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Back to the Modern American Haiku Poets

John Brandi (1943-) and Steve Sanfield’s joint haiku collections

——— . No Reason At All. Farmington, N. M.: Yoo-Hoo Press, 1996.
——— . No Other Business Here. Albuquerque, N.M.: La Alameda Press, 1999.

John Brandis Haiku
Steve Sanfield’s Haiku


John Brandi and Steve Sanfield’s joint haiku collections do not reveal which of them wrote which poems, so we can only guess.

No Other Business Here is the second major collection of the short poems exchanged between John Brandi and Steve Sanfield, two poets deeply situated in their respective geographies: New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley and California’s Sierra Nevada. These plaintive, often whimsical three-liners are full of chuckles and wakeups. Originally penned on scraps, postcards, in the margins of personal correspondence, even scribbled inside passports during world travels, these missives record moments of spark, fleeting essences of a transitory world, unavoidable folly revealing truths at the core of slapstick stumbles. Nothing sacred here! These poets write to stay alive, to see where they’ve been, to give clearing for the next step.

An exchange of letters
no better way
to welcome the year

Morning fog
hides the vacationing couple
but not their argument

Sea lions
mating in the rain
—no other business here

"The two ardent deepfellows authoring this book, and commingling their sensoriums into a single 'mutually arising' one, watch smoke move through a spider web, speculate on sea lions mating and pen the vivid, humdrum activities that make our lives adventurous. Brandi and Sanfield are pioneers of the American haiku. Read these poems only for pleasure!" Michael McClure