I'd say the poet's choice of the word "this" adds to the idea of being caught somewhere, perhaps unexpected. The speaker of the poem is in "mid-winter." To mix things up, has he taken himself out to eat? Or maybe he's been stood up. Who's to say? But in three short lines he resolves the predicament with a bit of humor. As if the poet is saying: all we have is "this," what is right in front of us. And he makes the best of it. Certainly, he's better off than the eel. –Peter
Any choice other than "this" waters the poem down immensely. "this" gives it a visceral quality,
a hinted contempt or revulsion, a sense that the writer, who perhaps in the past ordered sushi and consumed it without much thought, suddenly is aware of his circumstances and sees a very specific specimen of (his) aloneness. The eel, of course, is not whole– it has been cut up, other portions have been or will be served to other patrons of the bar. He is alone among others;
alone with me and you. We experience not *a* poem, not *his* poem, not *the* poem, but
There's something about winter coming on, and the festivities of Christmas building up as a big family thing. When I saw sushi bars on every corner of Soho, London (England) years and years ago, I was so painfully shy, and alone, I couldn't get the nerve up to go inside these exciting places.
I can so relate to the 'just me' for quite a while. Thankfully I am very happily married so unless we are in separate places, there's no longer that 'just me'.
I feel that layering the poignancy is a wicked sense of humor as many of us wouldn't choose eel, at least for sashimi, if it was sushi, I might dare. :-)
alone at the sushi bar—
just me and this eel.
(from his haiku collection She Was Just Seventeen, Modern Haiku Press, 2006)
the sushi bar opens up
for the train station
Aesthetics, (Bath Spa University 2007); Haiku Friends Vol. 3 ed. Masaharu Hirata (Osaka, Japan 2009)
Education is not really a task that we have to accomplish and obtain the right marks but it's a proper schooling that has been organized for making us a good along with a successful person in addition to makes us an entire person and let us takes things in a positive way.