marlene mountain


Introduction by Carlos Colon


sixteen one-line linked haiku 2001

Marlene Mountain and Jean Jorgensen

This collection of linked one-line haiku by Jean Jorgensen and Marlene
Mountain begins in July 1993 and continues through August 2001. As with the
other rens books Marlene has written with Kris Kondo and Francine Porad,
these 16 poems are more of a haiku diary than the formalized renga some
writers compose which moves, sometimes ploddingly, through the seasons in a
structured, often straitjacketed way. Jean and Marlene alternate short and
long links and double their links at 6/7, 18/19, and 30/31; otherwise they
free themselves to write about anything they wish.

The delay of snail-mailing links from Canada to Tennessee and back is
obvious up until January 2001, when they start e-mailing each other at what
is nearly a whiplash speed. There is plenty of nature in these links and
even more opinion. Readers may raise an eyebrow, but they won't be lowering
their lids and dropping off to sleep. Both Jean and Marlene share the belief
that haiku is defined by the poet and can include a range of emotions and
content. Jean's wry humor often compliments the anger Marlene finds as a
necessary human expression in haiku, although there is ample evidence of
Marlene's own humor as well. The poets may write of the 'ordinary,' yet
they also respond to the larger world. This world is big enough for both of
them, and you, too. Step right in!


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