Daily Archives: March 21, 2007

The Poetry of Pork


Can you believe that I didn’t bookmark the original SPAM-ku web page back when I first stumbled across it, years ago, before the art of creating Japanese poetry based on potted meat grew into a worldwide internet phenomenon?

Me neither.

However, the true beauty of SPAM-ku (what some consider the SPAM limerick’s more cultured cousin), a form of haiku completely devoted to Hormel’s flagship meat product, lies in its accessibility to the masses. What started as a single whimsical website, the brain-child of some high-brow intellectual with low-brow taste in protein products, has ballooned into a virtual sensation, and examples of well written SPAM-ku abound across the reaches of cyberspace.

The tortured:

Formless spawn of pork,
Leers with gelatinous gaze,
Taunting my lean soul.
–William Bradford

The surprising:

I put my shoes on
But remembered far too late
My secret SPAM stash.

–Tom Elliott

The contemplative:

I stare, it stares back.
I long to know its feelings.
It demurs. Lunch, then.
–Drew Scott

The dramatic:

Three men in lifeboat.
No food ‘cept SPAM. Hour later:
Two men in lifeboat.
–Chris Fishel

The cautionary:

I sent her ninety
SPAM haiku to show my love.
She sent me a shrink.

If you cut open
A SPAM can with a jigsaw
The blade will smell weird.

Post-SPAM catharsis:
Peptic acid and pink chunks.
Floor-mount Pollock piece.
–John Nagamichi Cho

And I had to have a go, of course:

Full fat SPAM invites.
Cardiac arrest awaits
Dressed in sparkly gel.

Please, share your offering. After all, SPAM-ku is for everyone.

*Remember: 5, 7, 5
**For more inspiring SPAM-ku, check out the SPAM-ku archives.