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Welcome to Freestyle Haiku

Est. 2010. Free forever. By Matto – Shinkai.

Most Recent Poem:


Street side breakfast Sun slices through the leaves - In my eyes, the lines - Yet, aberrations through a lens Some things are best felt.


Street side breakfast

Sun slices through the leaves

– In my eyes, the lines –

Yet, aberrations through a lens

Some things are best felt.

About the Poet:

Matto practicing Tai Chi outside Union Station in D.C. Photo courtesy

Matto – Shinkai (he/him): author, photographer, filmmaker, artist, inventor, teacher, engineer, carpenter, producer, entrepreneur, spiritualist, martial artist, monk, lover, fighter, Chimera wrestler, and Jedi Knight.

…Ok, maybe those last two are only true in a figurative / abstract sense, but I did actually join the Jedi Order at one point! Seriously, though, I follow the path of the Bodhisattva (previously Ch’an, now Soto Zen) and I have been given the Dharma name ‘Shinkai,’ meaning ‘Deep ocean.’

You can see some of my other projects at, but I consider this website to be my ‘main’ website.

About the Project:

Lotus blossom, photographed by Matto at the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, Washington D.C.

I started writing poetry to help me process and appreciate the heightened emotions I started to experience in 2010. While a traumatic event triggered these changes, I used the practice of writing poetry to focus my mind and allow myself the opportunity to reflect on my spirituality and humanity.

I decided to publish the poetry to a public blog (that I didn’t tell anyone about) to force myself to become more comfortable with sharing my emotional, spiritual, and sexual nature. After a couple years, I had hundreds of poems written and I started to share my work. I never stopped.

This project has shaped me as much as I have shaped it.

Associated Project:

This is an AI-generated image, created from AI-generated prompts, based on AI-generated analysis of one of my poems.

Freestyle H-ai-ku:an AI-enhanced exploration of my Freestyle Haiku poetry, utilizing AI as a collective unconscious that not only intensifies the expressiveness of my poetry but also unveils hidden truths and newfound meanings within my words. Each poem is individually stored in the smart contract, while AI-generated image media, AI-generated poem interpretations, and attributes metadata is stored on Arweave. The resulting work is more than a poem or a visual, it is also a vehicle for the introspection of the human condition through the lens of early Artificial Intelligence systems.

You can explore the project on Substratum.


About the Poetry:

The majority of my poetry is short and haiku-like, but they don’t follow the traditional form that many readers expect. These poems are written in a free-verse style that I call Freestyle Haiku. I discovered the possibility of this more freeing style of haiku from the writings of the Zen priest, Santōka Teneda (1882-1940). He wandered and traveled during the later years of his life while writing haiku.

I enjoy writing poetry, because I can express abstract and powerful feelings in only a few words–free from a mandated structure. These poems are the most direct crystallization of my feelings and experiences, and the brevity of haiku draws attention to the exact words I choose… But sometimes I write longer poems, too… Which might be more like a renga, than haiku. But this doesn’t really matter to me, and I doubt it does to you.