OULIPOST #17: Haikuisation

Purloin the Passport


Deal with the trauma

Of displacement through writing:

Purloin the passport





Even in letters

Conquering displacement still

Remains the most raw


The uncanny ease

The literature proclaimed

Made him significant


Unflinching story

Speaks of the solitary

Talking to ourselves


Ambitious ideas

Whose voices braid together

Built around the last


Chiseled to create

A kaleidoscopic whole

Distilled to pages






The haiku is a Japanese poetic form whose most obvious feature is the division of its 17 syllables into lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. Haikuisation has sometimes been used by Oulipians to indicate the reduction of verses of normal length to lines of haiku-like brevity. Select three sentences from a single newspaper article and “haiku” them.” –from The OULIPOST Handbook

OULIPOST #16: Chimera

Sunday Cognac Aching Plucked Again


The nestling of the Sunday Cognac in California—armored for more than four choreographers during a telling and remembering—has been called yet again, a museum friend sang on Institute. Arts Illuminations, the friend, gave no performance had been penetrated for its giving and introduced to sharpen the evening. Since the Sunday Cognac starts under the years of the imaginative piano, the complicated couple has to walk deepened by the ritual. The keyboard aches all but organically, the animals for the fabric used in place, and except for a few modern–day not-terribly-interested shrines everything prizes done, Arts Illuminations revolved. Snifters in high hats have found pop-oriented fingers as the performance for the filing and acclaimed that the sound’s rim has died a joyous audience with the floor, which has reportedly framed generic about the repeated noises. Ms. Illuminations included she featured that the limitations would write open before year’s approach.








The chimera of Homeric legend – lion’s head, goat’s body, treacherous serpent’s tail – has a less forbidding Oulipian counterpart. It is engendered as follows. Having chosen a newspaper article or other text for treatment, remove its nouns, verbs and adjectives. Replace the nouns with those taken in order from a different work, the verbs with those from a second work, the adjectives with those from a third.” –from The OULIPOST Handbook


Drawing Fresh Poetry From the Familiar:
All Materials Sourced from NYT, Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Arts Section
Base article from “Arts Briefly”: “Picasso Museum Reopening Delayed Again”
Nouns from: “An Ache, And Pluck, That Linger In a Heart”
Verbs from: “Italian Touch, With a Taste of Cognac”
Adjectives from: “Narcissism (Smile!), Set to a Thumping Beat”

On Our One More





a season earns no


our causes were

not means over crevasses


men were as area was

we were more

so we are across












Imagine a prisoner whose supply of paper is restricted. To put it to fullest use, he will maximize his space by avoiding any letter extending above or below the line (b, d,f,g,h,j,k,l,p,q,t and y) and use only a,c,e,m,n,o,r,s,u,v,w,x and z. Compose a poem using only words that can be made from these letters AND which you source from your newspaper text.” –from The OULIPOST Handbook

sourced from:
Deadliest Day: Sherpas Bear Everest’s Risks by Ellen Barry and Graham Bowley NYT|April 18, 2014

OULIPOST #14: Column Inches












Refer to the advertising section or the classifieds in your source newspaper. Create a poem by replacing all of the nouns in your chosen ad segment or classified listing with nouns from one article in the same newspaper. You may use multiple ads/classifieds, presented in the order of your choosing.” – from The OULIPOST Handbook

For the “Column Inches” prompt, I began with the JEOPARDY! CLUE OF THE DAY; I have only been sourcing from the Arts section of the NYT, which doesn’t have a “classifieds”. I tried to use the listings for theatre shows and times, but it was just too abstract, ha ha hah. I sourced the replacements from the article entitled, “What a Foul Mouth You Have, Grandma.”

OULIPOST #13: Epithalamium

Calumnies Lie Buried




incurable nursemaid meanders

clambers unclaimed blameless

aimless amid unnameables


curbside blinders embrace

blusemans bridle calibrate

a maudlin nimbus


cinema in cinders

a miracle abduced

a la reclaimed simulacres











An Oulipian epithalamium, or marriage song, is one composed exclusively with the letters of the names of bride and groom (bride and bride, groom and groom, etc). Visit the engagement or wedding announcements section of your newspaper and select a couple. Write a poem using only words that can be made with the letters in their name. You may choose to use first names only if you prefer anonymity or full names if you’re desperate for more letters.” –from The OULIPOST Handbook

Since I have been sourcing my text from the Arts section of the NYT, there aren’t any wedding announcements to be found. Instead, I chose an article about DIANE ARBUS and her photograph of EDDIE CARMEL, and used the letters in their names.

OULIPOST #12: Sonnet

The Central Office of Restitution





For decades it has lay hidden away,

Took decades to illuminate that dark.

A lengthy struggle to rid itself of

A published catalogue of all the spoils.

Chose to rush ahead its revelations,

Always knowledge, responsibility.

We went down so many, many wrong ways.

Even so, a fuller accounting of

Lasted decades more, only to emerge

Willing to identify, to describe.

Now that we have all the information

It all seems almost logical, easy;


We finally found us one of the best—

We will go once again through everything.









Write a sonnet sourced from lines found in newspaper articles.  You may choose your own sonnet type, and should feel free to be creative with the rules. One known Oulipo variation is “sonnets of variable length,” in which one must compose a sonnet in which the lines are either as short as possible or as long as possible.” -from The OULIPOST Handbook

OULIPOST #11: Univocalism

List Mild Whys






figs list
in gin

dim its zing

it brims its tin lid
wrings minds din

lift it

bind lips
skin bit in sin







bird climbs
misty scrim

lifts its wings

limns blind
til it dims

rids its limbs
slim ribs

mi sin







  • n. – Destruction of heart tissue resulting from obstruction of the blood supply to the heart muscle



A univocalic text is one written with a single vowel. It is consequently a lipogram in all the other vowels.” –from The OULIPOST Handbook