Review: Zombie Haiku

Zombie Haiku: Good Poetry for Your...BrainsZombie Haiku: Good Poetry for Your…Brains by Ryan Mecum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For a tongue-in-cheek spoof on both haiku and zombie-philia, this collection, which I’ve read twice, proves enjoyable enough to adorn one’s guest bathroom.

There is a structure and plot to the collection which purports to be a haiku journal. It captures the start of the epidemic and even the writer’s transformation to a zombie state. The start is rather like the oblivious start to the movie Shaun of the Dead.

My day starts off bad.
I’m running behind for work.
If I’m late, I’m dead.

Something on the news
about people acting odd,
so I switch to sports.

Dodging eye contact
from my neighbor’s awkward stare,
I leave my nice house.

As I start my car,
my neighbor just keeps staring
and doesn’t wave back.

Rarely does the poetry rise to true haiku status in context, but apparently even full-blown zombies can count out the 5-7-5 syllabic structure. But sometimes, it surprises:

My town is broken.
From this view, I see the end.
Below, they gather.

As I start walking,
I try to remember where
people like to hide.

It is hard to tell
who is food and who isn’t
in the nursing home.

Wheelchair pile-up!
Five old women on the ground,
helpless as babies.

At the beginning and end of the collection are overlaying notes from a second person who wrangled this journal out of the hands of the zombie-poet that bit him. How meta! It’s like re-reading Griffin and Sabine, but with gore. But why am I analyzing this? You get what you pay for with zombie poetry.

Blood is really warm.
It’s like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming.

Nothing left but bones.
Blood stains each building corner,
which some of us lick.

Down the empty streets,
my gurgles echo off walls
to which I moan back.

Nothing hurts me now.
Normally, the screwdriver
wouldn’t have gone there.

The crying baby
reminds me of fast food meals
with a prize inside.

[Check out my other reviews here.]


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