American Sentences May & June 2014

OK OK, here is my latest harvest of American Sentences. They are taken from the middle of March to today and though the time that my Father died in Chicago.  Click here for the essay about the poetic form, if you are unfamiliar and for some details on my practice. Comments welcome.

3.27.14 – The former Vietnam sniper’s not interested in Trigger Warnings.

4.3.14 – Nothing says Seattle like a cross-dressing bank robber shot by cops.

4.6.14 – Search for weeks for landslide victims only to find and re-bury them.

4.8.14 – Took my smart phone in my dumb car to photograph dumb guys tip smart cars.

4.9.14 – Poor Christians who teach Easter eggs are “playing with Lucifer’s testicles.”

Pop Circa 1961

Pop Circa 1961

4.28.14 – I call Ma to tell Pop to hang up, our cellphone connection was lost.

5.2.14 – Once eliminated from the beer slam, Dan puts on his socks & shoes.

5.3.14 – Collis at Cascadia: “Capitalism is a doomsday device.”

5.8.14 – A sense of accomplishment passing the vehicle emissions test.

5.11.14 – Just to take the shine off Ma one last time, my Dad dies on Mother’s day.

5.11.14 – Billboard in Idaho on I-90: “Jesus, the call that never drops.”

5.27.14 – Thunderstorm’s advance force liberates innumerable maple seeds.

5.27.14 – In the time it takes Ma to get a card I get cider, saké, cigars.

6.6.14 – Andrew as a boy asked Ma: “Are you growing a mustache under your arm?”

6.9.14 – Today Ella and I saved 50 mulberries from certain sidewalk death.

6.9.14 – At open mic both slam poets read poems about fear of silence.

6.12.14 – Soon as Greg Bem’s back from Cambodia, fill him full of meat and cheese.

6.13.14 – How romantic – 2AM raindrops fall onto salal while she snores.

6.16.14 – Dad in a dream not answering questions about how fast he ever drove.

6.17.14 – “Your Father dead less than 49 days… he’s got a beam on the next womb.” (Dharma Mitra)

6.18.14 – The guy who wrote Song for My Father dies 5 weeks after my Father.

6.20.14 – Ella does not need to hit a double before she dances on 2nd base.

6.23.14 – No Honey, I’m not using some sort of genital pancake shampoo.

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 May & June 2014

  1. ray nessly says:

    A wonderful batch of sentences. Funny, profound, touching. Will share freely.

  2. seingraham says:

    These are wonderful Paul…ironic, poignant, so funny. I was going to pick favourites…no can do.

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