Fine, or: Okay, fine!

An American sentence:

The police surreptitiously concealed their car to catch jaywalkers.

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!

18 thoughts on “Fine, or: Okay, fine!”

  1. I’ve never seen them ticket a jaywalker here. It’s often safer to jaywalk if there are no cars coming than to cross with the light because the turning cars pay no attention to pedestrians. I do wish they would ticket the bikes than don’t stop for the lights though. I’ve been nearly run down many times. (K)

  2. They do this here to catch bikers, checking licence and registration. Itโ€™s funny how they hide sometimes. And then they run onto the middle of the road to stop people. It seems like suicidal behaviour sometimes. With the amount of traffic in the city, I guess this is the only way they can catch people en masse and meet their monthly targets. Iโ€™ve gotten caught for a lapsed emission certificate several times.

  3. Ah the money that is spent on law enforcement agencies
    Such a cosy undercover job
    But don’t mind me
    surreptitiously, I can’t use this word in a sentence, the frown on my face would immediately expose me as the culprit trying to say or write “she sneaks down there on a moonlit night and surreptitiously photographs his secret hideaway”
    Law enforcement would arrest me on the spot, surreptitiously is a tongue twister, my face is a dead giveaway in the clandestine world!!!
    Great American Sentence!!!

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