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This book contains the second four chapters of Mattō's freestyle haiku and spiritual poetry: 369 poems written between September 2012 and June 2015.


Chapter 5: "65 poems in 16 months… This was a hard and emotionally draining time for me. Another relationship failed, I secretly slept in a hammock in an art studio when everyone left, and eventually – I gave up my Bodhi for adoption. It was an extremely trying time, but it was very beneficial to me. Ultimately, I found myself with nothing to lose, and ironically, I ended up gaining so much.

Some of my most favorite poems are in this chapter. Even though I can almost still feel the aches and pains from when I slept in the back of my truck a few times during these months, I still can't help but smile. After all, as my Lily told me while I was falling in love with her: 'You aren't homeless, just temporarily house-less. You bring your home with you.' My response was a deep embrace." -Mattō

Chapter 6: "The nine months and 100 poems of this chapter are filled with so many memories. I found the security to explore - and write about - aspects of my sexuality during this time. New friends welcomed me into their lives and hearts, which felt so wonderful after the trying times preceding these. The time was a pleasant, and most vibrant, dance under the stars." -Mattō

Chapter 7: "This period started with me exploring a polyamorous relationship, and it ended with the relationship's dissolution. Although it does chronicle some of the great joy and sadness I experienced during this time, this chapter of poems is more than just a documentation of history. During this period I experimented with new forms and techniques in my poetry, while I personally experimented with alternative relationship structures.

The excitement of this time was also temporarily soured by a pharmacologically induced depression. At the end of this chapter, I said goodbye to some of the factors that had become a drain on not only my mental health, but of the health and well being of those that I loved as well. Although I do not care to believe in regret, I will say that the lessons I learned from the experiences of this chapter will never be forgotten." -Mattō

Chapter 8: "A restart – a reboot. In these 91 poems, written over a period of six months, I try to regain my footing and right myself. Ironically, this period ended with a new challenge; I was laid off.

I wanted a fresh start, and the universe delivered more than I bargained for. I wanted to complete my New Year's resolution of 'finding another job,' while I still had the security of the job I wanted to leave… Oh well!" -Mattō


About This Poetry

Mattō's short poems may not seem like haiku, because they do not follow the traditional form that many readers might expect. These haiku are written in a free-verse style, that Mattō calls Freestyle Haiku. He discovered the possibility of this more freeing style of haiku from the writings of the Zen priest, Santōka Teneda (1882-1940). He wandered and traveled during the later years of his life while writing haiku.

Mattō enjoy's writing Freestyle Haiku, because it allows him to express abstract and powerful feelings in only a few words, free from a mandated structure. The words on his page are the most direct crystallization of his feelings and experiences, and the brevity of haiku draws attention to the exact words he chooses.

A meaning-rich haiku can be challenging to read; treating one like prose will leave it flat. The goal of a haiku is often to conjure up something beyond the words and their individual meanings. The reader must add themselves to the poem, to experience the words in the way they’re presented, to try and feel the poem. A good haiku will leave the reader with an experience.


About the Author

Monk Mattō: poet, author, photographer, filmmaker, artist, inventor, teacher, engineer, carpenter, producer, entrepreneur, spiritualist, martial artist, Chimera wrestler, and Jedi Knight.

...Ok, maybe those last two are only true in a figurative sense. Monk Mattō lives in the Washington D.C. area, and enjoys cruising around on his old motorcycle.

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