Under Streetlight

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads:  Micro Poetry~Streetlight Rain
The object of this challenge is to write a poem in no more than 10 lines (but you may write in fewer than 10 lines all the way down to a single American sentence). Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred.  (Imagined by Kerry O’Connor)

American Sentences as a poetic form was Ginsberg’s effort to make American the haiku. If haiku is seventeen syllables going down in Japanese text, he would make American Sentences seventeen syllables going across, linear, like just about everything else in America. In Cosmopolitan Greetings, his 1994 book, he published two and a half pages of these nuggets, some of which had scene-setting preambles.
For example:

Tompkins Square Lower East Side N.Y.

Four skinheads stand in the streetlight rain chatting under an umbrella. (1987)


Rainy night on Union square, full moon. Want more poems? Wait till I’m dead. (August 8, 1990, 3:30 a.m.)

Here is my attempt:

Face lit in streetlight, he rasps, tries to light a cigarette in the rain.



About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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10 Responses to Under Streetlight

  1. Sangbad says:

    This is interesting…going to try one…


  2. Rosemary Nissen-Wade says:

    Wow, a whole story in that!


  3. Kerry says:

    A singular image, perhaps of optimism or futility.


  4. sanaarizvi says:

    You totally rocked the prompt! This is excellent!❤️


  5. Great job… It leaves me wanting to know more


Comments are closed.