Ryan Mecum. Smart dresser. Oblivious to zombie attacks.
Ryan Mecum, whom you may recall from such past novels as Zombie Haiku and Vampire Haiku, delivers his Return of the Jedi with the third book in his series of Horror Haikus, Werewolf Haiku. A mailman who suffers a rabid dog bite soon finds himself waking up naked in strangers’ front yards, his only memories of the previous night being “chaos / and eating neighbors.” Slowly it all comes back to him: a full moon; rapidly stretching muscles and bones; a wolf snout in place of a nose; hair everywhere. And then, this indelible verse:
That pain in your butt
that feels like constipation
is a tail growing.
To those unfamiliar with Ryan’s deliciously morbid and off-kilter sense of humor, there’s plenty more of this in store. Our unfortunate mailman is in for more howling and killing as he tries to hold down a day job and woo a woman on his route named Rose (by, among other things, leaving dead cats on her doorstep).
As with its predecessors, Werewolf Haiku makes creative use of photos and graphic imagery on each page to enhance the story. There are some particularly disgusting photographs to accompany the haikus about excessive hair growth, and the unfortunate demise of a Shih Tzu named Lupe is accommodated by a bloody dog collar. There is also a remarkably unappetizing picture of Cheerios sprinkled with raw hamburger meat.
Mecum’s lupine protagonist does finds time to ponder the enduring popularity of Teen Wolf, which he finds to be both confusing and misleading. “After I transform,” he confesses, “the last thing I want to do / is play basketball. Dear Michael J. Fox, / Hop in your time machine car, / and don’t make Teen Wolf.”
As with our previous reviews of Ryan’s books, we are torn between the conflicting impulses to 1) quote Werewolf Haiku in its entirety for you, and 2) honor our deep and abiding respect for copyright laws. We will therefore select three of our favorite haikus for you to end this review:
If you think tacos
are hard for you to digest,
try passing chipmunks.
Five o’clock shadow,
even if I shave at noon,
now shows up by two.
A terrible stench
is seeping out from my pants.
I think it’s Shih Tzu.
Our next request for Ryan’s haiku series? Wookiee Haiku.
(Ryan recently gave this interview to the blog “Only Good Movies.” Money quote: “Put me in a room with the statue of David and a t.v. showing Amelie, I’ll be watching Amelie.”)
[photo credit: ryanmecum.com]