‘Sexy Haiku’ is novelist Nick Brooks’ first work of poems, published by the lovely Freight Books. The many haikus follow one man’s experiences of love, sex, and romance throughout his life.
Firstly, I must mention – I love the idea of using haikus as erotic poetry. While some might not like the fact that Brooks has not followed the strict syllabic rules of traditional haikus, I personally don’t look for that sort of thing in poetry. I found that the pared-down form worked rather wonderfully. There’s a fine line in erotic writing – too much detail, and you might border on purple prose, too little, you might turn a bit boring and clinical. This form forced Brooks to create shockingly intimate (and sexy) scenarios out of a mere three lines, which I thought was astounding.
It also worked particularly well because a number of the poems talk about long-distance relationships, and the role of text-messaging and Skyping. One of my favourite poems is just a text message, but its rhythm works so well in the haiku form. I hope that Brooks will continue to explore this particular idea. The many references to technology also help solidify this as a very modern erotica. Pop-ups about ‘those in your area’ are turned into poems, and are placed side-by-side with far more traditional poems about the beauty of his lovers.
This will sound like a stupid thing to say, I imagine, but…it was just a little bit crude for my liking. This is not the style that I normally prefer, and I’ll be honest, it was mainly the form that kept me interested. However, I enjoyed piecing together the various relationships and trying to understand his various emotions about his lovers. Because there isn’t a clear narrative, this allows the sex to speak for entire relationships, thereby creating a very complex book of poetry indeed.
In my mind, ‘Sexy Haiku’ is a wonderful book of poems, which just also happen to be erotic. I would absolutely love to see more poetry from Nick Brooks, as he is clearly a master of simultaneously saying little, and yet saying everything.