Last of the 2014 American Sentences

Day moon thru Obstruction Pass snag

Tomorrow marks 14 years of a daily writing practice of American Sentences. I started January 1, 2001, and when I get mine done tomorrow I will have written AT LEAST 5,110. You can read more about the form here. Someone commented recently that, “for a guy who writes organically, you use a lot of form.” That may be true, but I look at the form of American Sentences, as more of a restraint than anything else and when writing in open form, old forms, even parts of them, can find their way into the field of the poem.

Some of 2014’s examples are on this page, but below find others from the last quarter of the year that today caught my fancy for some reason.

8.23.14 – Dad would say while driving: “I’ve got two words for you and they ain’t ‘let’s dance!’”

8.29.14 – Charles says: “I signed a thirty year mortgage when I was 65!”

9.18.14 – Warne Marsh on Tristano: “Finally form itself could be improvised.” (1949)

9.20.14 – I wanted to smash that fruit fly landed on Faiza’s white hijab.

10.14.14 – If a spoon and saliva’s involved, is a prostate exam legit?

10.20.14 – No, that’s not someone with a hacking cough, another sea lion.

10.29.14 – How long will it take the lichen to eat the Ferdinand St sidewalk?

10.29.14 – The biosphere’s being destroyed & you’re writing poems about pie.

10.29.14 – When someone in Seattle writes you saying: “Peace Out” they mean “fuck you.”

10.30.14 – I salute you, dog-shit picker-upper – better my can than my shoe.

N.5.14 – “What I love about being woman – multiple orgasms & my hair.” (Nadine Maestas)

N.6.14 – Post-Ghomeshi: “a backlash in the BDSM community.”

12.3.14 – I just want to play baseball in the dream but he’s pitching me a beet.

12.5.14 – Carolyne Wright’s hat looks like it could use a double shot of bourbon.

12.6.14 – Condos go up but ghosts of the old neighborhood are still bumming smokes.

12.8.14 – Milking a goat apparently similar to jerking off a man.

12.9.14 – The mall, in Christmas Season, in the parking lot, with a tire iron.

12.11.14 – Governor Walker wishing a Jewish constituent “molotov.”

12.12.14 – Cat manicurist gives three-legged cat 25% discount.

12.17.14 – Want to celebrate new Cuba policy – I’m served flat pepsi & rum.

12.18.14 – A two year old’s Jingle Bells: “No no no, no no no, no no no no…”

12.19.14 – Juniper White, Sam’s enabler, mistress, caregiver, undertaker.

12.20.14 – No joy on any end of the war drone operator’s joystick.

12.22.14 – You know your divorce is going through when she cancels your life insurance.

12.29.14 – Another uniquely Cascadia phenomenon: kale totems.

Doe Bay Kale

12.29.14 – Hanging at the hot tubs totally naked ‘cept for sunglasses & beard.

12.29.14 – Orcas holly tree happy hour, robins drunk on berries leave singing.

12.30.14 – Not everyone sees December day moon through the Orcas surfside snag.

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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