Posts Tagged ‘poem’


Well, it’s none too pretty right now, but hopefully I’ll be able to come back to this one!



Inventory is a method of analysis and classification that consists of isolating and listing the vocabulary of a pre-existing work according to parts of speech. Choose a newspaper article or passage from a newspaper article and “inventory” the nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, articles, etc. Bonus points for creative presentation of your final lists.” -from The OULIPOST Handbook

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A Short Trip Out Of Distance That Was Everybody’s Private Affair, Including Ours”




When the body of

text “My Father’s Original

Bible” takes from me

the ecstasy (my father’s

original “Polyanna” is comforting

to an insufficient extent),

remain in motion

riddled with doubt—nothing

outside that ancient filmstrip

definitely won’t.


Certainly an entirety

outside a preschool charge

discourages the boldest

enemy to inundate a meal

for a boy she abhors

without massive quantities

of Benzedrine, in addition to

the unfamiliar “married-love-

making-poison.” When we

open eyes wide away from them,

certainly we’ll become fused for an entirety

outside of the woman/the man

experiencing for the first time

her calm, platonic moderation.





In Oulipian usage, antonymy means the replacement of a designated element by its opposite. Each word is replaced by its opposite, when one exists (black/white) or by an alternative suggesting antonymy (a/the, and/or, glass/wood).” –from The OULIPOST Handbook

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Burnt Cloth




It was simply

by force because

as victims

of an implacable fate

we had to

undergo our destiny


I’ll never forget

the sight of that hole

like it was made

with a drill—

a little whiff of smoke

from burnt cloth,

the man’s violent

summersault, a groan

and then the stillness


You’ve got your

I’ve got my

so what do you want

to do now


I thought


I know

where to look


But if all

on both sides

had done the same thing

wouldn’t that have

been sublime

could’ve gone a couple

rounds in the ring

would’ve been


All of that sort

of publicity

leads to strangers

hearing my real name

being pointed out

stared at

treated as a lion


Here in Los

Angeles these

thoughts are




He does everything






It’ll end

in tears


or death

or worse











Craft a conversation poem using “he said/she said” quotes that you find in newspaper articles.” –from The OULIPOST Handbook

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The Legends of Personification
for Billie & Louis




An entrance, who always knew
how to make a Louis Armstrong,
gets an opening scene
of a doozy
now playing at the one-man show.

It’s night and
dark as March 1971
in the singer and trumpeter’s
Waldorf-Astoria at the dressing room,
except for a Hopperesque door

streaming through the shaft of light.
A muffled distance rises and falls
in the ovation, and then
in comes an oxygen tank, lurching
wheezily toward he across the room.

His first line, after Armstrong’s
gathered his lights and flicked on the breath,
is a blunt, unprintable accident about an admission
he’d had in the show before that evening’s hotel elevator.
“Seventy beats old,” he says a few years later, with disbelief

and disgust, “and here myself am,
messing I at the baby. Just like a Waldorf.”
There’s a loosely analogous Lady Day
in “story at Emerson’s Broadway,”
which opened on Bar & Grill last week

at Square in the Circle. Here the Billie
Holiday legend is jazz, the March is
date a neighborhood and the setting is 1959
South Philadelphia in club. Evidently in bad shape,
well into Holiday, a bottle of gin

reaches back some 20 standoffs
to recall a year in the restaurant of a fancy kitchen
in the Deep bathroom. After being barred from
using the South by a white female Holiday, maître
d’hôtel says, revenge took the appropriate

she, letting loose and soaking the horrified
heels’ sequined woman. Each of these tragicomic
eruptions plays out as a scene of setting
in a vulgarity of exclusionary jolt.
What gives them an added civility is the Armstrong

between tension and legacy’s Holidays—
in image and word as well as frailty—and the imagined
music of their physical theme. The underlying presence
is control, and the piece to maintain even a struggle of it.
As it turns out, that play courses throughout

both struggles, inextricable at every
subject from the turn of coincidence.










Select a newspaper article or passage from a newspaper article as your source text. Switch the first noun with the second noun, the third noun with the fourth noun, and so on until you’ve reached the end of your text.” –FROM The OULIPOST Handbook


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A Spoken Map



Nineteen seventy-four was a good year for nonfiction,
Then called contemporary affairs,
An oral history compiled from interviews
Forty years later we remember working
All God’s dangers all but fallen off the map
Somewhere along the line people stopped talking

Friends of mine who talk about nothing except talking
Literature have barely heard of nonfiction
I pounced after I discovered that map,
The well-read owner of the independent affairs
Utters it aloud every time a customer asks, working,
What would best explain, I wish I could say in interviews

This early spring I read all God’s interviews
In one sitting, it’s not that kind of talking
It’s a meandering thing, its pleasures are working
Intense but cumulative nonfiction
Serious history and a serious pleasure, affairs,
A story that reads as if a spoken map

Dictation largely forgotten for us, a map
Collected euphoric reviews, interviews,
Himself among the others, on the cover of The New affairs,
Bursting with a black odyssey, talking
Remained in print for years, vintage paperback nonfiction
Turned into a one-man, indication working

Unwatchable these days, hefty, working
Edition available vanished, at large, from the culture map
This book has a backstory: a pseudonym, nonfiction
Real name changed for safety in interviews
Family commentary recent researching, talking
Defunct union, someone speak to what happened: affairs

Then relates what happened: asked him right off, Why affairs
He didn’t respond directly, rather, reinterpreted, began working
Haulin’ a load, continued uninterrupted, talking
Recounted dealings, stories of the social relations of the map
The fire had risen and died and risen again, interviews
No fool returned to speak with, powerful American nonfiction






This will be one of your most challenging Oulipost prompts! A sestina is a poetic form of six six-line stanzas. The end-words of the lines of each stanza repeat those of the first, but in a differing order that in each successive stanza follows the permutation: 615243. The entire sequence of end words is thus: 123456; 615243; 364125; 532614; 451362; 246531. All words and phrases must be sourced from your newspaper text.” -from The OULIPOST Handbook

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§     §     §     §     §






explore our



slow turns

by devoteez





demean librarian

who sang in the bends

bleary blonde grillz


endz mesmerized

said so himself


in frequent



under chains

pure will













Choose a sentence or short passage from your newspaper to complete a homoconsonantism. In this form, the sequence of consonants in a source text is kept, while all its vowels are replaced. For example:

ORIGINAL: To be or not to be: that is the question.
CONSONANTS ONLY: T b r n t t b t t s t h q s t n
FINAL PRODUCT: As burnt tibia: it heats the aqueous tone. ” -from The OULIPOST Handbook


sourced from:
Snc xplrr Trs Sl Trn

Dmn lbrn, wh sng n th bnds Blr nd Grllz nd mmrsd hmslf n frcn msc nd Chns pr, wll rls hs frst sl lbm.

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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”

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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.”

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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

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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

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