American Sentences

4/17/08–1 . Click those ruby slippers all you want my dear. You can never go home.

4/18/08–2. No Exit–standing in the living room of hell, one must first define.

4/19/08–3. Leaving Eden we tell each other simple lies like micro fiction.

4/20/08–4. We count shooting stars. Put them in a jar under a hillbilly moon.

4/21/08–5. Two old men sit in the park. Waiting for Godot. Waiting for silence.

4/22/08–6. Carving Santa Claus out of cedar like I was Pinocchio’s dad.

4/23/08–7. Childhood can never be taken away, unless you wear prairie clothes.

4/24/08–8. Stuck in Candy Land: sugar, spice—reality snaps like a wet towel.

4/25/08–9. Las Vegas lights–street corner Mexicans hand out call girl photographs.

4/26/08–10. Would Jim Croce pay this much for a burger? Uptown’s got its hustlers.

4/27/08–11. On the road with too much magic bus seems fitting to end the beat scene.

4/28/08–12. 30 poems in 30 days has sucked my word bank dry–strained and drained.

4/29/08–13. Ancient Chinese move like a slow motion ribbon–grasping sparrow’s tail.

4/30/08–14. Sometimes I am Brautigan at Bolinas without a word to my name.

5/4/08–15. One day the woods are brown bare. Overnight a green curtain is pulled across.

5/5/08–16. Something came out of the woods and ate the heads off our chickens—Ozzy?

5/8/08–17. Ginsberg: one part con, one part marketing genius, and one part poet.

5/9/08–18. Passing through Duluth I see Dylan fishing from desolation row.

5/10/08–19. Redstart out my window. Sits on birch branch and sings the alarm at five.

5/13/08–20. Old people have sex at Holiday Inn while I watch the Tonight Show.

5/14/08–21. Objibwa harvest wild rice on Gitche Gumee, preserving the past.

5/17/08–22. My baby graduated from college and is off to change the world.

5/21/08–23. Sometimes it is not what you say but what you don’t that makes the difference.

6/12/08–24. Two doves pick this Ozark home, put down some roots in this oak wood holler.

6/21/08–25. Flea Market Sale: someone else’s memories individually wrapped.

6/24/08–26. There comes a day when falling down the rabbit hole sometimes hurts like hell.

6/26/08–27. Sometimes living in a 5/7/5 world is just easier.

6/28/08–28. Would Papa always press the double muzzles against his forehead while cleaning?

7/4/08–29. The car bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

7/14/08–30. Under a midnight moon cicadas sing the last summer song of death.

10/25/08–31.    I wanted her to tell him nothing about Brautigan was minor.

13 Responses to American Sentences

  1. Sara says:

    Love the voice used in this one-a witty older person with a dry sense of humor schooling someone younger.

  2. jo says:

    Okay, why can’t I see this post……..? It’s not on the site, did you post then pull? I got to tell you, I hate this movie, it gave me many a nightmare as a child, and it is synonymous with parents falling asleep fat and frazzled on Christmas afternoon, to me that always felt like the world standing still, and this movie, monkeys, witches, the scarecrow, terrifying (though marginally less traumatising than bloody Oliver Twist, poor Nancy)….so your american sentence, if I can finally get to the point, really expresses how I feel about that film……frightening.

  3. Scot says:

    Thanks Sara 🙂

  4. Scot says:

    I may have pulled it to add the date–might try to do one a day of these or 5 a week. Yeah, I hated the flying monkeys–hated!

  5. johemmant says:

    I still don’t understand why you can only read these from the comments gallery.

    I like the second too…….weighty.

  6. Vincent says:

    In my eyes these american sentences epitomise something which I also feel strongly in all your midwestpoetry: a profound nostalgia for the america of kerouac and others, and an insistence on finding it today that almost amounts (if one were to be pessimistic) to a denial that it’s a past america.

    But it’s difficult for me. I’m not there! I only know of life in america through a few blogs and The Simpsons. (I don’t count most of the Hollywood presentations, though they help too. I’ve visited the States a few times but get more insight from literature.) Your oeuvre is explicitly local and celebratory of its subject-matter. It doesn’t have to agonize pessimistically but there are witty hints in your sentences, as I’ll try to gloss below.

    #1 in the age of the WWW, you can click for your heart’s desire – all except to go back home to the america of childhood memory.

    #2 unless you can define what makes this living-room hell, you can’t get out.

    #3 Yes, we have been cast out of Paradise, so we cling to the little vignettes (eg of Scot’s anachronistic yet compelling Beat poems.

    #4 Fortunately the sky hasn’t changed even if everything else has gone to hell. It’s the same moon as our forefathers’, the same shooting stars. All we need is that whimsicality, the same that is reflected in Perry Como’s song, which reached England too in my childhood:
    Catch a falling star an’ put it in your pocket,
    Never let it fade away!
    Catch a falling star an’ put it in your pocket,
    Save it for a rainy day!

    Is it to do with making a wish when you see a shooting star?

    Anyhow, now that my clumsy brain has possibly cracked these koans like walnuts to find a kernel in each, I begin to have respect for the verse form over my usual favoured prose.

    In remembering, in nostalgia, we shape too. I hope these sentences continue. Thanks Scot.

  7. Scot says:

    You are good at finding kernels. I think that sometimes we grow up too fast and when we finally do realize we are grown up–we are old with so much more to do. I appreciate your in depth look. Most times I write these poems with little conscious thought or knowing what they mean. It is always up to the reader, but you, my friend are a big help. Thanks

  8. johemmant says:

    Like the extraction (or origin).

  9. Grant says:

    When soldiers toy with saviors :: who dies

  10. Scot says:

    nice one Grant!

  11. dana says:

    Glad to see you’re doing American Sentences. So happy this has become a movement of sorts. And yours are good. Juicily so.

  12. I’d love to know the attribution of these… If it wouldn’t be too much trouble…

  13. Scot says:

    Do you mean to whom do they refer to–
    or who wrote these…not sure exactly the question?

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