Monday, November 19, 2007

How Are Sentences American?

Here's my first post for read. write. poem. They encouraged us to write American Sentences, a form pioneered by Allen Ginsberg. The form is similar to the haiku, because it has 17 syllables, but it doesn't use line breaks and you don't have to reference the season. Here are my attempts at the form, which I intended to arrange into a poem, but I ran out of time.


I love counting syllables, because everything can be segmented.

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Slept in, missed sunrise today, and found myself staring at blue-gray skies.

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I don't want to think of all that I swallowed, moving through my body.

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Unfocusing and focusing my eyes, I make the world a green blur.

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My body wrenches, remembers terrors my careful mind long swallowed.

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Bus windows make us flimsy phantom reflections the night passes through.

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Everything should be as easy to erase as cheap pink nail polish.

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Stale pipe smoke blows me back to grandpa's closed bedroom door, soot on my hands.

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In sleep, I dream better homes, with more secret rooms, than I have when awake.

12 Comments:

gautami tripathy said...

I feel creepy about bus windows at night.

Wonderful lines!

Dave said...

These are really, really good.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I enjoyed reading these very much - especially I think the last one, but the one about nail polish made me laugh, I could never remove cheap pink nail polish, I always had bits of it stuck to the edge of my nails. Now I never wear nail polish at all

Becca said...

I enjoyed these - it was like looking through a small window into your thougts :)

Linda said...

Nice crisp images like a bowl of potato chips! Yummy!

Jo said...

I really love the pipe smoke one, though all are good.

polka dot witch said...

"I don't want to think of all that I swallowed, moving through my body." ... this makes me very afraid for myself. for all of us. ewwww.

but it does make a great and interesting sentence! good thing we do such things so we have something to write about. :)

Pauline said...

"Bus windows make us flimsy phantom reflections the night passes through."

Amazing!

kimberley said...

Great collection. I particularly like the last one - dreaming of secret rooms.

poetry_pete said...

I just wanted to let you know that I help sponsor a poetry contest with a $10,000 first place prize every month. I thought your poem would be a good candidate. Just click on my name for the site. Keep on writing...

slynne said...

My favorite: the one about not wanting to think about all that you swallowed. It looks like it reverberated with a lot of us!

writerwoman said...

This one is my favorite:
My body wrenches, remembers terrors my careful mind long swallowed.

It is almost alive in its vividness.