Invented Poetry Forms — The Singsangsong

Wow! It’s hard for me to believe but it’s been over two month since my last post on an invented poetry form, so I guess it’s time for me to do another one. Today I will discuss the Singsangsong, a form I invented which is an eighteen line poem consisting of six stanzas. The lines can be metered or not and have no fixed lengths (the length of each line can  vary within the poem). The stanzas alternate between couplets (two lines) in which the first line repeats as the second, and quatrains (four lines) in which all four lines rhyme with each other (a monorhyme). The first line of the quatrain also repeats as the fourth line (and in case of the final quatrain, the third line as well). In other words, the singsangsong’s rhyme scheme can be expressed (with capital letters representing repeated lines) as AA BbbB CC DddD EE FfFF.

Like many of the forms I have created, it”s probably more suited for light verse than serious poetry. Also because of its heavy reliance on repetition, the singsangsong is meant to be read out rather than read on the page, and should be recited in a singsong manner (hence its name) or even sung using a spontaneous, improvised melody. Here are three examples that I wrote which you can use as inspiration if you would like to try writing some of your own:

Prelude to a Panic Attack

I can’t shake this strange sensation.
I can’t shake this strange sensation

Something’s off-kilter, out of whack
Like a hidden widening crack
Or something lost I can’t get back.
Something’s off-kilter, out of whack.

What it is I cannot phathom,
What it is I cannot phathom.

I got this terrible feeling
Like a wound that isn’t healing
that sends my unsettled mind reeling.
I got this terrible feeling,

Can’t explain it but everything seems so wrong.
Can’t explain it but everything seems so wrong.

Some inexplicable event is happening here
Which floods my heart with paralyzing fear.
Some inexplicable event is happening here…
Some inexplicable event is happening here!!!

A Reluctant Departure

So long, my love, goodbye…
So long, my love, goodbye!

Now it’s time for me to leave you.
No, I’m not trying to deceive you,
Wish my absence won’t greatly grieve you
Now it’s time for me to leave you.

Arrivederci, sayonara…
Arrivederci, sayonara!

Our time together’s something we can only borrow.
Being away from you will cause me sorrow,
Yet I know I’ll be with you again tomorrow.
Our time together’s something we can only borrow….

Au revoir, auf Wiedersehen,
Au revoir, auf Wiedersehen…

I must go and we must part.
Although it is fracturing my heart,
I must go and we must part…
I must go and we must part.

Nostalgia For Summers Past

Oh, Summertime doesn’t seems the same,
Oh, Summertime doesn’t seems the same.

I remember what it was like when I was a kid
and all the groovy fun things that we did,
all the bike rides and Slip N Slides we slid.
I remember what it was like when I was a kid.

Oh, all those perfect August evenings,
Oh, all those perfect August evenings

Under cloudless moonlit skies,
Feasting upon ice cream and french fries,
Picking blackberries and chasing fireflies
Under cloudless moonlit skies.

Summer was always my most treasured season,
Summer was always my most treasured season.

I miss my wonderful childhood summers a lot.
Back then, they didn’t seem so miserable and hot.
I miss my wonderful childhood summers a lot,
I miss my wonderful childhood summers a lot!

Please let me know what you think of the singsangsong, and if you should write some of your own, don’t hesitate to share. Thanks so much for reading!

Invented Poetry Forms – The Kindku

In today’s post, we will be discussing the Kindku, a newly invented poetry form inspired by both traditional Japanese forms (like the haiku and tanka) and Found Poetry.  Co-created  by Cendrine Marrouat and David Ellis, here are the rules for writing one taken directly from their website, Auroras & Blossoms @ https://abpositiveart.com :

“The Kindku is a short poem of seven lines. The syllable pattern is 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 or 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5 / 7 / 5.

The Kindku must include seven words that are taken from one specific source — a poem, a book, a newspaper article, etc. In the case of a book or long piece of writing, those words must come from the same page.

Words must be used in the order they were found. Their placement also depends on the line:

  • Line 1 starts with word 1
  • Line 2 ends with word 2
  • Line 3 starts with word 3
  • Line 4 ends with word 4
  • Line 5 starts with word 5
  • Line 6 ends with word 6
  • Line 7 starts or ends with word 7

Kindku poems can have titles and punctuation. No matter the topic covered, they must sport a positive tone.

Kindku poets are encouraged to credit and link to the inspirations behind their pieces.”

I’d also like to add that I was curious if the seven keywords had to be exactly how they appeared in the original source material or could they be in a modified form.  For example, if one of the words was a noun and was plural in the original, could it be singular in your kindku, or if it was a verb in the past tense, are you allowed to use the word in the present tense? I contacted Cendrine, one of the co-inventors of the form, and she told me the words, indeed, have to be exactly as found in the original text (which does make writing a kindku a bit more of a challenge).

Cendrine, also graciously gave me permission to reprint two of the first kindkus ever written (one she wrote, and the other by David, her co-creator) on this blog as examples (I also need to note, if you wish, you can emphasise the seven words taken from the original source material by highlighting them in bold, like Cendrine and David did in the following kindkus, but that is totally optional):

Art Writes Itself

Art writes itself in the heart
before other things;
intent lingers for a while
inviting practice,
lost hope to find a new map.
on this continent
you are the only master.

Kindku inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art

© 2020 Cendrine Marrouat

True Self Remains

Antique, old, not forgotten
Celebrate passions
Heart wants to be filled, always
True self will appear
Mighty are our selfless deeds
Happiness remains
Fear and doubt we chased away.

Kindku inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias

© 2020 David Ellis

Like in all my posts about poetic forms, I am also including my own humble efforts at writing some for you to use as models. I must confess that I did find the Kindku at first extremely difficult to write. Surprisingly, it wasn’t sticking to the exact syllable counts or word order that gave me problems, but the primary rule about the tone of the poem. I wouldn’t say that my first two attempts (one based on Robert Frost’s “The Witch of Coos” and the other from “The Fish” by Marianne Moore”) were exactly negative in attitude, but I wouldn’t describe them as positive and upbeat either, just rather neutral and detached in tone. According to the Auroras & Blossoms website, one of the main purposes of the kindku is to be “an invitation to promote kindness, positivity and inspiration through poetry” (as you can see, the word “Kind” is even a part of the form’s name), so I must emphasise that in order to write a true kindku, you should try to follow this rule as closely as you possibly can, even though what one considers positive probably varies from person to person. Hopefully, in these later efforts, I was able to achieve that goal, but I will let you, dear reader, be the judge:

Isn’t it Obvious?

Visible things often change
from invisible,
fluctuating in between.
Like a magic charm,
your own sense of perception
detects and opens
surrounding unseen doorways.

Kindku inspired by Marianne Moore’s A Jelly-Fish

All Your Uncertainty (Like the Weather) Will Soon Pass…

Fog creeps across the landscape.
Stealthily, it comes.
Little by little, things fade
(you can’t see your feet).
It seems the world’s dissolving
(so ghostly-looking),
then turns solid once again.

Kindku inspired by Carl Sandburg’s Fog

The Way of the Seasons

Summer simmers like hot soup,
cools into Autumn.
Winter, impatient, waits to
be relieved by Spring,
Sowing snow which will melt to  
feed crops planted and
thriving neath the vernal sun.

Kindku inspired by e. e. cumming’s anyone lived in a pretty how town

There is a technique I discovered while working on the above kindkus that I feel makes them easier to write which may prove helpful to you too. Instead of randomly deciding on which seven words to use beforehand, just go through your source material, and choose a word to begin. As you finish the first line,  scan for a succeeding word that will work in your second as your train of thought develops, and so on and so on, making sure to use the words in the order they appeared in the original work.  You will find this way provides flexibility and flow, and you won’t be forced to stick in a predetermined word that just won’t fit in your poem.

If you are like me, you may even find that writing kindkus will become addictive. As you grow more confident in writing them, here is a variant you might like to try using an entire (or partial) line from one of your favorite works (be it a poem, a song, a short, a quotation, etc.) as the source of your seven words. For an example, one of my favorite lines ever from poetry is the final line of “Refrigerator, 1957” by Thomas Lux – “You do not eat that which rips your heart with joy.” Using its last seven words, I came up with the following (which I found quite pleasing):

What’s That?

That unexpected feeling 
in your stomach (which
rips away complacency,
thoughts of despair), your
heart pounding in pure delight
(each thump pulsing with
love), is known, dear friends, as “Joy“…

Kindku inspired by Thomas Lux’s Refrigerator, 1957

So I hope you enjoyed today’s post on the Kindku, and will try writing some for yourself (it is a wonderful way to pay tribute to some of your favorite poems or other written works). Remember, even if you do find the rules a bit restrictive and intimidating at first, don’t give up. Keep going, and I can almost guarantee you’ll be more than satisfied with your results. And please don’t be shy about sharing them, either with me, or the kind folks at Auroras & Blossoms. I am sure they will be thrilled to see them!

Invented Poetry Forms – The Enneao

Thinking it would be an appropiate follow-up to my recent post on the Octo, today I decided to write about the Enneao, a poetry form I invented that was directly inspired by it. While the octo consists of 8 lines of 8 syllables, the enneao (which name was derived from the prefix “ennea” meaning nine) has 9 lines with 9 syllables each (however these 9 lines are divided into 3 stanzas of 3 lines apiece). Also like the octo, the first three lines are transposed as the final three lines of the poem, but in this case, the first line becomes the ninth line, the second becomes the eighth, and the third, the seventh. The fourth and sixth lines rhyme together, while the fifth line rhymes with the second (and eighth). The rhyme scheme (with capital letters representing the repeated lines and small letters the ones that rhyme) can be expressed as ABC dbd CBA.

To demonstrate how close the enneao is to the octo, I thought it would be fun to take one of the poems I wrote as a model for the octo, “Our Seemingly Unending Journey”, and rewrite it as enneao.

So first, to refresh your memory, here is the original poem:

Our Seemingly Unending Journey
(The Octo Version)

Where we will precisely end up?
I don’t think we shall ever know.
Seems a long time since we started.
In which season? I don’t recall.
Perhaps Winter or maybe Fall.
Seems a long time since we started,
I don’t think we shall ever know
where we will precisely end up.

By just adding an extra line, and an extra syllable to each of the pre-existing ones, you can see I was easily able to convert it into an enneao:

Our Seemingly Unending Journey
(The Enneao Version)

Just where we will precisely end up?
I do not think we shall ever know.
Seems like a long time since we started.

In which season? I cannot recall
(I do remember there was some snow…
so perhaps Winter, or maybe Fall?).

Seems like a long time since we started,
I do not think we shall ever know
just where we will precisely end up.

And now here is another example of an enneao I wrote:

Yes, There’s a Vacancy…

No one stays at the Ritz anymore,
most folks don’t realize it’s still open.
This old hotel has seen better days.

Once it was the hippest place in town.
People flocked here, but that was back then.
Now the owners pray it’d just burn down.

This old hotel has seen better days.
Most folks don’t realize it’s still open.
No one stays at the Ritz anymore…

I sincerely hope you enjoyed learning about the enneo today, and might even try writing one yourself (and if you do, please share!)  Thank you so much for reading as well as your continued support of this blog!

Invented Poetry Forms – The Octo

In today’s post, we will talk about the Octo, not to be confused with a host of similar-sounding poetry forms such as the Octameter (a form we discussed previously on this site), the Octain, the Octet, and the Octopoem (which is also often referred to as an Octo). Created by James Neille Northe, the octo is a poem of eight lines consisting of eight syllables apiece (like my own invented form, the streetbeatina). The first three lines of the poem is repeated as  the last three, but in reverse order. In other words, line 1 becomes line 8, line 2 becomes line 7, and line 3 reappears as line 6 (the exact words and their order must remain the same, but the punctuation can be altered). Also lines 4 and 5 rhyme together,  thus the rhyme scheme can be expressed as ABCddCBA (with the capital letters representing the repeated lines and the small letters the ones that rhyme).

If you would like to try your own hand an writing an octo, here are a couple examples I wrote which you can use as models:

The Agony of Parting From You

You don’t even dare think of me.
Dream of good times, as long as
your precious life keeps going on.
Perhaps we shall meet up again,
yet it’s best to forget. Til then,
your precious life keeps going on.
Dream of good times, as long as
you don’t even dare think of me.

Our Seemingly Unending Journey

Where we will precisely end up?
I don’t think we shall ever know.
Seems a long time since we started.
In which season? I don’t recall.
Perhaps Winter or maybe Fall.
Seems a long time since we started,
I don’t think we shall ever know
where we will precisely end up.

So what do you think of the octo, dear readers? Like always, I sincerely wish you will try writing one for yourself, and if you do, please don’t hesitate to share. I hope you enjoyed this post, and thank you so much for reading!

Invented Poetry Forms – The Homonymization

Happy Poetry Month, Everyone!

My dear readers, I apologize for being so lax about posting lately, but to make it up to you, and hopefully provide inspiration for you to write more poems this April,  I will be introducing to you today what I believe is a brand new invented poetic form: The Homonymization.

A homonymization is an experimental poetry form of my own invention, in which the entire poem is written using homophones – words sounding the same but having a different meaning and spelling. Because of this, the poem, at first glance, will appear to be totally nonsensical, but will make sense when either spoken aloud or sounded out in the reader’s head. Along with standard and familiar ones (such as “sail and sale” and “be and bee”),  the homophones used can also be proper nouns or names (such as “Waring” substituting for wearing), foreign words (“oui” for “we”),  and letters (“q” for “queue”). Also one word can represent two (“iamb” for “I am”) or two words one (“bee leave” for “believe”).

As an example, here is a homonymization I wrote, along with its “translation” printed in italics below: 

Hour Sensored Whirled

Wee awl Liv inn eh sensored whirled,
R tolled watt two bee leave inn, watt two dew.

Wee dew knot no watts rite oar fare
Oar reel. Eye no your knot Abel two

Sea mi, oar here watt eye c’est,
Sew eye Hyde inn plane site

Waring cheep read shoos,
Weight four mourning lite

Four sum won, sum buddy
Two notis mi, sew eye no

Iamb reel.

Our Censored World

We all live in a censored world,
Are told what to believe in, what to do.

We do not know what’s right or fair
Or real. I know you’re not able to

See me, or hear what I say.
So I hide in plain sight

Wearing cheap red shoes,
Wait for morning light

For someone, somebody
To notice me, so I know

I am real.

So what do you think of the homonynization, folks? Is it a poetry form you’d like to try, or is it just too weird for your tastes? If you do decide to take up the challenge (I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the results), I’d love to see your homonymization, so please don’t be afraid to share.

Thanks so much for reading, and please enjoy the remainder of Poetry Month!

Invented Poetry Forms – The Cascada Veinte

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been over three months since I last introduced a new invented poetry form here, a series which until recently had been the mainstay of this blog. I hope you will all forgive me for this inexcusable negligence, but I am back today with what I feel is a truly great one. Chances are you may not be familiar with the cascada viente poem (since it was only invented this year), but I am sure you are with its amazing creator, the very talented poet, writer, and blogger Brad Osborne and his wonderful blog Commonsensibly Speaking. Those who read Brad faithfully knows every Tuesday Brad posts a new installment of his weekly series, Whittled Words, which (in his own words) highlights “the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith”. There last August, Brad posted his very first attempt at inventing a new form of poetry, the “Cascada Veinte” (Spanish for ‘cascading twenty’). It was inspired by the Decima, Villanelle, and Roundabout forms and created in honor of a great artist and good friend, Francisco Bravo Cabrera.

The cascada viente is a twenty line poem containing five stanzas of four lines a piece (quatrains). It is isosyllabic with no required meter and has seven syllables per line. Its rhyme scheme consists of cascading alternate doubles and can be expressed as abab bcbc cdcd dede efef.

Brad has graciously given me permission to post his poem “One Is the Loneliest”, the very first cascada viente ever written (and no doubt still the best) to serve as a model for your own attempt at the form:

One Is the Loneliest

It’s a crushing kind of tired
Not of body, but of soul
Grace seemingly expired
Not a feeling at all whole

Playing a singular role
Acting it well to the bone
Oneness is taking its toll
Tired of being alone

Wanting words have not atoned
And un-warmed sheets yet to show
Worth slowly being dethroned
A fragile child’s ego

Longing heart that does not know
How to let love be set free
That one on which to bestow
The heart chained deep within me

Cherished one, stay not from me
Don’t make me wait much longer
Come and bring some proof to see
That love can make me stronger

—Brad Osborne

So what do you think, folks? I, myself, really love this form, especially because of its classical feel. If I didn’t know better, I would swear the cascada viente dated back centuries, not just a few months. Though I was a bit intimidated by the cascading alternate doubles rhyme scheme (it is, at least for me, somewhat tricky to master), I was inspired to try my own humble effort at this great new form, and believe it serves as a perfect vehicle for the following pastiche of one of my favorite Edgar Allen Poe poems (with a topical twist):

The Return of the Conqueror Worm
(A Sequel Set in Current Times)

Behold! The conqueror worm
Returns again to the stage
In the guise of a vile germ,
Its audience in a cage,

As it heralds in the age
Of Zoom (with us quarantined,
Trapped like words upon the page).
This strutting, villainous fiend

Having our lives guillotined,
Cut off from family, friends
Forcibly being pulled, weaned
From them til this madness ends-

Tragicomedy that blends
Mournful pathos with jest,
A sick farce which all depends
On its denouement. The rest,

Just exposition at best
And a bad plot twist unseen:
This play has no hero, lest
It’s truly Covid-Nineteen…

—Paul Szlosek

Thank you so much for reading for reading today’s post, and I hope you will try your own hand at writing this brand new form (the world sorely needs more cascada viente poems!)

Invented Poetry Forms – The Biolet

Having received such an enthusiastic response to my last post on the triolet,
I figure it would be fitting to follow it up with one on its obscure and even shorter Portuguese cousin, the biolet. The biolet was invented by the Brazilian poet Filinto de Almeida and first appeared in print in his book Lyrica in 1887. It is a six line poem, and like the triolet, the first two lines are repeated as the last two lines, however in reverse. The rhyme scheme of the biolet thus can be expressed as ABbaBA (with the capital  letters representing the repeated lines). The length of the lines, in my opinion, can vary, and be either metered or unmetered. Most of Almeida’s original biolets in Portuguese (I have only found a handful written in English on the internet) were in iambic tetrameter (8 syllables), but I, myself, have also been playing with iambic pentameter (10 syllables), iambic hexameter (12 syllables), and unmetered lines of random lengths as well.

I feel the key to writing a biolet is coming up with the first two lines, and then reading them in reverse. If they still make sense in the reverse order, creating the two remaining two lines of the poem should be a snap. If they don’t, try altering them until they do, or start fresh with two brand new lines. Writing biolets can be very fun, and quite easy to do. The subject matter can be almost anything, and the tone can be either humorous or serious. I hope my following examples might inspire you to write some biolets of your own:

From the Files of the Love Detective

Solving the case of your broken heart?
It’s going to be harder than I thought.
It seems your heart really loved a lot.
and no clear clue why it broke apart.
It’s going to be harder than I thought
solving the case of your broken heart.

Final Warning 

On an old gravestone, carved in slate,
I read this menacing epitaph
warning of our Creator’s endless wrath
and all humanity ‘s eventual fate.
I read this menacing epitaph
on an old gravestone, carved in slate.

A Biolet for Those Who Cannot Sing

In his unrequited ardor for Fay Wray,
I always empathized with old King Kong.
Since he could not express his love in song,
he had to show his passion in another way.
I always empathized with old King Kong
In his unrequited ardor for Fay Wray.

Biolet for the End of Day

Each night, when darkness descends like a curtain,
I light a single candle and start to pray.
Yes, tomorrow will be another day,
but of only that I can be certain.
I light a single candle and start to pray
each night, when darkness descends like a curtain. 

A Frozen Memory

On a chilly afternoon in late November,
I stood at a kitchen window and watched it snow,
And although that was over fifty years ago,
For some unknown reason I can still remember
I stood at a kitchen window and watched it snow
On a chilly afternoon in late November.

The Streetbeatina Revisited…

IMG_20200705_221801

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 )

The Fourth in a Series of Beau Présents Written for My Favorite Poets

Red Mill2

This fourth in a series of beau présents written for my favorite poets is meant as a tribute to probably my ultimate fave – the one and only Thomas Lux (in case you haven’t read my previous posts on the form, the beau présent is an usually brief poem composed to honor a person that consists of only words formed from the letters in their name):

A Beau Présent For Thomas Norman Lux

Thomas Lux’s a natural author,
a most moral man (not a trashman
nor a smut mouth, not rash nor lax,
not sour nor ho-hum), a smooth
orator, an ultrasmart annotator,
a solo astronaut, a tutor to lost tarantulas.

Thomas Lux has an autonomous soul,
uses humor to summon truth
& rout out rumor, shouts out
marathon rants to taunt & harass
amoral morons, louts, & trolls,
or to honor an oath to mutual human trust.
.
Thomas Lux’s as hot as arson,
as sonorous as a sonata on an alto sax.
Lux’s our mantra, our motto, our north,
our south, our moon, our sun, our stars,
our sultan, our tsar, our start, our last
hurrah, our utmost, our total – our all!

“Found” American Sentences

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABeing so gratified by the enthusiastic response to my recent post on the American Sentence (with so many readers trying their own hand at writing one as well as linking that post to their own blogs), I decided to write some more on the subject. Doing research on the net, I discovered the delightful practice of people searching for “found” American sentences buried in a variety of literature such as novels and short stories (thanks to an informative post by Sue Walker on the Negative Capability Press website). So I have attempted mining for some poetic treasure of my own in two classic novels by two of my favorite writers. The following are the results of my literary treasure hunt (with some of the original sentences slightly altered and edited to fit the rules of the American Sentence of 17 syllables being written in a single line as a complete grammatical sentence). First, here are three gorgeous “found” American Sentences written by Ray Bradbury, who I feel may be the most exquisite writer of poetic prose of all time, from his novel Dandelion Wine:

His fingers trembled, bright with blood, like the bits of a strange flag now found
— Ray Bradbury

Birds flickered like skipped stones across the vast inverted pond of heaven
— Ray Bradbury

Bees have a smell, their feet are dusted with spice from a million flowers
— Ray Bradbury

And here are three by Raymond Chandler from his first novel The Big Sleep (the last one might just be my favorite American Sentence ever):

Mid-October is the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain
—Raymond Chandler

His heart was a brief, uncertain murmur, his thoughts were as gray as ashes
—Raymond Chandler

The old man nodded, as if his neck was afraid of the weight of his head
—Raymond Chandler

So what do you think, dear readers? Are you now inspired to start searching for possible American Sentences in your own favorite books?  I sure hope you are, and if you find any good ones, that you will share your bounty with us all!