As a fan of both zombie poetry and haiku, I was really looking forward to reading this book. The idea is unique -- the book chronicles the life and times of a zombie, in haiku form. HOW Books did a great job producing the book; it's very professionally printed, with a full-color cover and interior photos and illustrations. There is even a whole website set up to promote the book (ZombieHaiku.com), complete with a three-minute YouTube trailer and zombie haiku written by famous people like Billy Collins and Doug Benson.
But the book itself didn't lived up to the hype. I was expecting more from the author -- from what I've read by him on the Internet, he has a great sense of humor and a talent for writing.
Zombie Haiku isn't bad, it just isn't as good as I thought it would be. The haiku are all written in 5-7-5, which seems arbitrary and unnecessary to me. Very few poets can put together a good haiku using that strict syllable count.
There were certainly some haiku that stood out from the others
little old ladiesand made me either laugh or cringe
speed away in their wheelchairs,
frightened meals on wheels.
Blood is really warm.but for the most part, the haiku were more narrative than anything else. The same joke (which was funny the first time)
It's like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming.
He tends not to flinch,was repeated twice more with different body parts.
though I'm yelling in his ear,
which is in my hand.
The book is 140 pages long, which is a lot of haiku to write about the same subject. I give Mr. Mecum kudos for writing the book, but if he had developed the poems more as haiku (drop the syllable count, focus on things like juxtaposition and the haiku moment) rather than just as a vehicle to tell the story, I would have liked the book a lot more.
As a whole, I sort of liked the book. It takes a pretty cool idea and presents it in an interesting way, but the majority of the haiku would not stand so well on their own. I would recommend this book for fans of horror poetry, but not for fans of haiku. If you love zombie poems, then you'll probably want to pick up a copy of Zombie Haiku, regardless of what I say. And you'll probably enjoy reading it.
You can get the book from HOW Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or the F+W Publications Bookstore for $9.99.