May 23, 2007


Two painful things happened today. First, a bicyclist ran over my foot while I was crossing the street. (He was going the wrong direction on a one-way street, so I didn't see him coming.) Second, I went to a poetry reading.

To be fair, many of the poets might have been perfectly fine, but the acoustics in the restaurant made it nigh impossible to hear anyone, especially the woman who eschewed the microphone completely, for reasons that were opaque to me. On the bright side, my friend Aaron, who was why I was in attendance in the first place, was good -- and I do always enjoy hearing poetry read by someone who is a trained actor and knows how to give shape to a text, unlike most poets.

Anyway, I bring this all up because, before the poetry reading, Aaron (who works by day as a personal trainer) mentioned that he'd been invited to read this evening by someone at his gym, and that he believed there may be other fellow gym workers reading as well. This inspired me to write a set of Personal Trainer Haiku, which I present to you now.

Left bicep, thicker
Than the right one. Your workout
Is asymmetric.

Remember the ant,
Industrious and strong, and
Give me one more rep.

Lightning fells the oak,
Brush fires destroy a year's crops.
You've pulled a muscle.

Footprints tracked through the
Powdered steroid supplement
Spilled in the lockers

Like a fat bullfrog
The weightlifter is grunting
More than he needs to

Sun beams through thin clouds.
He pulls down his baseball cap
And starts the treadmill.

One stalk leaning east
In a wheat field blown westward.
First day in step class.

Lorinne also felt inspired to contribute a haiku to the effort:

The crow balances,
Top-heavy, rigid, and -- damn!
Still can't hold that pose.

Perhaps you would like to write some as well? The comment thread beckons.

Posted by Francis at 01:13 AM

This from my most recent looking-for-a-gym experience:

How can you ask me
What an Erg is you moron.
You say you work here?

Posted by: WesleyJenn at May 23, 2007 03:01 AM


I'm reminded of a failed effort to win a poetry contest with a set of "America's Funniest Home Senryu." I think I composed twenty, but only saved these

Camcorder, ball & bat
Man clutches groin

Sleeping man with cat
Smoke detector
Flesh trickles blood

Unlikely to be tasted
Atop flimsy table
The wedding cake

As at Gettysburg
Bodies everywhere
Unstable trampoline

Ill-fitting dress
Grandmother dancing
Without it

Deep fly ball
Veering foul
New windshield planned

Not for long
Astride boat and land
Pushing off from the dock

Posted by: Thane Plambeck at May 23, 2007 03:01 AM

Drank too much water
Crunches bring up stomach juice
Can you feel the burn?

I once nearly got plowed into by a bike messenger, who chided "Look both ways!" as he whooshed past...on a one-way street, of course.

Posted by: Orange at May 23, 2007 07:06 AM

Can't take this torment
My lungs about to explode...
Whoa, check out that girl

Posted by: RichM at May 23, 2007 07:42 AM

Brilliant! I love those!

Posted by: i_got_the_music at May 23, 2007 08:31 AM

Man conquers machine
Then walks away from bench press
Leaving sweat behind

Posted by: Trip at May 23, 2007 10:25 AM

Smiling babes work out,
Fit as goddesses from Greece.
The commercial ends.

Posted by: Rubrick at May 23, 2007 05:39 PM

Shoulders burning with
Exertion in the Stillness
-Such is downward dog

Posted by: i_got_the_music at May 24, 2007 02:59 AM

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