gross in my brain: a study in renga

in honor of my first, ever, experience of being in an improvised scene set in feudal japan, i have decided that we are all going to write a renga together.  this is a pretty exciting, pretty epic, pretty awesome thing to do.  let’s have fun, but this should be sweet.  i’ll outline here the rough ideas that i think we should follow.


  • a renga has two alternating verses styles, a 5-7-5 (three lines where these are the number of syllables per line), followed by a 7-7.  
  • the first 5-7-5 is called the hokku.  i get to write it because i’m the only “guest” of the group, now.
  • the first 7-7 is called the waki.  i also get to write that because i’m organizing this.
  • the second 5-7-5 is the daisan.  it’s got to end in a verb in a progressive tense 
  • the last stanza is the ageku
  • all other stanzas are called hiraku.  i recommend that authors complete a hiraku pair of one 5-7-5, followed by the 7-7 that accompanies it.

i think those will be the only shikimoku, or ‘rules that we follow’, but please study up on the renga terminology to understand it’s structure better if you’re going to participate.  i am exciting to be a part of this online kogyo.

to be clear, this can be an ‘epic’ poem, but it is inherently an ‘epic poem’.  let’s get started!

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4 Responses to “gross in my brain: a study in renga”

  1. dgroseph Says:

    the world becomes moist
    and is good for air and sky—
    not always for thighs

    yearly the ices melt now
    snot running down the mountain

  2. mushimusic Says:

    ancient men do thaw
    wake from dreams of one eyed snakes –
    lustful slithering

    find themselves in room of dudes
    morning wood burns up in smoke

  3. sean Says:

    running from black clouds
    blotting the full moon like ink
    arson is such fun

    spend rest of night in drunk tank
    pleading with guard for more scotch

  4. mmmbaguette Says:

    more scotch! more scotch now!
    guard says no – it needs to thaw
    like the ancient men

    and woolly mammoths hiding –
    in caves scared of the cyclops

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