Haiku Argument

Author’s Note: The entirety of this piece’s dialogue fits into haiku format, meaning that it fits into groupings of three lines each five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables respectively.

A guy, KYLE and his girlfriend, STACI, are sitting in a meditation garden, eating soup. Zen music plays. Possibly there are kimonos involved. Kyle starts talking, pensively and reflectively.

Kyle

The leaves seem to dance

On the trees, free of worry,

For they serve no man.

Staci nods, slurping her soup. Kyle lifts the soup to his mouth, preparing to slurp, then lowers it again.

Kyle

The wind never blows

The wrong way for the man who

Controls his own fate.

Staci

Very insightful,

But your soup is getting cold.

Maybe just… eat it?

Kyle looks hurt.

Kyle

I thought you liked my

Haikus. I’ll gladly stop if

They annoy you so.

Staci

I just don’t think we

Need to spend every meal

Talking about wind.

Kyle

I have never heard

You talk this way before! Where

Is this coming from?

Staci

This isn’t coming

From nowhere. I think maybe

You don’t listen-

Kyle

Huh?

Staci

See? That’s what I mean.

I think you care more about

Your haikus than me.

Sullen silence. Kyle speaks.

Kyle

Patricia always

Loved my haikus. Maybe I

Should have stuck with her.

Staci is furious.

Staci

Patricia can have

You, if you think she can put

Up with your chewing!

Kyle

Excuse me, what was

That? There is absolutely

Nothing wrong with my-

Staci

You chew so loudly.

I could honestly hear you

From a mile away.

Kyle

Okay, maybe that’s

Because your cooking is like

Chewing on gravel.

Staci

While we’re talking, why

Don’t we talk about your mom?

I fucking hate her.

Kyle

Hate my mom, do you?

Well you know what I really,

Really…

He stops to count syllables.

Kyle

Really hate?

Staci

Don’t even go there.

Kyle

(pronouncing it wrong)

I hate Les Miserables.

Staci

You’re saying it wrong!

Kyle

Well, if we had seen

Django like I wanted, then

It wouldn’t matter!

Staci

It’s Les Miserables.

I’ve said it a thousand times.

What is wrong with you?

Kyle

That sounded the same!

You know damn well that I hate

French. And Russell Crowe.

Staci

It’s not my fault that

You’re completely uncultured

When it comes to art.

Kyle

Uncultured? Really?

I am speaking completely

In haiku right now.

Staci

What, as if it’s hard?

You’re not the only one who

Can haiku, you know?

I got my master’s

In haiku-ology from

Juliard, ya dig?

Kyle

Yeah, I remember

One of us paying for that

With all my Seaworld-

Staci

If you bring up the

Money you got from Seaworld

In the settlement-

Kyle

I was traumatized!

Staci

You climbed into the eel pen,

Ignoring six signs!

Kyle

It’s easy to joke

When you’re not the one who came

Back more eel than man!

Staci

I think that maybe

We should see other people

For a little while.

Staci looks at him.

Staci

That’s what’s best, I think.

Kyle

And what’s that supposed to mean?

Staci

I’m sleeping with Carl.

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