The Day 6 prompt from Napowrimo.net felt sort of safe, and the examples of different types of line breaks didn’t seem all that unusual. Even the Amiri Baraka poem, while starting a new sentence at the very end of lines here and there, didn’t go as far as to make sentences span stanzas.
For a while towards the end of high school, and on into college (until I stopped writing for a few years), I used very short lines, with three words being my unofficial maximum per line. A couple of years ago, when I was exploring specific forms, I found that some forms led me to write very long lines. Most of the time, I try to break lines somewhat logically, based either on where one might mark the end of a phrase when diagramming linguistically (though I don’t consciously approach it that way), or on where I would otherwise use a comma or semi-colon.
For this poem, I opted to create an exaggerated contrast between long(ish) and short lines—with the short lines, going so far as to break at the ends of syllables…
It feels so good when the ice cream slides
Otherwise I hate to
the warmth of my tongue against my raw
(4 April 2018—posted April 5th)