American Sentences from 2011

I have begun harvesting my American Sentences from this past year. It’s always a blast from my recent past to do this and this is eleven years now of writing one of these 17 syllable poems every day.

Here is the first decent one of the year:

1.12.11 – Just because he has a bald spot doesn’t mean he can’t have a Mohawk.

I am also engaged in taking notes on Nod House, Nate Mackey’s latest book of poems and getting a review of Chinese poet/politician Jidi Majia together while my wife & I host her folks, my Mom and my daughter, so there’s a lot going on. But, I am about half way through and am putting these sentences up in large number to see what sticks and what does not. I am usually too close to them to really know.

Here’s the link to the bunch: But I plan to add more as I get some writing/editing time to plow through three more pocket journals.

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day.
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2 Responses to American Sentences from 2011

  1. hg says:

    Less colourful than most of yours, Paul. Still, here’s an authentic American Sentence from 2011. State of origin was either Kansas or Kentucky.

    I can’t forget the tour guide saying, “My country is on the decline.”

  2. Paul Nelson says:

    Well, he’s probably an authentic American.

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