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Who writes these?

Luke is a physics grad student who sometimes daydreams about giving up on making no money in academia so he can make no money writing poems. He has no website.

Who draws these?

Emily is an illustrator who is climbing the steep ladder toward a professional art career with a paintbrush between her teeth. She has her very own website.

How often do you do this?

We put up a poem with a painting every Thursday, and an unillustrated poem every Tuesday.

What is Boston?

Boston is the American city where Luke and Emily live together with their son and his various imagined friends. It has its very own Wikipedia entry.

No, I mean, like, what is Boston?

I don’t know. That’s kind of what we’re trying to find out by writing these poems. It’s deep stuff we’re doing here.

I’m a lame nerd and I want to know more about haikai.

‘Haikai’, short for ‘haikai no renga’, is the name of a genre of poetry that originated in Japan in the sixteenth century. A more vulgar form of earlier aristocratic poetry, it was eventually refined by Matsuo Bashō and his followers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Poetry in the haikai style has several forms, but is focused around short verses called haiku. The practice of making small paintings to accompany haiku verses is called haiga and has a long tradition in the genre.

Our poems don’t fit all the formal requirements that make a haiku and might be closer to senryu, but traditional lines are blurred when writing in English anyways. What we are after is the spirit of haikai.

Fleas, lice,
The horse pissing
Near my pillow.
— Bashō

Baby sparrows
Move aside!
Sir Horse passes
— Issa

Before the white chrysanthemum
the scissors hesitate
a moment.
— Buson