Sex and the Haiku Death Match

by | June 6, 2020 | General | 10 comments

By Ashley Lister

 Last month I mentioned that I’ve recently published a collection of my personal poetry: Old People Sex (and other highly offensive poems). Most of it is rude, or political or simply offensive for the sake of being offensive. However, towards the back of the book, I’ve included some of the contributions I made whilst participating in local haiku death matches.

A haiku, to use the Western interpretation of the form, is typically a three-line format with 17 syllables arranged in a 5–7–5 pattern.

A haiku death match, for those of you unfamiliar with the concept, is a face-to-face challenge between poets. The poets are given a list of themes. They have to compose haiku on each of those themes. And then, once they’ve read their haiku to an audience, the audience have to judge which was better.

It’s a bizarre competition. It seems absurd to judge something as subjective as poetry with the objectivity of such audience-pleasing shenanigans. And the phrase ‘death match’ seems wholly inappropriate as I’ve not seen many people die during competitions.

Nevertheless, it’s a lot of fun and I’m regularly successful. The reason why I’m regularly successful is because I usually try to make the content of each haiku embarrassingly sexual. For some reason audiences enjoy the ribald content.

Consequently, out of the following five themes, I managed to turn the content sexual: Dry January, Fancy Dress, Old Rope, Feet and Crufts.

Dry January
Dry January:
Great for my liver but not
for her vagina

Fancy Dress
I wore 300
And 65 used condoms
I was a goodyear

Old Rope
Old rope or new rope
I don’t mind so long as I’m
getting some bondage

It’s not foot fetish.
It’s a feet fetish. I’m not
a pirate fucker.

I once entered a
dog at Crufts. The police said
I was barred for life.

If you fancy writing a haiku on one (or more) of these themes, I’d love to see your poem in the comments box below.


Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.


  1. Annie Lynne

    I wore no panties
    Under my little black dress.
    Best party ever.

  2. Annie Lynne

    My man: size 15.
    And, girlfriend, that thing they say
    About big feet? Not true.

  3. Lisabet Sarai

    Old Rope
    By Lisabet Sarai

    Every knot a claim
    staked on eager flesh, but now
    it’s all unraveled.

  4. Lisabet Sarai

    Here’s another…. Sexual humor isn’t my specialty.

    Fancy Dress
    By Lisabet Sarai

    Frederick’s special, black
    satin, scarlet lacing, bare
    where it’s important.

  5. Ashley Lister

    Lisabet – these work so well. I love the rhythm of your writing. It fits so perfectly with the subject. In the old rope poem you can feel the knot with each consonant cluster in a way that exemplifies sound structuralism.


    • Lisabet Sarai

      Thanks, Ash!

      Your posts inspire me.

  6. Jean Roberta


    Finger stroking bare sole —
    Can’t help laughing!
    Preview of pleasures to come.

  7. Jean Roberta

    A haiku death match sounds intense! It sounds as if it should involve hilariously over-the-top gothic haiku.

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