By Robert Wynne

When brevity is the still the soul of wit, but 17 syllables aren’t quite enough. Based on the popular haiku form, a Longku is a 4-line poem with a strict syllabic pattern of 7-5-7-5. While only 7 syllables (and one line) more than a haiku, the Longku is actually just over 41% longer (isn’t math fun!). Longku can be presented by themselves, or strung together into a sequence. Mentioning of a season, common in traditional haiku, is optional, as is punctuation. Examples are below:

Leonard Cohen’s baritone
tumbles each word dry
and they warm my bare shoulders
with stark promises


snow quietly bruises trees
from a moon-shaped hole
in the dark remorseful sky
winter stars shiver


out on Sunset boulevard
Adam Duritz’s
dreads bob silently with tunes
pulsing red headphones

he steps over sidewalk cracks
promises himself
no more backs will be broken
by his untied shoes

today everyone is named
mister or missus
Jones shaking his hand like they’ve
waited years for him

he pauses in the shadow
of Tower Records
even though it is long gone
faintly vinyl air

hopscotching east he forgets
his destination
begins humming a new song
asks me for a pen