This Haiku Is for You

"Hialeah Haikus," a book of poetry that only a Miamian can appreciate

What started as a joke amongst friends, is now a joke that everyone is in on.

A standing room only crowd showed up at Books and Books in Coral Gables Wednesday night to see a reading from "Hialeah Haikus," a book of poetry that only a Miamian can appreciate.

The Haikus follow the form of a traditional Japanese Haiku-- three lines, 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables --but instead of referring to the changing of the seasons, these haikus make references to Miami culture.

For example: "Either my jeans shrank/Or this rice and beans diet/Is stretching my ass."

"Stuff in here in unmistakably Miami," said Alex Fumero, one of the originators of "Hialeah Haikus."

Fumero used to sell copies of "Hialeah Haikus" from the back of his Mazda, so he says it's pretty surreal to see it catch on like this.

"There's nothing like hearing people laugh," he said, after performing at Books and Books with his group of haikuists, "Because that's hearing people identify and say 'that's a little bit of me.'"

Most of the haikus are funny in nature, but Fumero says some are "nostalgic and touching," capturing a part of Miami's bi-cultural community.

"I'm half Cuban and half American," said Sandy Adams, who attended the reading at Books and Books. "I think it really hits home because it's just a wonderful and special place we live in that we can enjoy this kind of humor."

Fumero and his poetic buddies are in their 20's and 30's and most of them work as artists, actors or writers. They've already sold more than 1200 copies of "Hialeah Haikus." The book costs $10 and you can pick one up at

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