I've taken to writing travel tankas. A tanka is kind of like a haiku on performance enhancing drugs - rather than the typical 5-7-5 syllable construction of a haiku - the tanka has two extra lines of 7 syllables each resulting in a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern.
I like the constraint of form when I am writing "on assignment" whether the assignment is levied by me or another. When writing in form – to paraphrase the poet Michael Brown – one must be sure the form is used to trim the fat from a piece of writing. The analogy here would be pouring a gallon of something into a quart container letting the extraneous run off rather than putting a pint of material in that same quart container then adding in order to fill the form.
Sometimes I string the short poems together as stanzas in a longer piece – but these three stand alone.
Taxi cab driver
Blushes with complicity
While waiter cheats us
Two days pay for beef noodles
High priced illiteracy
Smog dangles in air
Like hooked horsemeat in market
Eyes water, lungs burn
Sub zero temperatures
Fail as anesthesia
Morning walk to school
Sun veiled behind mountain range
Watch dog barks spew steam
In warm class sitting cross-legged
Students launch non sequiturs