Thursday, February 21, 2008

Haiku Graffiti

O snail
Climb Mt. Fuji
But slowly, slowly!

According to Wikipedia, this haiku is by Issa, and was used in J.D. Salinger's "Franny and Zooey." I found it scribbled on a wall in Brooklyn. It's a good prescription for handling huge tasks: little by little, step by step. Unfortunately it doesn't address the frustration we sometimes feel when things go too slowly!

I went to see another documentary film last night, this one a finished product by a friend of mine. It's called "Passing Poston," and it's about the disastrous internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. It also explores how one of their camps, on an Arizona indian reservation, actually helped the Native Americans. The U.S. government arranged to have the Japanese housed there to justify public expenditures on infrastructure on the reservation, and Japanese labor built structures later used by the indians. Of course, the whole experience was still terrible for the Japanese-Americans. It's a very interesting movie.

On the way home on the subway, I saw one man reading this and another reading this. So we know at least one copy of each book was sold.

(Photo: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Feb. 2008)


  1. The internment of Japanese-Americans was such a shameful act.

  2. Did you see the cover of the New Yorker this week? It covers the one year life cycle of a book.

    Too many books get published these days. They're not precious like they were 100 years ago, so people don't keep them and cherish them, they toss them out. I do it, too.

  3. Love the Haiku Graffiti.

  4. I cannot believe I did not connect that Haiku to Franny & Zooey. I love that book.

    Reya is right about books--Take Dickens for example--he used to be like a mega superstar to people. My great grandmother read his books aloud to my father and his siblings and cousins during the summer. They'd sit and listen the way kids play video games now. And the books were cared for and loved.

  5. hi, hope to see u soon.

  6. Steve - Passing Poston : powerful trailer. Am bookmarking the site for future reference.
    "We had the face of the ennemy," says one of the women. Change the color, change the nationality - it's the same old story all the time, isn't it?
    Thanks for passing it on.

  7. this post is like a haiku - there is soooooo much in it! thanks.

    will keep an eye out for 'passing poston'

  8. Reya: I could never imagine throwing away a book. That New Yorker cover is so upsetting! I always donate my books to a charity used book store when I'm done with them. But I see 'em on the street in the trash all the time. It's amazing to me.

    Thanks for the comments on "Passing Poston," everyone. My friend Joe will be tickled that people are watching out for it. :)