Loose change, or: Nothing changes

An American sentence:

An old man lies on a bench, hand stretched out, cupping a pile of loose change.


What’s an ‘American Sentence’?

Allen Ginsberg, inventor of the American Sentence, felt that the haiku didnโ€™t work as well in English. Ginsberg decided to remove the line structure of the haiku, maintaining the requirement of 17 syllables total. He felt that removing the line count freed the American Sentence up for the idiosyncrasies of English phonemes.

The requirements:

  1. Composed in one line;
  2. Syllabic, 17 syllables;
  3. Condensed, written with no unnecessary words or articles;
  4. Complete sentence or sentences;
  5. Includes a turn or enlightenment.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

27 thoughts on “Loose change, or: Nothing changes”

  1. David, imho, the observer’s perspective of the man on the bench, makes your American sentence haiku..

    An old hand
    in pants-pocket coin
    dreams of change ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. No, thanks, David, I don’t want to go there. Shouldn’t be so hard to say that I believe the observer’s perspective is up there with Ginsberg’s American haiku. ๐Ÿ™‚
            That grey-haired man in business suit and black turtleneck thinks he’s still young.
            – Allen Ginsberg – December 19, 1992

          2. I find writing about myself traps me in a hall of mirrors, and that the observerโ€™s perspective gets me out of the trap. Nothing to do with the Church of Eastern Poetic Forms. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh fury, it’s not the picture response I was anxiously expecting, quite sweetly..

    Though, appropriately suiting the perfect american sentence flowing from your heart.

    Bravo ๐Ÿ‘

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