2012 American Sentences (so far)

So, I found my pocket journal that went from October 13, 2011 to January 17, 2012. It was a scary moment when I couldn’t find it for various reasons. I do not want to think about how a lost journal would have imperiled the early harvest of American Sentences. (Not sure what American Sentences are? Look here.) But I DID find it and here are a few American Sentences to whet yr appetite, but all the best from 2012 are here, except for the really nasty ones I’d read only at a Dark Coast Press event should they ever ask me back.

1.13.12 – Useless! Useless! – flossing in the mid-day, eating popcorn at night.
1.15.12 – “I’m open-minded but I get nervous when Christians get out guitars.
1.16.12 – Fat-ass snowman @ 31st & McClellan just waiting for rain.
1.20.12 – How different the seagull looks flying above Friday snow.
1.25.12 – May not be much of a January sun but it’s aimed right at me.
1.28.12 – In the dream dancing to Eton Rifles, then vacuuming sawdust.


& I am having an unofficial contest. Whoever writes the best American Sentence and posts it below in the comments section by the end of February, I’ll buy you a matcha, or the drink of your choice, at Healeo at 15th & Madison.

A bonus muffin if you can riff off of Allen G or Jack K as I did above. Do you know which one?

Good luck.

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). www.POPO.cards. 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: https://paulenelson.com/americanprophets/) 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. www.PaulENelson.com
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13 Responses to 2012 American Sentences (so far)

  1. Chris Clarke says:

    2.04.12 – “There’s a circus on your face! I know, it’s Elton John – the early years.”

  2. Chris Clarke says:

    Hi Paul – I saw a link on Facebook to a recent article you wrote about American Sentences, so I checked out more on your website! I really like the form – I have a notebook of “overheard” phrases that I may adapt. Thank you! Chris

  3. Chris Clarke says:

    Thanks. Here’s another:

    2.14.12 – He said: “Love is a mental illness.” She said: “then I’m bat-shit crazy.”

  4. Chris Clarke says:

    Thank you – that’s a good point to keep in mind. I’ll keep at it! Chris

  5. Michelle Berry says:

    My first attempt at the American Sentence:

    He looked so good in black, and I’m always looking for a good grief-fuck.

  6. Nashira Priester says:

    A slim whistle-blower standing near the water cooler slipped her hip as the bullet’s swoosh-whiz cleared her shoulder, a soft exhaling breath of death.

    • Splabman says:

      Nashira, so good to se you check in. While I am not a stickler when it comes to form, you have enough syllables for 2 sentences. Love the imagery and music, the invention of “swoosh-whiz.” See what you can do about making it two solid sentences. Good to see you & Priester at TRR. Paul

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