Saturday, April 30, 2011

American Sentences: 30/30

Dull cross-state road trips are made less so with an expressive co-pilot.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

American Sentences: 22/30

The last puzzle piece in place, plates are born, and I'm off to have a beer.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

American Sentences: 21/30

If a shutter closed remains closed, the world is unseen, the book unfinished.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

American Sentences: 18/30

Writing a story every day for a month might rob me of words, and sanity.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

American Sentences: 16/30

How weak is one's will who cannot drive past a sign that reads: Buffet.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

American Sentences: 13/30

Condescension is a step to make the small feel they are standing taller.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

American Sentences: 11/30

How fast can one write a line about fast-writing pens with a fast-writing pen?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

American Sentences: 10/30

When the skies light up all strobe-like, it's best to move a couple floors down.

"Vows are made in storms and forgotten in calm weather."
—Thomas Fuller

Saturday, April 09, 2011

American Sentences: 9/30

Golf on TV is not an excuse to take a long afternoon nap.

"How has retirement affected my golf game?
A lot more people beat me now."
—Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, April 08, 2011

American Sentences: 8/30

How do you itch your nostril without looking like you're picking your nose?

"A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom
that he can no longer be led by the nose."
—Mark Twain

Thursday, April 07, 2011

American Sentences: 7/30

It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes.

(attributed to Josef Stalin)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

American Sentences: 5/30

On the roller coaster of poll results, community through Facebook.

"A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation."
—James Clarke

Monday, April 04, 2011

American Sentences: 4/30

Sing from your diaphragm, and breathe from it...but don't hack and cough from it.

"Coughing in the theater is not a respiratory ailment. It is a criticism."
—Alan Lerner

Sunday, April 03, 2011

American Sentences: 3/30

We sit under the same stars tonight as those that guided the pharaohs.

"Man fears time, time fears the pyramids."

Saturday, April 02, 2011

American Sentences: 2/30

Cooking shows teach me there's more to the kitchen than hot dogs and burned toast.

"I don't like gourmet cooking or "this" cooking or "that" cooking.
I like good cooking."
—James Beard

Friday, April 01, 2011

American Sentences: 1/30

Last year, I was introduced to American Sentences by the incomparable Chuck Rybak. (buy his book...[scroll and you shall find]...your bookshelf will immediately become smarter and funnier.)

American Sentences are an Americanized form of haiku, still using about 17 syllables to express a thought or image, but instead of taking a three-line, vertical format, these sentences are linear, horizontal.

I've written several hundred haiku, but haven't tried my hand at American Sentences. I'm sure there are a few subtleties between the forms, and I plan to use National Poetry Month to find them. Or not.

"April begins, and my to-do list grows ever longer, such a fool."

Roses and Violets and Stuff

April is National Poetry Month, which prompted me this week to crack open the door of the rhyming centers of my brain and sift through my limited knowledge of the poetic form to kick off the month with a few stanzas in appreciation of poets and poetry, and, mostly, the creative process.

Spend some time this month with a poem or two, reading them or writing them. And let me know if you find a word that rhymes with orange. Or purple. Or sofa.

An Ode...Unfinished 

A poem can come in many forms,
The writer, with his brain that storms
In elements of meter, rhyme and verse.
While some may be more skilled than I,
I take my pen, don’t question why,
I figure I can hardly do much worse. 

Now, I’m no e.e. cummings,
and that Will Shakespeare’s really something,
I can’t compete with them, this much I know.
But if I just write my own lines
in free verse or in loose rhymes,
I don’t need to rival Edgar Allan Poe. 

Among this wide variety,
some write for notoriety,
or publication, fame or love or cash.
I’ll share a quick confession
that it’d cure my word obsession,
if I could learn to rhyme like Ogden Nash. 

I page through poets laureate
and I’m sometimes sorry that
my lack of comprehension calls a truce.
But a favorite still will always be
the style and sweet simplicity
of the ne’er to be compared to Dr. Seuss. 

A poem can convey sentiment,
or sorrow, love through which you went,
the clich├ęd roses red and violets blue.
Some like flowers or candy better,
but I’d recommend a letter
with a short verse that can best say, “I love you.” 

Now we have these thirty days,
so many poems, so many ways
to pay a glorious tribute to this month.
From Dickinson to Wilde to Frost,
in all their words we can get lost,
and celebrate the art of...

[note to self: find rhyming word for “month”
before writing next year’s poem.]

“I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance,
were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.” 
—Ogden Nash