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New Years 2008 @ Joshua Tree: 17 American Sentences 4 an American Desert

January 5, 2009


Weds. December 31, 2008

Travelers spill out of Westfalias to scramble rocks for nature’s embrace.

J Tree’s Indian Cove Camp sports climber mohawks, smells of tri-tip, beer.

Mirrored ball spins, music, desert sky diamonds inspires groove on dancers.

Snores to the left, snores to the right, snores below, coyotes sing, I wake.


Thurs. January 1, 2009

Lit incense and aromatic candles alters pit toilets for good.

Mid-afternoon sun disappears behind J Tree’s ragged dark plutons.

Venus winks and moon smiles as hungry campers inhale hot ham, cold night.

When propane lantern goes out, climbers rise by headlamp, sticky toe trust.


Fri. January 2, 2009

Mom explains plate tectonics to curious boy over hot cocoa.

Pumpkin pancakes purple eyed with blueberries vanish into bellies.

Morning crescent eastern moon high fives Rattlesnake Canyon adventures.

Warm rock, cold wind, on belay, climbing, climb on, trust, try, take, lower, off.


Sat. January 3, 2009

J Tree’s Saturday farmers market brings honey, olives, greens, folks here.

No place like my bus for the best coffee with wifi thanks to linksys.

Children on belay scramble in monkey shoes up sparkly rough granites.

Charcoal grey sky spits, wind digs, spaghetti dinner warms puffy campers.


Sun. January 4, 2009

Eat oatmeal, drink tea, gather scattered belongings, time to pack, head home.

Note: American sentences are 17 syllables long, a Ginsbergian version of haiku.

Here’s a post about how I make various versions of pancakes. For the ones above, I used a whole 15 oz can of pumpkin, almost 3 cups of mix, 3 eggs, 3 T of melted butter, and about a cup of milk; once the batter was poured in the pan, I dotted them with blueberries. The blueberries really kick them up a notch!! We ate them plain and with jam and honey; this amount served four adults and two children.

For more poetry, ride the Poetry Train or head to Read Write Poem!

To keep up with what’s happening in Art Predator’s world, please subscribe! And if you already have subscribed, thank you!!

Sorry about the screwy orientation on some of the photos–am working on it!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2009 7:01 pm

    For all their implied simplicity, I find American Sentences to be a hugely difficult form. I add the complication that they have to sound like speech (though I’ve never found a citation setting that as a rule). So, I like “snores”, “mom” and “oatmeal,” above the rest. Thanks for writing.

  2. January 5, 2009 10:09 pm

    Clever stuff! like the Westfalia reference, I’m a VW nut myself!

  3. January 5, 2009 11:23 pm

    American sentences are probably the perfect form for an American roadtrip. It sounds like you had fun. I subscribe!

  4. January 6, 2009 12:25 am

    Thanks for subscribing, Paul!

    Westies are the best, have you had one, Sweet?

    I agree with you, Richard, that the best American sentences sound “natural” rather than stilted and artificial. And it seems easy to do but you’re right, it’s not! My friend Paul Nelson is quite good at them–loads of practice–and a background in radio.

  5. January 6, 2009 7:30 am

    I enjoyed going with you on your weekend adventure — thanks for taking me… ;)

    P.S. the pumpkin pancakes were marvelous!

  6. January 6, 2009 10:12 am

    No place like my bus for the best coffee with wifi thanks to linksys.

    -love it!

    Richard – never thought about it like that before. AP’s sound closer to haiku, stretched out and dreamy.

    Ahhh… wish I were there with you, AP!

  7. January 6, 2009 1:13 pm

    Marvellous American sentences. Great adventure in store for us!

    frenzied entropies

  8. January 6, 2009 1:53 pm

    These were very clever…I especially loved with one with pumpkin pancakes! I got crystal clear images from all of them.

  9. January 6, 2009 8:35 pm

    Danika, we have to do another desert trip–Taos Poetry Circus was too long ago! We will have Burning Man 2009 tho and I promise to make you –and anyone else who shows–pancakes!

    Thank you Rob, Steve and Fledgling! Glad you enjoyed the desert sojourn!

    BTW, I added the pancake recipe and the link to other variations to the original post…

  10. January 7, 2009 12:25 am

    My favorite was “snores” — I would love to be woken in the middle of the night by a coyote’s serenade :-)

  11. January 7, 2009 2:43 am

    this is very unique. i like how it is laid out like diary entries. but still very poetic!

  12. January 7, 2009 7:45 pm

    thanks, Throws! Hearing coyotes is always worth waking up for!

    thank you floreta, i had fun developing it using this form of the Am sentences combined with a journal or diary.

  13. January 8, 2009 11:27 pm

    Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places – it’s been a long time since I was there and your finely tuned sentences took me back to a special time – Thanks! Great read…

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