The Perfect Form Poem


Long before I ever read the book hitchhikers guide to the universe or any other of Douglas Addams books, I thought the secret perfect number was 42, in fact, I always used it as the exact number when I meant a rather large but uncertain number. After reading hitchhiker, I felt validated, and as it seems every poet of significance, and who doesn’t want to be one of those? Has his/her own “thing” I have decided my thing is the perfect form poem. As I have just discovered this form, it is not a finished concept. I will be experimenting with variations on the form. As you might have guessed from my lead in, the number 42 is key to the perfectness.

At its core the “Perfect Form Poem” is a poem made of a total of 42 syllables, though 42 words, or even 42 letters would work. It is certainly in need of shortness, so it will never be 42 lines, which for me always seems a bit of a run-on poem, even when it is mine. Brevity may be the soul of wit, or is it the sole of wit?, but brevity is certainly helpful when selling a new idea.

6 lines of 7 syllables, 7 lines of 6 syllables, a haiku +25, or what we might simply call a “Haiku25”

7 lines of 6 syllables, or even 7 lines of 5 and 7 staggering, almost a SUV of haiku, or maybe more quaintly, as I am both archaic and quaint, “Haiku Station Wagon”. An automobile implies a few things:

Transportation, motion, a station wagon adds a sense of family, and even though most of the time a station wagon went to the grocery store or the school yard, it is closely associated with vacations. A fact largely due, no doubt to the car industry trying to as a bit of sparkle to the precursor of the minivan.

Any form of mine should be long on lower case and short and random on punctuation. I also have a fondness for misspelled words. In this piece, already I have written: ot, randon, spaekle and even misplled, and surely more that spellcheck grabbed and corrected while my eyes were watching my fingers and not the screen. A stranded punctuated or two would also be fitting, as in .r and ,b, these could count towards the 42 or be considered superfluous. I haven’t quite decided, and of course, as I am of the school that a poet is only half the team of writing a poem, I certain don’t mind if you jump in and try your hand at this Prefect Poetry. You might even “perfect” it. Humor, irony, and on occasion, outright silliness, are somewhere between acceptable and required. New wording is also very much a part of this form. As a nod to my heroes, I am tempted to call it P+E+R+F+E+C+T+P+O+E+T+R+Y. But as I do not mean to trivialize either the LANGUAGE poets nor my own, I will refrain.

Now to write one of the damn things……


A soonet of blue

Scrolling past so many lines

Given over on

The account of death unborn

Makes the rot of verse

Stronger than any rhyming.


If by cotton

You mean the thorny tearing

Cousin of okra

And not the liking of

Or desire for

I have no need

Except for a soft sun faded

Wrinkled shirt



Sotrm cloud gather

Across the old battle worn sky

Of alabama.r

Where I have watched the weather

Since a child tapping dads brass barometer

And will until I die


I fear I am too much of a freeverser to be tied down, but I will keep on, it is possible Gertrude took a week or more to get so confusing and WCW must have spent a summer learning to do what he did.




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