American Sentences

I’ve been reading Kim Addonizio’s “Ordinary Genius,” a kind of poet’s companion, and she references an Allen Ginsberg form: the “American Sentence.”  A riff of the Japanese haiku.

“American Sentences as a poetic form was Ginsberg’s effort to make American the haiku. If haiku is seventeen syllables going down in Japanese text, he would make American Sentences seventeen syllables going across, linear, like just about everything else in America.”

A few of his:

Tompkins Square Lower East Side N.Y.

Four skinheads stand in the streetlight rain chatting under an umbrella.

Rainy night on Union square, full moon. Want more poems? Wait till
I’m dead.

A few of mine:

Behind apartments, brown men and leafblowers forget away autumn.

Who will propose a stimulus package for today’s stiff throat, this drought?


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