Some 2016 American Sentences

Buy the book, $11.99.

I used to post my best American Sentences at the end of every year, or shortly into the new one. But once I published my first book of such poems, I thought it best for people who got something out of my use of the form to buy the book. Results are mixed, but I do like to keep readers of this blog (all five of them) informed about my ongoing practice of writing one such 17 syllable poem every day, still. As of today, that’s 5,871 days.

The series for me is more than a way of life, it has become like a serial poem, sometimes serving as a sort of journal of my life. The best sentences bring me back to the moment like a good scent can and looking back at sentences that were of an unpleasant nature make me grateful that situation does not exist anymore. Having gone through two divorces, you can imagine the kind of psychic terrain to which I refer.

And at the risk of losing or misplacing the pocket journals in which I write these poems, I tend to NOT harvest them until a week or two into January. I was planning to harvest them during my Desolation Sound retreat, but forgot the journals at home. That mistake turned out to be a blessing, as I was focused on creating new work, longer form poems and ALMOST finished a series I’d been working on. I was able to finish it not long after my return. I guess I sort of surprise myself when I look at all I have written in any given year.

And I’ve been unveiling the recent American Sentences in public recently. The Easyspeak series on the 2nd and fourth Mondays at the Wedgwood Ale House is one such venue. As the poems are short, it’s good to have them to aid transitions from one poet to another when serving as emcee, as I did last Monday.

I’ll just share three here and some background info with them as well and will post others as the year goes along. In part, the sentences show us where we were a year ago. (At least where I was.) Enjoy:

1.12.16 – Oregon Headline: “Angry Militia Leader: Stop Mailing us Dildos.”

Check the link for more if you do not know the story. My comment after I read this was, no pun intended… it just slipped out… “I can’t believe they got off.”

1.16.16 – Saundra Fleming is a Farmland Genius who has Flaming Adrenals.

I’ve written over 100 Birthday Anagram poems over the past couple of years, but the one for one of my favorite local painters, the one whose BOILED HAM SHOULD NOT BE BOILED painting graces our kitchen, Saundra Fleming, may have been the best, though it was not for her birthday.

The last one I’ll share now was intended to reveal my haste in shopping, but some people got something else out of it. Oh well.

1.19.16 – Buying underwear briefs a size too small displays all my shortcomings.

 

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB in Seattle and the Cascadia Poetry Festival. He wrote 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.) 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, has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com

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