Blesok no. 93, November-December, 2013
Vasko Markovski’s Corporate Morning
Many writers from various periods and places have admitted that it was exceptionally difficult to consistently follow the creative credo “not a day without a written line”.
How much (more) difficult it is to pursuit – not only consistently but also quite successfully – the creative challenge (and even an endeavor) that the young writer Vasko Markovski has set for himself at the beginning of 2012: to write a haiku every day of the year, and make it accessible for the public via dobrivesti.mk portal?!
As a reader of Vasko Markovski’s everyday haiku thoughts, I was especially thrilled by his decision to shape his debut haiku writing into a book called Corporate Morning (2013), composed of haiku poems written before the ambitious project “Haiku Diary”.
There are three striking features in Markovski’s lyrical oeuvre Corporate Morning that make him recognizable in the current haiku scene.
First, a “specialty” (but also one of the key thematic issues) of this book is the “morning haiku”, which could also be called “haiku-alba”: I share kindness / with the first roosters. / A new day is born; or Divine sunrise / was offered by the Almighty. /My father’s commemoration.
If the poet of the Japanese haiku at least with one word (Jap. kigo) indicates the season which has been covered by the poem, a significant part of Vasko Markovski’s poems contain a broad spectrum of original “kigos” referring to the start of the day.
The sunrise, dawn, morning or the act of awakening is experienced by the poet as a “new miracle” every day. In Markovski’s poems each awakening can bring a new surprise: I have become a fakir / on my son’s toys / among the bed sheets. Indeed, we can never be sure how we will wake up, or what will wake us up, as presented in the chain of Markovski’s poetic images dedicated to awakening: The sun awakens us / with drawings on the wall / -- the day has grown up or A brake squeaked. / I went to bed without an alarm, / I was awakened by bus number 5 or My dumb neighbor / called the repairmen / on Holy Sunday.
It is these poetic images that lead us to the second feature of Markovski’s haiku: the urban living stamp. Apart from the poems dedicated to the awakening of the lyrical subject, the verses dedicated to the awakening of the city are quite striking: As a stove at dawn /crows make noise among the branches. / The city awakens or Silence at the asphalt / the boulevard stretches / Sunday morning or Freshly mopped is / the floor at the mall. / A new day stars or June lime trees /have taken the balcony / to another city…
The third distinctive feature of Markovski’s haiku is the boldness to cover the anomalies of the current social reality in this canonized lyrical genre, a reality which can no longer be enjoyed in the morning. The haiku which generated the title of the book is such an example: David’s star / is put around my neck / a corporate morning. In this haiku, instead of the description of the morning ambience, which would be the feature of the traditional haiku, the lyrical subject ironizes his corporate mornings.
Self-irony is a recognizable mark of other poems by Markovski dedicated to the “imprisonment (of obligations)” and “alienation (from himself)” of the modern man, for example: Full bank. / Everybody waits to pay / his life tax or Lonely tonight, / I wander with my laptop, as / a dog from a chain or My eyes hurt. / Night with my friends, in the middle of / Facebook market.
The charm of Markovski’s humor is based on the “humor on his own account”, for example: With bunches of callas / I am a pedestrian on the red light / -- a redneck gentleman or I went to have a pee / I was startled / by the hand dryer.
However, despite the mentioned deviations and innovations with respect to the traditional haiku, in Markovski’s works one can notice the intertwining with the basic esthetic parameters and cannons of this genre, such as sabi and vabi, embodied in this haiku: The neighboring cat / meows through the night / first day without his mother.
If there is some truth in the wisdom that “morning dreams come true”, then Corporate Morning indeed promotes wonderful creative moments and “days” passed with this poetry book.
Translated by Elizabeta Bakovska