mrs. Renee from Pee Wee’s Playhouse,
Today, I will call the ceiling, the cieling, and I will blame it all on you.

One criticism, however, one cannot, simply cannot, refer to the Lou Diamond as Mr. Phillips, it takes something away from the very rockstarness that he’s cultivating in that petri dish of image.


For Lou Diamond Phillips:

Faux rockstar name
does not ensure a great career.
Wolf Lake, Lou? So sad.

by Jackie-O

Adam says: Beautiful use of monosyllabic words to create tension with the “so sad” aspect of the haiku.

Helen Jane says: Props for the use of FAUX. I wonder if there are rules for faux rockstar names like there are for your porn/stripper name. Like, take a popular name from 1952, add a gemstone and finish with the last name from one of the Beach Boys.

I would be Gus Ruby Wilson.
Oh. That sounds like I’m creepy Uncle Gus, with ring-around-the-collar and binoculars next to the sink.


For Balthazar

I can’t remember
anything else you were in.
Are you sure you exist?

by Jackie-O

Adam says: While strong, the poem lacks imagery to backup the statement which is quite true and revealing in itself. The poem is very quiet and lonely.

Helen Jane says: Honorable mention for incorporating Balthazar. Or incorporating the shadowy nature that is Balthazar.


For Mr. Mortensen

Viggo, how I love
to say your name in a fake
accent and then swoon.

by Jackie-O

Adam says: Yes! My favorite of these three—the poem begins with “Viggo” and ends with the speaker “swoon”ing. Again, wonderful use of single-syllable words to establish a solid, unwavering rhythm.

Helen Jane says: This is my winner.
Maybe we can have two winners?
This haiku rules because it called me to action,
How can you not say it in a fake accent?
How can you not correlate it with hot, viggo-rous loving?
I swoon only for Jackie-O



it does not matter
if you play good guy or bad
you always kick ass.

by heidi

Adam says: I like this poem because it depends on the title to make sense. A poem which relies on the title for information is always helpful, especially when writing a haiku and being forced into a form which is depending of each syllable.

Helen Jane says: Although Kiefer kicks ass, like Adam said, the poem depends on the title.
And also, it reminds me of the last name of a girl I got in a big fight with last year.
And oh, how I hated her and her weaselly ways.
And now I’m angry and would like to kick her ass.
And Heidi, it’s all your fault.


That movie’s about
American Indians
Where is Lou Diamond?

by Jennifer Setter

Adam says: A strong poem in its conciseness and word choice. The turn at the end functions like the ice cube on the stove riding on its own melting. Ending with the question is both sad and ominous.

Helen Jane says: Any poem about Lou D is all right with me.


balthazar getty
with the hard to pronounce name
may i call you bal?

by Jennifer Silver

Adam says: Beautiful sense of humor here. The fact that the poem is actually addressed to “Bal” makes the reader feel a bit removed from the scene, but the imagined conversation between the reader and Bal makes it funny—as if the scene is taking place at a bar over draft beers or maybe via cell phones. The poem doesn’t necessarily have a turn or twist—it begins with an idea and mostly stays with it to the end. Very cohesive.

Helen Jane says: Bal is the beginning to so many wonderful words.


William Petersen
The man of C.S.I. fame
Love your curly hair

by Carolina

Adam says: I like this poem because of the lack of enjambment and the resolution being such a strong image. The three lines of the poem, in this way, actually become three strands of the “curly hair” that the speaker “loves.” Clearly derives form the school of imagism; H.D. and Pound would be proud.

Helen Jane says: Although William Petersen’s hair is juicy enough to cut with a steak knife, I find hair like his winds up in my burger more often than necessary.

Sarah B. says: Dude, Adam said “enjambment.”


The long hair is better
Than the short like in Breakfast Club

By Heather Moylan

Adam says: Strong comparison between the two films in such a brief poem. I like having “Emilio” on its own line, even though the last syllable is left off. By leaving off the last syllable, the poem has a strong way of feeling unresolved, much like Emilio must feel every time he gets his “short” hair cut or makes a movie, for that matter.

Helen Jane says: I would have made this the winner except of the missing syllable.
I even tried to add another syllable to Emilio, making it read, “EM-EE-LEE-EE-OH”
But I couldn’t do that to Martin Sheen.
I’m sure he only wanted Emilio to have a four syllable name.
I know I would be pretty pissed if someone started calling me Helelelen Jane.
Or at least my mom would.


Arthritic fingers
frightening teeth whistling smoke—
dogs bark: James Coburn.

by mrs. kennedy

Adam says: This one’s my winner for several reasons. First of all: the name “haiku” is derived from the type of “renga” known as “haikai,” which means “humorous.” Most of the haikus submitted have a humorous edge to them, but this particular one captures a strong sense of imagery throughout the poem, in addition to the comic sense. In the first few lines we feel the fingers, see the teeth, smell the smoke, and then hear the “dogs bark” in the last line. By this point, the haiku is working on several different levels. The closing: “James Coburn” brings forth a nice humorous, unexpected twist. Frost says poetry should be a “momentary stay against confusion” and this haiku does just that. It leads the reader in a direction he/she does not intend to go in, thus representing the world we live in (as well as the characters in “Young Guns II”).

Helen Jane says: Hm.
I have to disagree.
I can’t give it my vote because Coburn is a scary, scary man.
It’s like saying that your perfectly and elegantly prepared Beef Wellington is gross just because I don’t like the pate.
Like, I’m sure this is a great haiku and I’m sure your Wellington is right on the money.
But I fear the Coburn.
I fear and loathe him.
In fact, I might go start an “I’m afraid of James Coburn” club right now.


the jon bon jovi
“blaze of glory” for the deuce
young guns cameo

by helenjane

Adam says: The only haiku that deals with the JBJ song and appearance in the film. I like it if only for the originality. However, it fails to mention the quarters in his eyes while being propped up in the coffin.

Helen Jane says: Since I wrote this poem, I shouldn’t have to comment on it. Or maybe I could comment on it like my boss just made me write my own performance review and this is the performance review I’ve always wanted to give myself:

Attitude: 4 (out of a possible 10)
Promptness: 5
Cheerfulness: 6
Service with a smile: 2

What Helen Jane lacks in initiative she makes up for in drive. Helen Jane should go to Taco Bell more often. Helen Jane smells nice.


Emilio E.,
How I did truly love thee
Until “Men at Work.”

Lou Diamond Phillips
Sorry your wife left you for
Melissa Etheridge.

by Sarah B.

Adam says: Ah—Melissa Etheridge’s made several appearances. I like the consoling quality of the poem. The direct address of the first line really grabs the reader’s attention and ending with the full names of these two lovers really captures the tension between these two people and the relationship they share through the common lover.

Helen Jane says: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Any poem about Lou D is all right with me. Who says that haikus can’t teach you something?


melissa etheridge
you know we love it when you’re
tonguing lou’s wife’s ass

by Cameron

Adam says: Woah! Probably the poem with the most element of surprise, but the haiku fails to comment on the film. Perhaps if a connection was made that the reader wouldn’t have thought of, the poem would have exceeded what it sets out to do in this form. The two possessives in the end create a strong order of displacement—one similar to what Lou might have felt at the time that his wife left.

Helen Jane says: Hm. The tonguing.
Dirty dirty poem.
It made me suck my teeth.
And I don’t think that is what haikus should do.
doo doo.

Sarah B. says: I felt that I should add: I sent my original haiku to my friend Cameron in an email, and he responded with this. He has no idea I took the liberty of submitting it for him. Perhaps he would not have been so cavalier with the tongue-mentioning had he known the internet at large would be privy to it.


This entry came in late, so the judges didn’t have a chance to comment on it, but I thought I’d post it anyway:

pat garrett? loser.
billy escaped and became
the mighty ducks coach.

ritchie valens is
jose chavez y chavez
just with shorter hair.

kiefer sutherland
should never die in movies
it makes the girls cry.

by Some Dude


Congratulations, all.

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