American Sentence

sen·tence
ˈsen(t)əns/
noun
1.
a set of words that is complete in itself, typically containing a subject and predicate, conveying a statement, question, exclamation, or command, and consisting of a main clause and sometimes one or more subordinate clauses.

2.
the punishment assigned to a defendant found guilty by a court, or fixed by law for a particular offense.
“her husband is serving a three-year sentence for fraud”
synonyms:
judgment, ruling, decision, verdict, punishment More

verb
1.
declare the punishment decided for (an offender).
“ten army officers were sentenced to death”
synonyms:
pass judgment on, punish, convict; condemn, doom
“they were sentenced to death”

What is an American Sentence? Created by beat poet Allen Ginsberg, it’s a seventeen-syllable sentence.

For example, I wrote this 17-syllable sentence when I was trying to comprehend the fact that Donald Trump in the President of the United States of America :

When I think about America today – man, like I have no words.

I never imagined in my worst nightmares Donald Trump would become President of the United States. It’s still surreal to me that Americans, women, and especially people who would call themselves Christian, would vote for a three-time-divorced-six-time-bankrupt-pedophile-rapist-racist-con-man who can barely string a comprehensible sentence together. It’s devastating to me as a woman that half of America thinks that’s ok. Just saying his name is a trigger for me.

What does it mean to be American? I’ve wondered that my whole life. As a kid, I didn’t fit in, and realized pretty early on, I didn’t want to fit in. I wasn’t into conforming, and my interpretation of the Constitution was that it was my right not to conform.

When I was 11 years-old, the principal of my school told me I would have an easier life if I “stopped striving for excellence and just looked pretty, sat down, and stayed quiet – after all – the world caters to the lowest common denominator. It’s too bad that smart kids get left out.” His advice to me has been the advice to my generation – and it’s only gotten worse! (Look what we have ended up with)!

Trump, his followers, and a Cult of Ignorance is the sentence to America for 30+ years of catering to the lowest common denominator.

American Sentence began in February, 2017, shortly after Trump took office. I intended to finish the project in 108 days and then more unthinkable things happened. 2 days after I began the project, my partner had an aneurysm and needed open heart surgery. I poured so much love and care into his recovery – writing and art took a back seat. Sleep took a back seat. I took a back seat.

Last fall, our relationship fell apart. Looking back, I was a walking raw nerve for over a year – completely stripped and vulnerable. The anniversary of his surgery (February 2018), I broke down crying in yoga class, and that was the beginning of healing for me.

Creative play is reentering my life! I am back to writing and painting and playing and creating workshops. I am making 17-syllable sentences again. The American Sentence is proving to be a small step in honoring my own humanity as I navigate my own life and the implications of Trump as our president.

Below are links to every sentence:

American Sentence – Day 1

American Sentence – Day 2

American Sentence – Day 3

American Sentence – Day 4

American Sentence – Day 5

American Sentence – Day 6

American Sentence – Day 7

American Sentence – Day 8

American Sentence – Day 9 

American Sentence – Day 10

American Sentence – Day 11

American Sentence – Day 12

American Sentence – Day 13

American Sentence – Day 14

American Sentence – Day 15

American Sentence – Day 16

American Sentence – Day 17

American Sentence – Day 18

American Sentence – Day 19

American Sentence – Day 20

American Sentence – Day 21

American Sentence – Day 22

American Sentence – Day 23

American Sentence – Day 24

American Sentence – Day 25

American Sentence – Day 26

American Sentence – Day 27

American Sentence – Day 28

American Sentence – Day 29

American Sentence – Day 30

American Sentence – Day 31

American Sentence – Day 32

American Sentence – Day 33

American Sentence – Day 34

American Sentence – Day 35

American Sentence – Day 36

American Sentence – Day 37

American Sentence – Day 38

American Sentence – Day 39

American Sentence – Day 40

American Sentence – Day 41: Dream Whisper

American Sentence – Day 42

American Sentence – Day 43

American Sentence – Day 44

American Sentence – Day 45

American Sentence – Day 46

American Sentence – Day 47

American Sentence – Day 48: Dreaming of Trees

American Sentence – Day 49: If I can’t Dance, I don’t want to be part of your Revolution

American Sentence – Day 50: Learning to Fly Again

American Sentence – Day 51: Springtime Flirt

American Sentence – Day 52: Illumination Unsatisfied

American Sentence – Day 53: Three Men Under a Bridge

American Sentence – Day 54: Open Heart Shining Skull

American Sentence – Day 55: This ain’t no foolin’ around

American Sentence – Day 56: When the Mirror Breaks

American Sentence – Day 57: sugar and spice

American Sentence – Day 58: Another Day in the U.S.A.

American Sentence – Day 59: primitive time travel

American Sentence – Day 60 – Let the Sunshine In

American Sentence – Day 61 – Bliss Body Dynamics

American Sentence – Day 62 – Bliss Madness

American Sentence – Day 63 – Deep Summer Nights

American Sentence – Day 64 – the day is full of possibility

American Sentence – Day 65 – sultry summer night

American Sentence – Day 66 – house dreaming

American Sentence – Day 67 – Icarus Redux

American Sentence – Day 68 – Look at Me

American Sentence – Day 69 – Finding Home

American Sentence – Day 70 – Harmony

American Sentence – Day 71

American Sentence – Day 72

American Sentence – Day 73 – astrology of potential

American Sentence – Day 74

American Sentence – Day 75

American Sentence – Day 76

American Sentence – Day 77

American Sentence – Day 78

American Sentence – Day 79

American Sentence – Day 80

American Sentence – Day 81

American Sentence – Day 82

American Sentence – Day 83

American Sentence – Day 84

American Sentence – Day 85

American Sentence – Day 86

American Sentence – Day 87

American Sentence – Day 88

American Sentence – Day 89

American Sentence – Day 90

American Sentence – Day 91

American Sentence – Day 92

American Sentence – Day 93

American Sentence – Day 94

American Sentence – Day 95

American Sentence – Day 96

American Sentence – Day 97

American Sentence – Day 98

American Sentence – Day 99

American Sentence – Day 100

American Sentence – Day 101

American Sentence – Day 102

American Sentence – Day 103

American Sentence – Day 104

American Sentence – Day 105

American Sentence – Day 106

American Sentence – Day 107

American Sentence – Day 108

 

%d bloggers like this: