First news haiku: “Judge Joe sent it back”

Here at — always first with the burst in verse — we’re (note use of royal “we;” I got it from the governor) unveiling a new communication format today: the news haiku.

Twittering got me to thinking haiku, and therefore this was inevitable. I see it as a way to one-up the competition. Although I beat WIS with the news that Judge Joe Anderson had sent the stimulus lawsuits back to state court, I lost out slightly to thestate at Twitter. I thought, But I’ll bet they don’t have it in verse. And I was right.

So here’s my first breaking news haiku:

Mark sued to get feds
to override our state’s rights.
Judge Joe sent it back.

Yes, I know there are weaknesses in it from a literary standpoint — for instance, the “it” in the last line lacks a clear antecedent. For instance, it doesn’t work as a reference to “rights,” but rather to the issue itself. But I liked it better than “them.” And hey, cut me a break. I wrote this on Twitter while driving my truck through Shandon (I pulled over to type it, but didn’t turn off the truck). Therefore this opus should be judged by a different standard from the timeless masterpieces of haiku. It’s a whole new form.

In the future, someone will write an English thesis about this new form, which experts will variously call “Twitter haiku,” or “Twitter-ku,” or simply “news haiku,” which I prefer. That moment in my truck will be examined with the same care as that moment when the rude guy from Porlock interrupted Coleridge. Just watch…

If this is well received, I might start doing it daily. And if it’s not, I might do it anyway. Art will not be repressed!

19 thoughts on “First news haiku: “Judge Joe sent it back”

  1. Greg Flowers

    Next you’ll be supporting the General Assembly’s 11th Amendment resolution!

    Lets be precise about what happened (as I understand it). There were three lawsuits, two filed in State court one (the one in which the Governor is plaintiff in federal court). Sanford petitioned to move the two cases in State court to federal court. Anderson rejected the petition but retained jurisdiction over the suit Sanford filed, which has as its primary claim a violation of the Supremacy Clause. So regardless of the finding in State Court, the appropriation of the Stimulus money by the General Assembly without the request of the money by the Governor could still be found unconstitutional and void.

    I am confident that the State Supremes will find for the plaintiffs. They telegraphed as much when they dismissed the earlier suit. This is the group that found that the Budget and Control Board passed muster (in an opinion that will make your head implode).

    I understand that the General Assembly has the power to appropriate, but they cannot appropriate monies over which they do not have legal control (e.g. revenues from a tax that has not been passed or has been found to be unconstitutional.) I know that there are now various theories regarding the language requiring governors to request the Stimulus money but I feel that the correct one is the one which virtually everyone intially excepted, that the request was a discretionary act on the part of each governor. Why else would Clyburn have inserted his legislative override language. The State Supremes will find some way to misinterpret or gloss over the federal statutory language. We’ll see how the feds interpret it.

  2. Brad Warthen

    John O’Connor reports that a newly reasonable (and previously unknown to science) Mark Sanford says he won’t appeal after he loses stimulus fight in S.C. Supreme Court.

    John reports ( that this stranger (what did he do with our governor?) also said “If you’re naked, you’re naked.”

    What the two things have to do with each other I don’t know, and I’m afraid to ask….

  3. jfx

    Uh-oh, this cave fulla gold done been mined:

    “Twaiku” & “Politiku”

    Curiously, is available through GoDaddy. appears to be in squatter hands (“private registrant”).

    But, still fun. Can’t resist one more:

    Sanford hunted for
    an activist federal judge
    to save his arse. Alas!

  4. jfx

    ^copy and paste first “twaiku” link….the full line is the correct url, but the hyperlink somehow got fudged here on the blog.

  5. jfx

    Oops, dammit, stray extra syllable in that last line. Try again:

    Sanford hunted for
    an activist federal judge
    to save his arse. NOPE!

  6. Burl Burlingame

    Facing an unsightly trapped-white-space hole on our TV listings page about a decade ago, I invented TV haiku, which gave “added depth” to the night’s shows. It was fun for a month, but not after a year. It also perplexed editors.

  7. jfx

    Crap. “Federal” is three syllables, but my Southernese contracted it to two. Final revision:

    Sanford hunted for
    an activist fed’ral judge
    to save his farce. D’oh!

  8. Bill C.

    haiku… how gay is that? Let’s sit around and count syllables to statements that make little sense.

  9. jfx

    Bill, let me reformat that last part for you, since you actually wrote quite a witty little haiku there:

    Let’s sit around and
    count syllables to statements
    that make little sense.

    There! Nice one!

    Now here’s another:

    Bill C. says haiku
    is “gay” and a waste of time.
    Sense of humor? NOPE!

  10. Kathryn Fenner

    Greg–Great haiku, but unfortunately, too true! Good facts make bad law.

    Brad: Woulda had the scoop if you weren’t been late to Rotary! Tsk tsk! What could possibly be more important than Jimmy Derrick giving us his version of the Realtor MLS lawsuit as Health and Happiness?

  11. Greg Flowers

    Kathryn- Thanks, I’m rather proud of it (he said blushing modestly).

    Yes, it is both true and sad. Will getting the money be worth the precedent it sets? I think that there are those who have let their distaste for the Gov get in the way of looking at the consequences. We shall see.

  12. Susanna Speier

    Hey, I’m Susanna. The one who, um done mined this “cave fulla gold” (as JFX put it). Am actually writing to invite you to be part of my Politiku Posse. The Politiku Posse is my group of past and/or future Politiku contributors. I send the Politiku Posse shout-out once a month with submission topics that you can either respond to or ignore, depending on your disposition, time-management skills and whether or not the topic captures your imagination. Although I’m unable to pay contributors for their Politikus, people seem to enjoy doing them. Here’s the url to the current submission call. Feel free to forward on to any friends or colleagues you think might be interested.

    Either way, I wish u luck w/ your upcoming journalistic/literary endeavors.

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