Jack Kerouac called them “pops,” Western haikus. He didn’t always stick to the correct 17 syllable count but many of his images did “pop” from his pen.
Missing a kick
at the icebox door
It closed anyway
this one is famous, and one of my favorites:
Early morning yellow flowers,
the drunkards of Mexico.
Jack spent a lot of time in Mexico. Stayed with Burroughs there for a while. Did junk, drank liquor and wrote his Mexico City Blues.
The Blues was written as one long poem with different “choruses.” As Jack said:
I want to be considered a jazz poet
blowing a long blues in an afternoon jam
session on Sunday. I take 242 choruses;
my ideas vary and sometimess roll from
chorus to chorus or from halfway through
a chorus to halfway into the next.
Gotta laugh at the thought of a musician taking 242 choruses at a jam session, though after some of the jam sessions I’ve been at, I wouldn’t be suprised if that had actually happened.
A white poem, a white pure
A bright poem
A nothing poem
A no-poem non poem
silent of birds
the lark of trees
the needle pines
the rock the pool
the sandy shore
the cleanness of dogs
And here’s 3 of mine, done right now, on the spot.
winter cold 27th street
neighbor’s black cat
sneaks down brownstone stairs.
snow comes too soon!
electric lit city trees
on 52nd Street.
Try some pops, they’re fun.