The Streetbeatina Revisited…

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A little more than a year ago, I published a post on the Streetbeatina, a poetry form I originally created to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Street Beat, an amazing open poetry reading series  that was ran and hosted by Anne Marie Lucci, a talented local poet, in my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts for many years. At the time, since three of my streetbeatinas, along with a short history and explanation of the form, was just published in a prestigious online literary journal called Radius: Poetry From the Center to the Edge, I decided it probably wasn’t proper etiquette to republish those 3 poems or go into much details on how to write the form on this blog and instead just posted a link to the original publication on radiuslit.org. However I feel enough time has now passed to revisit the Streetbeatina and give instructions on how to write one using those 3 original poems as examples:

The streetbeatina is an eight line poem with each line consisting of eight syllables. What makes this form both a challenge to write and uniquely different from other forms is that the first syllable of the first line is repeated as the second syllable in the second line, the third syllable of the third line and so on, the repetition of the sound of the syllable at precise intervals providing the poem with a natural beat and musicality. Although it is completely optional,  the poet can emphasize the repeated syllable by either printing it in italics, bold, or a different color.

Three Streetbeatinas by Paul Szlosek *

Travel Advisory

Go unprepared into the world.
Forgo certainty. Pretend to
be cargo bound for distant ports
(perhaps the Gobi Desert? Mars?)
Travel by pogo stick or dreams,
a blank map: your logo. Treat the
unknown as your amigo. Or
ignore this advice, but go. Go!

A Message to a Married Middle-Aged Man
in Middle-Management in Mid-Life Crisis With Artistic Ambitions 

So few chances to start over,
go solo, cover past mistakes
with gesso, paint a new version
of your life (sophisticated,
worldly, yet also real) like a
truly virtuoso artist
living in a loft in Soho.
to replace one that’s just so-so.

Ghost Story

Local legends say if you go
solo into the deep dark woods
when the lotus blossom first blooms,
and the moon’s low in the night sky,
the girl in yellow will appear,
her lips mouthing “Hello, my love”
while lunar light spills like lotion
on skin translucent as jello.

*(Originally published by Radius: Poetry From the Center to the Edge )

25 thoughts on “The Streetbeatina Revisited…

  1. Paul, here is my attempt at your beautiful and innovative form. I promised to share it with you when I had completed it. You will see your form covered in my weekly series “Whittled Words” in the very near future. Thank you for allowing me to share this with my readers!

    SEASIDE LOVE

    See what light doth hold in embrace
    As sea flashes back a twinkling
    Night in Seattle remembered
    Where our love celestial sparkling
    Heart leaps lunacy with such ease
    Woven strong is the seamstress thread
    Desires blow within sea breeze
    And hope makes real the fantasy

    Like

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