Haiku Author Interview: Ryan Mecum

Posted: under Reviews.
Tags: , , , , , October 30th, 2009

by Kelly

by Kelly

Halloween is upon us. To commemorate the holiday in haiku fashion, we interviewed Ryan Mecum.

Mecum is the author of two books of haiku. Zombie Haiku was released in 2008 while Vampire Haiku was just published this fall. Both are written from the point of view of a monster.

Since neither one of us is a real monster-lovin’ sort of gal, we were curious to learn how the world of haiku and the world of things-that-go-bump-in-the-night fit together in Mecum’s mind.

In what ways does haiku lend itself to monster stories?

Haiku are so fun because they can be quick and loud, like most good monster stories, yet they can also be slow and quiet, like all the other good monster stories.

One haiku can focus on the extravaganza that is a monster, such as this following vampire narrated haiku… “You know that your drink / is down to the last few sips / once the toes curl up.”

But then another haiku can take a quieter look that is more introspective such as this zombie narrated haiku… “My shoes are slushy / with my decomposing feet / leaking clear liquid.”

Both of your books are written in the first person as though you are the zombie/vampire. Was it hard to put yourself into this monster mind set?

It was easier to put myself into the mind of a vampire because their perspective is so often told in film and novels.

It was more fun for me to put myself into the mind set of a zombie simply because I had not ever seen that done before, so it was a much more exciting world to explore.

Neither were particularly hard for me simply because I see both monsters as playful and fun. I would have a much more difficult time if I had to write haiku narrated by a serial murderer, which is a mind set I wouldn’t want to spend much time in. Zombies and vampires are fun.

Was it difficult to compose a full-length story in haiku?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, yeeeeees. But what’s even more difficult is realizing that my months of writing will take the average reader about a half hour.

Do any of your monster haiku give you the willies?

A few of my haiku can still get a grossed out smile out of me. It’s usually the haiku that involve the description of how certain things might taste.

You are a youth minister, a profession most people wouldn’t readily associate with a love of gore. How do you reconcile these two sides of your personality?

I have never read a book more creepy than the Bible. The Bible, thankfully, has a lot of love in it, but it also has stories about demon-possessed, unchainable, naked people who can send their demons into thousands of pigs. That keeps me up at night more than The Shining ever did.

Are there more monster haiku books in the works?

Werewolf Haiku, Fall 2010. After that, who knows? I really love writing them, so hopefully there can be some ghosts and witches in my future as well.

Read our review of Zombie Haiku.

Read our review of Vampire Haiku.



  • 1

    Speed up, its yellow!/
    Red before he gets across./
    Firemen cluck their tongues./

    Comment by wqueens7 — October 30, 2009 @ 11:43 am

  • 2

    I love this review – I was really curious to know who is the man behind the genre of horror haiku. Yes, the bible can indeed be very scary! This makes sense to me now.

    Also, just want to add that although I tend to hate blood and guts movies, I’m a big fan of the supernatural. I love ghosts! And voodoo! And evil magic! So I’m hoping Ryan Mecum will someday write his supernatural haiku.

    Comment by Alison — October 31, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

  • 3

    The picture up there just cracks me up! I loved this interview. It was so fun!

    Comment by Leslie — November 1, 2009 @ 7:18 am

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