42 Love Haiku

A love story

by Richard Mavis

Love takes both those who
jump into the volcano
and those who get pushed.

This book started as an art project.

I had opened a tiny gallery called Gigantic. It was a labor of love that lost money every month. Our best-selling show was our second-to-last—sales almost covered rent.

For our last show my friend and then-intern Jason Edward Davis suggested a show of art on matchboxes. I said great. He told me to make a couple pieces. I started writing love haiku.

The idea for the piece was to make a little website—I'd write a bunch of haiku and post each one to the site. Each poem would have its own URL. I'd write each URL on a little slip of paper and wrap a slip around each match in the box. The buyer could then read the poems at their leisure, but each poem could only be read once—the web server would delete the file containing the poem before the page was sent to the reader. So, like a match, each poem was single-use. Because haiku are to poetry what matches are to fire. And because love, like a match's flame, flares up and burns out quickly.

That's how I felt at the time, anyway. It was a tumultuous time. I had broken up with a girlfriend, dated a few, and had recently started seeing another. That one and I just kept seeing each other and now we're married. And I wrote love haiku through the whole process, from our first date through our first kiss as husband and wife.

So this book started as an art project but it grew into a love story. I hope you enjoy reading it. I enjoyed living it.

Baby, you're brilliant,
charming, fun. I could love you.
But your friend is hot.

Then cheers, you said, your
champagne held like a torch, to
all our future flames.

The book comes in a few formats.

There's the paper version, which costs $10 plus shipping ($5 in the USA, $10 in Canada, $35 everywhere else). It's pocket-sized, perfect-bound, and beautiful.

There's the ebook version, which costs $8 by its lonesome or $5 when paired with a copy of the paper version. It contains everything the paper version does except the paper.

And there's the web version, which comes free with either of the other versions and which allows you to read the book on this site.

There's also a Kindle version, which is available on Amazon.

Every version received the same amount of love.

He made clam chowder,
Dad, you said. He said, bet he
don't dig his own clams.

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42 Love Haiku was written by Richard Forrest Mavis, illustrated by Jason Edward Davis, and laid out and designed by Linzi Anne Lloyd.