Honku: The Zen Antidote to Road Rage

Michael Austin
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After a constant barrage of honking horns outside of his Brooklyn apartment, writer and web producer Aaron Naparstek finally snapped one day and egged a passing motorist. Realizing that his spur of the moment response made him just as bad as the honkers themselves, Naparstek stayed up late one night writing automotive based Haikus (short poems of five, seven, and five syllable lines). He then printed out the poems and posted them on neighborhood lamp posts.

After a few weeks of posting his "Honku", Naparstek noticed new poems posted by others. A movement was quickly born. Naparstek set up honku.org, a website for car-haiku. Even local police became involved, handing out $125 tickets to honking offenders.

The end result of all this is HONKU: THE ZEN ANTIDOTE TO ROAD RAGE, a collection of car-inspired haikus. Not to be limited with honking, HONKU addresses every form of driving frustration in more than one-hundred short poems. Some poems have a decided anti-car slant ("If you really love / America hang that flag / On a bicycle"), but this is balanced just as many pro-car poems such as "Sign says 65 / speedometer says 130 / God bless USA"

The main purpose of HONKU, though, is not a political message but a charming way to poke fun at the many frustrations associated with driving. Of course this means that many of the poems ring true to all drivers, especially the opening poem: "There are only three / types of drivers#&151;the morons, / the insane, and me"

Naturally the short format results in a small book, and for $12.95 you'll have to decided if internal peace through poetry is worth the price. If HONKU sounds like something up your alley you can also check out more car-haiku at www.honku.org.

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