Hard to believe this is the Alibi's 13th haiku contest, isn't it? Geez, time sure does fly. This test of bite-size poetic wit has been around as long as our venerable paper itself, and like the paper its popularity and prestige keeps growing, kind of like a pungent blue fungus on a fine Danish cheese.
As it happens, this was a particularly lucky year for haiku. We received tons and tons of the stuff from as far away as Romania and Australia, believe it or not, and the quality, in our humble opinion, was better than ever. (Thanks to our food editor, Gwyneth Doland, and calendars editor, Laura Marrich, for helping me with the judging.)
Congratulations to all those who made it into the paper, and I'd like to extend my personal gratitude to everyone who participated. An extra triple back flip of Olympic thanks to all our many sponsors. This year, as you'll soon see, the prizes for our lucky winners are bigger and better than ever.
And now, drum roll please ... the victors and honorables in the Alibi's 13th Annual Haiku Contest. To paraphrase Basho, the great 17th century Japanese haikuist, "Y'all done good."
Best Traditional Haiku
Yes, even in our youth-is-everything, give-me-newness-or-give-me-death culture, many of us still like to leave a little room for good ol' fashioned tradition. Chris Dixon's striking portrait of two dogs running through the snow is the unanimous champion this year, although Vaile Moldovan's lyrical haiku, penned and delivered all the way from Bucharest, Romania, was a close second.
For his efforts, Dixon will receive a $50 gift certificate to Ta Lin (230 Louisiana SE, 268-0206), Albuquerque's most extensive Asian market. If you haven't already, stop by the store's unbelievable new complex at the corner of Central and Louisiana. As if that weren't enough, Dixon will also receive a coveted Alibi T-shirt along with a scrumptious three-ounce can of Armour® potted meat. Yum! Winner Two black dogs chasing Scents through the white snow, pause, to Hear icicles melt. —Chris Dixon Honorable Mentions A lit hermitage ... the chrysanthemums borrow light from the full moon —Vasile Moldovan
Sudden, in the night, A loud splash. Silence before, And silence after. —Richard M. Fye
a low crescent moon like a well-bent banana ready for peeling —Richard Bodner
still hour, unseen birds sun falling on hands, ink, page mouse in quick cat's mouth —Julia Ragen
my old blackbelt in haiku fell off, now i watch morning glories grow. —Julia Ragen
The road led to a winter desert without tracks— panic at sunset —Andrew Wice
His love also died The day the final blossom fell off of the tree —Janel Goodman
Best Albuquerque Haiku
We've used this category several times over the last couple years. In general, we prefer haiku that celebrate the many virtues of our lovely high desert city. This year, though, we decided to bestow Pamela Menter with the prize for accurately summing up one of the curious features of our native driving style.
Menter will receive two passes to the Outpost Performance Space (210 Yale SE,268-0044), good through Oct. 15, where she and a friend can catch a world-class performance by some of the biggest names in the musical universe. She'll also receive a collectible Alibi T-shirt along with a single packet of Bigelow® brand "Cozy Chamomile" herbal tea. Winner No need to signal. Why should you exert yourself? I can read your mind. —Pamela Menter Honorable Mentions The cement grid cracks. Cloudy kingdoms steal the heat. Mutant insects writhe. —Rich Latta
Oh Albuquerque Please take care of Karissa She's a fair skinned girl. —Karissa Dunbar
Whore of the desert An enticing Jezebel Luring all to come —M. A. Dougherty
Best Cryptozoological Haiku
At least one entrant didn't seem to know what the word cryptozoological means. Have you considered investing in a dictionary, buddy? Some of the best entries in this category came from sixth graders in Brian Tregembo's English class at Sandia Prep—Maxx Grummer, Lorenzo C. Baca and Harry Hampden-Smith. Thanks, gents!
In the end, Katie Hoff's Chupacabra haiku was impossible to resist. (Keep your goats indoors!) Hoff receives four passes to Albuquerque's palace of independent film, the Guild Cinema (3405 Central NE, 255-1848). She'll also receive a stylish Alibi T-shirt along with an unused pair of genuine wood chopsticks. Winner El Chupacabra, Leave my cabrito alone. He's too small for you! —Katie Hoff Honorable Mentions Noise under my bed so I look down and see a pair of glowing eyes —Maxx Grummer
Laugh it up, but once They thought the celocanth was apocryphal, too. —Katie Hoff
Today at Four Hills I saw Big Foot playing golf. He got a bogey. —Lorenzo C. Baca
Big Foot is swimming He is doing the backstroke He came in first place. —Harry Hampden-Smith
Best Haiku to Gently Let Your Neighbors Know You Can Hear Them Doing It
Have you ever had this problem? Yeah, right, if only you were so lucky. Anyway, if you ever do happen to be presented with this quintessentially urban dilemma, just give Ann Sanabria a call. She seems to have a lot of experience. For her helpful advice, she'll receive a $20 gift certificate to Ned's Downtown (407 Central NW, 243-0364) along with two passes to the Guild Cinema, a cute-as-all-heck Alibi T-shirt and an adorable plastic devil figurine. Winner Look, beds are on sale at Sears. Maybe you can find one that doesn't squeak. —Ann Sanabria Honorable Mentions Howdy hi, neighbors! A 10 from the Russian judge! Keep up the good work! —Jeff Kunin
Well, what do you know, I just found an oil can. Hey, you should keep it! —Ann Sanabria
Man, am I tired. I didn't sleep much last night. Neither did you, eh? —Ann Sanabria
It's cool you don't care That I hear you watching porn. You don't watch porn? Oh. —Phil Askenazy
Best Election 2004 Haiku
Whew! Tensions are running high. You people really let loose on this one. In the end, our panel of judges opted, as they so often do, for an infantile personal attack rather than a sophisticated political analysis. I've got to say, though, that Saidhbhin Kelley's haiku made us laugh our butts right off. (Once again, we also especially enjoyed entries from three young haikuists in Brian Tregembo's sixth grade English class—Michael David Womble, Shane P. Briley and Nicole Stanasolovich.)
Kelley will receive a signed copy of Amy Goodman's book The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and The Media That Love Them, donated by Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW, 344-8139), one of Albuquerque's very finest independent bookstores. Kelley also gets a VHS copy of the Media Education Foundation's new documentary, Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear and the Selling of American Empire, along with a politically provocative Alibi T-shirt and a defaced portrait of George and Laura Bush.
Tell me those aren't great prizes. Come on, I dare ya. Winner George Bush's head is Scary. It reminds me of A large potato. —Saidhbhin Kelley Honorable Mentions How has the Bible become Bush's own weapon of mass destruction? —Bob Rakoczy
Condoleeza Rice ... your oil tanker is sinking. You staying onboard? —Teresa Eberth
I never discuss religion or politics ... God knows they don't mix. —Lacey Bingham
Vote for President Bush. He is a good person. Please please vote for him. —Michael David Womble
Bush is a nutcase. He is obsessed with oil. Kerry smiles too much. —Shane P. Briley
Which one to vote for Bush or Kerry or Nader Please don't flip a coin —Nicole Stanasolovich
Big dope from Texas Who's always on vacation: Take four more years off. —Hope Eckert
Best End of the Affair Haiku
I know, I know—it hurts. Thankfully, the Alibi is here for you, to ease the sorrow of a romance crushed beneath the boot heel of destiny. Lacey Bingham, our winner, can ease away her post love affair blues with a one hour massage from ace masseur master John Wolfe at Knot Works (8220 La Mirada NE, Suite 100, 489-2788). Remember John next time you need to pound to butter the muscle knots created by a particularly irritating ex-lover. Bingham will also receive the loving consolation of an extremely absorbent Alibi T-shirt—perfect for wiping away tears—along with a single unshelled peanut. Winner You hate perfection. I hate the way your feet stink. Go back to your mom. —Lacey Bingham Honorable Mentions Jujitsu woman throws man down and breaks his arm, then stomps on his head. —Debby Potter (zoologist and black belt in Judo)
Let me get this straight You forgot you were married For the last six weeks ... —Katie Hoff
you're really nice but you bore me more than you could possibly know —Gabrielle Johansen
After he used up my whole new tube of toothpaste, he left, with fresh breath. —Maggie Siebert
People were watching. "If you kiss me on the lips," he said, "I'll kill you." —Chuck Reuben
Finished, finito! Take a hike, get lost, vamoose! Leave me alone! Scram! —Ann Sanabria
Best Grammatically Incorrect Haiku
Ah, the stark poetry of unabashed grammatical butchery. Hassan Antar gets the prize in this category for his surprisingly lyrical—dare I say Beckett-esque—haiku. Not that he needs it, but Hassan will receive a copy of Lynne Truss' recent bestseller, Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. He'll also get two passes to the Guild, an Alibi T-shirt and a copy of the Sept. 6 issue of Weekly World News, "America's Extreme Magazine," featuring the first interview with Elvis Presley since 1977, for his reading pleasure.
Does our generosity no no bounds? Winner sometimes wish i could turn me into a stone an throw me at somebody —Hassan Antar Honorable Mentions Me & Herb went to the Backwards Zoo. They ain't got dirbs or gankaroos! —Nancy Cross
Look it me, do I give a skint skunk's stinky butt 'bout gramatical? —Laura Green
qwantum mihcanics? buncha hi-fo-lootin poop far as eye can see —Colin Donoghue Alibi haikus Be witty little ditties, Thanks to all of yous. —Jeff Kunin
It bug's me so, when people use apostrophe's wrong in sentence's —Andrew M. Fabry
Best Miscellaneous Haiku
Miscellaneous might just be our favorite category. It's where all the homeless immigrant haiku—those tired, poor, yearning-to-be-free haiku—end up, the ones that were kicked out of their homelands because they've got bad breath or funny haircuts. It's freak central over here in the miscellaneous department, let me tell you, but, hey, this is the Alibi. We're nothing if not freaky, and we embrace all kinds.
Hassan Antar again takes home the blue ribbon for his clever little haiku ditty. He'll get a $25 gift certificate to the Sushi King (118 Central SW, 842-5099), the delicious, relatively new Downtown eatery located right next to the movie theater. Hassan will also receive two passes to the Guild, a miscellaneous Alibi T-shirt and a plastic fast-food-style packet of sweet relish (great on wieners). Winner laughin' an' cryin' same time devil's ticklin' me o god make him stop —Hassan Antar Honorable Mentions Sick for many years Now—my old white shirts hang in the closet like ghosts. —Richard M. Fye
If I could own a Dinosaur, I'd feed it plump And juicy babies. —Saidhbhin Kelley
Chowtown seeks Straight Dope, I'm Alibisexual. Are you my Reel World? —Sue McGilpin
My brain roams the plains. Sometimes it never comes back. I never find it. —Nicole Stanasolovich
Jesus Christ nightlight. I turn you on and await Illumination. —Nick Tauro Jr.
Read the Alibi, The best damn paper in town Doesn't cost a dime. —Todd Eddy
Life's about good friends, Laughter, killing hitchhikers, And watching sunsets. —David Blankenbaker
Weekly Alibi Everything you need to know Plus lots of sex ads! —Wilhelm Sanchez III
Best Haiku Incorporating As Many of the Other Eight Alibi 2004 Haiku Categories as Humanly Possible
This was by far our most challenging category this year, so it's surprising how many haikuists lived up to that challenge. The unanimous winner was Jay Lee. Other people used more categories, but no one combined them more cleverly than Lee. For his efforts, he'll get two passes to the Outpost, an Alibi T-shirt and a yummy pack of Bubblicious® "Island Squeeze" bubble gum. Happy chewing! Winner Note slid under door: "Mister Bush and your Yeti, Please keep it down, please." —Jay Lee Honorable Mentions The knew nighted states Done lost its duh mock raw see Pea pull must wake up —Vyktorya de la Paz
Too loud, Howard Dean I hearing your Sasquatch scream Now there's someone else. —Phil Askenazy
Bush, you screwed us and misunderestimated us, now say goodbye —Hope Eckert
Albuquerque ain't Your X-rated movie set. We vote platonic —Laura Franich