Writes Paul Szlosek: I invented the Streetbeatina to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Street Beat,, an amazing poetry venue in Worcester, Massachusetts, that was ran and hosted by talented local poet Anne Marie Lucci for many years.The streetbeatina consists of eight lines, each line having eight syllables. What makes the form both rather challenging and unique 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. Although it is not necessary, if the poet wishes, the repeated syllable can be emphasized by printing it either in italics, bold, or a different color.The repetition of the sound of the syllable at precise intervals provides the poem with a natural beat , and musicality.

Travel Advisory
By Paul Szlosek

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
By Paul Szlosek

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
By Paul Szlosek

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.

Paul Szlosek was born in Southbridge, Massachusetts, but currently resides in the nearby metropolis of Worcester. He was co-founder and host of the long-running Poet’s Parlor poetry reading in Southbridge and Sturbridge, as well as a past recipient of the Jacob Knight Award for Poetry. His poems have appeared in various local publications including the Worcester Review, Worcester Magazine, Sahara, Concrete Wolf and Diner. He’s probably best known in the Worcester poetry community for his fanatical obsession with obscure poetry forms, and has invented his own including the ziggurat, the streetbeatina, and (most recently) the hodgenelle.