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

SPLAB and Cascadia Poetry Festival founder Paul E Nelson wrote American Sentences (Apprentice House, 2015), Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, Germany, 2008), a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme, Brazil, 2013). Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, in 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, Brenda Hillman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others, including many Cascadia poets. He lives in Seattle and writes at least one American Sentence every day. https://www.paulenelson.com. Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia, he is in year five of a twenty year Cascadia Bioregional Cultural Investigation. www.CascadiaPoetryFestival.org (Oct 12-15, 2017, Tacoma, WA)
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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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