November 1, 2013

Wanna join the NSA Watch List? Write a haiku


Curious about the vocabulary words that the NSA flags, monitoring you as a potential terrorist? Happy to click for streams of random words formatted in three lines with a defined number of syllables on a Friday afternoon? Look no further than the NSA Haiku Generator, a single-serve site complete with unicorns and robots. Grayson Earle, who also designed Free Toilets NYC, programmed the site to look like an 8-bit video game, in sharp contrast to the words that appear in each haiku.

The robots of Tumblr are better at completing one thought or image than the NSA, since those NYT robots pull haikus from finished articles. (And technically, a haiku should establish the season, and employ juxtaposition of verbal imagery.) But this site is a simple way to educate yourself about the words the NSA is monitoring, such as “password,” “lacrosse,” or “quiche.”

A few haikus for your reading pleasure:

advisors WINGS beef

FBI Wave wire transfer



Bubba the Love Sponge

Bob speedbump Aid Target Glock

CIA cancelled


KLM Help Swine

Kilo Class WHO SUN

internet hate Cops


Warning Typhoon Gang

smuggle Plague enigma  SWAT

Retinal Fetish


secure Stranded toad

COSMOS Recruitment sneakers

sweep outage PRIME Dead


Sugar Grove Mega

passwd Food Poisoning Swine

Red Cross orthodox


Ebola Playboy

Information Warfare Watch

Hostage primacord


clone Smuggling redheads

Earthquake Emergency Aid

Chemical spill fish


Tamiflu Elvis

Tie-fighter Dock Trafficking

LLC Chelsea


Speakeasy Goodwin

Whitewater Meta-hackers

Subway Middleman

These nonsense poems have officially put MobyLives on every NSA Watch List. You’re welcome.


Kirsten Reach was an editor at Melville House.