Try your hand at haiku
Publication Salisbury Post
Date May 19, 2003
Section(s) Lifestyle
Page 0
Byline
Brief Try your hand at haiku

About a year ago there was a story in the New Yorker about a Brooklyn man named Aaron Naparstek who was frustrated with street noise. To vent his frustration about the idiots constantly honking on his street during the frequent traffic jams, he wrote some haiku -- which he called "honku" -- and taped them on street lampposts. Here's one of his efforts:

About a year ago there was a story in the New Yorker about a Brooklyn man named Aaron Naparstek who was frustrated with street noise. To vent his frustration about the idiots constantly honking on his street during the frequent traffic jams, he wrote some haiku -- which he called "honku" -- and taped them on street lampposts. Here's one of his efforts:

You from New Jersey

Honking in front of my house

In your SUV.

To his surprise, Naparstek discovered that his poetry had inspired other people, who posted their own anti-honking poetry.

Now, there's a Honku Web site, which contains honku like these written by people frustrated by stupid drivers.

Some are angry:

did God cut you short,

deprive you of something large,

little man, big horn?

Some exhibit a Zen sensibility:

breathe in and out

God loves a quiet driver

my honking subsides

Honking isn't really a problem in Salisbury. But rude drivers on East Innes street can be.

By now, local drivers have had a while to get used to the idea that going east on Innes Street (around the the fast food section), the left lane ends at Arlington Street, which forces drivers who aren't turning left to get into the right lane. Some change lanes there and then turn immediately on Arlington Street, which leaves the rest of us working on an aneurism.

Somewhere around Wendy's or even before, polite drivers get into the right-hand lane because they know that's ultimately where they'll need to be, and they don't feel comfortable begging or forcing their way in at the last minute.

I know that people (including me) occasionally forget that the left lane disappears and are then forced to merge later than they would like.

But I'm also convinced that some people make a very conscious decision to avoid the slow traffic in the right lane, speed by everyone in the left lane and then expect to be let in when the lane ends, even though the right lane drivers have been patiently waiting to get through this congested area for ten minutes. (You see versions of this inconsiderate behavior all the time on the interstate, unless some fed-up truck driver, bless him, sits in the left lane to block the late mergers who will only change lanes when they are about to plow into the construction barrels.)

So that's the theme for my haiku, waiting in the right lane of Friday afternoon traffic on Innes Street, watching the inconsiderate blow by the rest of us poor schmucks.

Last-minute merger

Is your time more valuable

than mine? Shame rains down.

You in front of me!

Don't let that Mercedes in.

We must punish him.

Friday afternoon

crawling along Innes Street

late for my chick flick.

Selfish Beemer dude

inserting your big bad car

like you owned the street.

Driving from yoga

my tranquility takes flight

somewhere near Wal-Mart.

Honda from New York

out-of-townness protects you

I shall let you in.

a silent scream forms

the light changes yet again

alas, Iremain.

Mr. 8 car fan

this isn't Lowe's Speedway so

why the Earnhardt shove?

Do you haiku? E-mail me your haiku about driving etiquette, using the 5-7-5 syllable format, and if I get enough good ones we'll publish them.

Contact Katie Scarvey at 704-797-4270 or kscarvey@salisburypost.com.