The Poetry of Crime

Posted: January 1, 2014 in Crime News, Humor, Policing
Tags: , , , , , ,

Here’s a fun way to lighten things up as we start off the new year, and wind down from what seems to have been a surprisingly long holiday season: A look at Police Blotter Haiku.


This unusual idea is the brainchild of Jim Jones (no, not the founder of the People’s Temple), a talented writer and poet who is currently raising funds on Kickstarter for his book of haiku based on the content of local police blotter entries.

Essentially, he transforms the narrative of police reports into a 17 syllable poem that captures the offense much more artfully.

For example, he wrote this after reading about a jilted lover who took revenge on her ex:

With his new girlfriend,
Robert watched his old girlfriend
slash three of his tires.

Jones said he got the idea after reading the police blotter in a small town he was visiting. He said the blotter wasn’t just about crimes, it was also equally revealing of the town’s character – including people’s perceptions of crime there – sometimes in situations where no offense had actually occurred. According to Jones:

This got me interested in crime as it portrays human nature: not so much everyday property crime, theft, and muggings, but how the emotions and judgement of people who consider themselves normal can become clouded enough that they do things that get them into a world of cops and charges and mishaps that they didn’t expect to be in. Sometimes it’s a farce, sometimes it’s a tragedy, sometimes it’s just rumination on the consequences of poor impulse control (my personal favorite).

For Jones, haiku is a way to express the essence of troubling human acts in a poetic way that leaves room for interpretation and connection, which I think is just a fascinating idea.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out his blog here. Or, better yet, consider backing his Kickstarter project and getting a copy of his book for yourself.

Police Blotter Haiku Kickstarter Campaign Video

Have a safe holiday!

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