Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bikers Resurge Baiku as Freedom of Speech

When one visualizes a group of men cruising down a highway on Harley-Davidsons cutting aggressive virile figures in a surreal masculine cadence; the last thing that would come to mind is poetry.

Well, think again, these guys are not wimps.

In recent months, poetry has enjoyed resurgence among bikers. Not just any poetry, but something called three-line “baiku,” or 17-sylable poetry. Typically, Baiku contains six lines, but the three-line version is the more popular version among bikers.

Author, Jose Gouveia, has published a book called "Rubber Side Down." It is a book of poems by bikers, many verses were written by members of the Highway Poets Motorcycle Club of Cambridge, MA. Most of the prose describes life on the open road.

A template of a baiku, with lines containing 5-7-5 syllables, looks like this:

Blah blah blah blah tune (5)
Blah blah blah blah on the road (7)
Blah blah blah blah stealth (5)

Blah blah blah blah soon (5)
Blah blah blah blah for the toad (7)
Blah blah blah blah wealth (5)

You can use your imagination to create a Y-chromosome Harley Davidson-type three-line poem, but it would probably look like this:

Cruising a solo
is reflection on the road
gives space and freedom

If you want to juice it up a bit:

Renegade a blog
to find Joy along the way
wearing bunny feet


Double thumper has
hooligans on crotch rocket
not Harleys, uncool!

Where did this idea come from?

In Canada, Antonio Batista wrote an ode of non-appreciation to Ward 9 Councilor Pat Saito on an abandoned pothole. The verse was misconstrued as a death threat to someone in city council. However, the Ontario Court of Appeals overturned Batista’s conviction and said that it was a form of literary expression.

Freedom of speech, while not always used honorably, can be satirical.

1 comment:

Just Joy said...

Joy wearing bunny feet? I'm FAMOUS baby!!

I love it!