As a rule, I do not like Haiku. There is nothing wrong with the form. It is more the way that it has been latched onto by people who want to demonstrate how clever they are. And that, of course, is very unfair of me. Because there are a lot of people out there who write haiku because it is the form that suits what they want to say.
Nick Brooks is one of those people. He wants to tell a story and he has chosen haiku as his form because it is precise, it demands discipline in the writing, it is lyrical and the reader has to concentrate in order not to miss important details. This is a story about a sexual relationship told in graphic detail, sparing no blushes at all. If you are embarrassed about describing the activity which placed us all on this planet, you will not get beyond the first ten pages. If, on the other hand, you are aware of how ridiculous sex can be, and can laugh about it, then you will admire the skill, dexterity and downright honesty which Nick Brooks uses to describe this most popular of human pastimes.
Any author who can write this haiku, definitely has a sense of humour.
“What arouses you?
Just the usual a really hot curry
ten pints of lager.”
A haiku for Glasgow, or anywhere, on a Saturday night. And that really is my point. Nick Brooks uses the haiku form to create an image in your mind. And he goes from haiku to haiku linking these images, introducing characters and creating a story for his readers to think about. Given that the haiku form is very precise and contained, this is a remarkable achievement.
And now for an admission. Nick Brooks was one of the users of the library service where I worked. I do not know if we did anything to nurture his talent, although I hope that we did. I hope that we played our small part in the development of this astonishing writer. Because that is what he is – a writer to be savoured and enjoyed.