1999 Burning Man Haiku4Beer haiku

In 1999 I started a theme camp at Burning Man called Haiku4Beer. The concept is simple enough: you come to the camp and write a three line poem of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and I give you a cold Japanese beer.

The response was tremendous. I met hundreds of people at Burning Man who came and wrote haiku for the first time because they were seriously thirsty and hot. Had we not been in those conditions conducive to thirst and experimentation, I doubt many would have tried it.

The night of the burn, three beautiful volunteers (Sarah, Thia, and ?) copied down the haiku into notebooks before we burned the sheets in the fire, to the crowds’ chants of “Burn Haiku Burn!”. So, without further ado, here is the haiku from 1999.

Lighthouse in a dream
Nightly I walk towards the green
Surreally homeward

Hemingway haiku:
Men doing what men
do; they drink, they go to Spain -
There is no purpose

My bike seat is hard
Playa sex with no pillows
Damn my ass sure hurts

The beautiful boy
The wind brought you from so far,
What will take you now?

There R those like us
They R one there, damn few
And next of them dead!

Gambling and flogging
Ahead at your right at the
Monty Casino

I'm thinking of one
Because I want some damn beer!
Oh, my aching head.

Did not bring enough
Odd paraphenalia
Bigger truck next time

Piss clear, they tell me.
Easy for you to say, yet...
Somehow - dust colored

2 and 1 is 3
And that makes more sense to me
Than the other way

I want to get high
and float way up in the sky
Don't ever look back

My best friend Joe died
And my Dad was really mean
Now I must lift weights

In het leven sta je
gedachten dromend - in nel rond van
heb je genoch water gedanlun zie

How can you capture
in seventeen syllables
all of Burning Man?

Drilling my brain rain
Shit kick in X alert playa
Live, funky fresh heat

My cousin's daughter
is called Haiku Rose Carter
Friends all call her "Spit"

The thirst for cold beer
Brings out the inner poet
in a desert lush.

The man, no, the man
Burning in the desert hotly
Man, I need a beer.

Filthy nostril hair
Impairs my cocaine habit
I must blow my nose

What I write here
I want that Japanese beer
Mental block - fuck - fuck

When in line to pee
Most of requested you see
Free Bird, go figure.

Beer is for breakfast
I really don't care because
It soothes my dry throat.

Comet split in four
Hay-moon rose Big Cheese in sky
Home to Jiffy-Pop

St. James fate, Ireland
Sectarian violence
Make mine a Guinness

His heart was encased
in a hickory nut shell
I couldn't crack it!

The Burning Man stands
at the center of the sun
Burn, Burning Man, burn.

Ik ben ver ran huis
maar ik voel me totaal thuis
I'm @ Burning Man

High desert dryness
dessicated idea glow
Can't write a haiku!

Freezing Monday night
Icy toes in sleeping bag
Let's burn the man now!

Drinking in the sun
Burning for fresh fried chicken
Where's my fucking tent.

White pipes strapped to roof
Harmonics at 65 - 
Becky Fuller's didj.

I drove from Vegas
My fanbelt is in bad shape
Man...help me get home.

I would kiss every
person on this hot playa
for one drop of ber.

I'm burning alive
Because I forgot sunscreen
Melanoma sucks.

This camp - bright, windswept
Must be very beautiful
But now it is gone.

Giant wooden man
stands at the hub of the wheel
Anchoring chaos

Ah little Pastry
Sweet frosty Pop Tart not eaten
I have no toaster

Summer day so hot
Summer night frigid and cold
Warm my lover's spoon

Quit my job for good
Packed my friends into the van
Bound for Burning Man

No doubt Mom would shriek
At the dicks and tits and boobs
Not in Kansas now.

Burn lotus flower
Spinning and spinning away
Oh you sweet bus girl

Happy dogs need meat
Slippery cats eat fresh fish
Meow, Meow, cat.

Here we are: Friday
So hot I could fucking die!!
I want a cold beer!

Technocrats say no
This is not really haiku
No!  No beer 4 you!

I'm a smelly fish
I know that no one loves me...
Maybe a little.

My girlfriend passed out
Ignoring the need to drink
She didn't piss clear.

I've never before
Gotten free Sapporo beer
By writing haiku!

They won't speak it
The desert smiles like secrets
Lying in their months

I sculpt, not Haiku
But free beer for one sculpture
ain't gonna happen

My eyes are burning
Man at the center of Sun
Shines and my eyes sear.

The playa is here
Let's treat it well.  Leave no trace.
Traces on your heart.

I trip over here
Wandering in the desert
Haiku tapestry.

On the way to 'Man'
Seduced by Reno's slick charm
Lost our shirts quickly

Midnight handlebar
Journey to the center of
Promise to be real

A big urban ring
A magnesium

Oh me so horny
Naked women adore me
Feel my burning flesh!

I am the center
Beautiful love is within
Here I have found love.

Greetings ex-tenants
The dirtiest rooms ever
And we said - "No Pets"

Ottawa borne
"Burning Man!" We had sworn
No ex here fornlorn

Nude chi's in the street

Lame lounge act by the toilet

I love burning man.

Pink flamingoes lurk

hunting the ceramic dwarves

Chaos on my lawn.

Jenny looked up Yes

No No Jenny looked up Yes

Upward looked Jenny.

Godzilla's bike ride

Cool wind whistles through his scales

He blows fire and laughs!

Lovely orange bug

sits waiting for her haiku

Chicken hangs behind.

Someone stole my bike

They left a Cannondale there

The Cannondale sucks.

What's going on here?

I can't believe I saw that.

Holy Fucking shit!

Female nekid butt

I looked the other way and

it was gone. My grief.

Twenty thousand freaks

heed the desert call to burn.

They respond with love.

I'd like a cold beer.

I'm willing to be your friend

if you give me one.

What happened? to my

camp it was here yesterday.

I am here today.

Van broke in Bishop.

Hitched with our gear to get here

Blue words for my beer.

Beer is very good

but it is not very cheap

unless you haiku.

Reality is

a word that best describes what

Burning Man is not.

He's the Burning Man

and he's got a burning plan

He's the Burning Man.

Big All Baboo knew

the green Halva was half-price

but it tasted good.

Tripping with a smile,

I'm reflected in others

seeking peace inside.

The sun is shining

onto my naked flesh. (6)

Put on the sun screen.

Saturn and Seventh

That's where I'm trying to go.

To find someone cool.

Dehydration suck.

Got ran over by a truck.

Peel me off the ground.

Learn to burn hotly.

Must burn to learn, knowledge earned.

Yearn not to spurn.

In the beginning

there was a man and fire. Now

we shall burn the man.

Nakedness abounds.

Here we are at Burning Man,

burning to the ground.

After these wild sights,

confounding oddities all,

my normal life pales.

Wispy cloud Sky blue.

No ones land this place of flesh.

Leave me now to heal.

Clear sky no wind now.

Fire music Didj.Man drove on.

Alkali desert day. (6)

Summer bike riders,

toasted tits, red lobster dicks.

Ahh, rub on that salve!

I had a young dog.

Later, to my great surprise,

I had an old dog.

>From Los Angeles

we have driven these highways

so we can get high.

This tie on my neck

dictates my speech everyday.

I still need a buck.

The rhythm pounding,

drums sounding in unity,

unleash your spirit.

Wonderful boyfriend

became wonderful husband.

Holy fucking shit.

Sky immense azure.

Night expectation new day.

Myself thought friendship.

Dusty tabletop.

Canned bean encrusted saucepan.

I need a clean sponge.

The neighbors in town

make you want to stay around.

Too bad just a week.

Very dusty place.

Playa gets into all things

and yet I return.

Desert playa dust,

poison ingested for fun.

They don't understand.

Repeat after me:

Prepare for the sun and fly

to the glowing moon.

Yeast, hops, malt, water.

Bavarian purity.

Et tu, Budweiser?

Souls lost in grey wells,

trapped in languid prison cells,

burning spirits free.

Smoke follows beauty

Dust clings to those most alive

Feel it digging you.

In the dust and wind

is there a fire in your heart?

Let it burn and brn.

Smoke a lot of crack

and be careless with your smack

Your day shan't be black.

I came, past intact

existing in the moment

faceless, now I am.

Poetry for a

bright and cold bubbly drink.

Ahh, this is the life.

Wind chills a black night

Nomads huddle around fire

Warmth flows in the air.

I want a free beer.

Leaves turn over to darkness.

I'll get a free beer.

Peaceful campfire light

Little girl scouts singing songs

Thirty-five to life.

Playa dust is good

Black gunk sticks in my nostrils

Give me Kleenex, please!

Have you ever been

To a place in the desert

It is Burning Man

Haiku in Black Rock?

Odes to playa -- dusty art --

Mt. Fuji in flames

Monterey Coast noise

Single engine going down

Denver's finally dead.

Monday wind and sun

Thor's Day sun and more hot fun

Saturn's day He burns

Haiku for a beer

Will it help keep my piss clear

Beer, beer, please piss clear.

I must kill these fleas

My life is an itchy hell

Ignite all my fur

The holy mister

replete with nature's nectar

is my saving shell

This I do for you

A fancy desert haiku

This we are into

Only seven days

So little time to get laid.

Why must it all end?

People taste like pork

Burger King is closed today

I will eat you now.

Lights, action, madness

(I'm what nothing else could be)

Am I stoned again?

Remembering not

what came before or after

Remembering now.


Refrigerators are cold


By the railroad track

Wet spot on the cycle seat

Will we again meet?