Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The prompt:
Conclude the project by writing a poem that incorporates words and lines from all of your past 29 poems.

The process: 
I pulled full lines, and then just some words from each poem and I worked backwards. The first word is from April 29th and last word is from April 1st. Sometimes, I pluralized a word..sometimes I didn't. 

So long Oulipost, it's been real...

The result:


Chief clumsily lingers
Vaporized by 
read like a mystery novel

Another postcard
For friends

Don’t be afraid
Blessing has the burden
Until it’s all a happy memory

Lived it.

Capsules appear
We run

A lack of heart
We must be strong
Half fatal

Critics swiftly confirm
Earns their praise
While urban disunion rises
There was a problem

Radicals faced with a particular group
May day

People are still angry

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The prompt:

The name of this procedure is taken from the soft drink marketed as “the champagne of ginger ales.”  (Or in my case...Miller High Life..the champagne of beers.) The drink may have bubbles, but it isn’t champagne. In the words of Paul Fournel, who coined the term, a Canada Dry text “has the taste and color of a restriction but does not follow a restriction.” (A musical example is Andrew Bird’s “Fake Palindromes.”)  Be creative, and write a poem sourced from your newspaper that sounds like it’s been Oulipo-ed, but hasn’t.

The process:

Well, since I didn't have any direction, I just took one. I wanted to use some rhetorical tropes. I was lame and just used alliteration but I may have spelled something with the title and the letters at the beginning of each line. Can you guess what it is?

The result:


Child chief calls
Replace recently received 
An April agency allowed assaults
Potentially playing pledges

It’s impossibly improving
To the terms toll
Stepping state safety short

Other ones old or only open
Very vocal violations
Elections encourage everybody
Rising reporters record Republicans 


The A section of The Boston Globe. 29 April 2015. Print.

Monday, April 28, 2014


The prompt:
A text in which each word has one letter less than the preceding one, and the last word only one letter. From your newspaper, select a starting word, and then continue adding words of decreasing length from the same source article or passage. Challenge yourself further by only using words in order as you encounter them in the text.

The process:
I wanted to get creative with this. I thought of real snowball and how it takes a bit for it to start to melt. So the title is 11 letters and then the next 2 lines are 10 and the next to are 9 and then it really starts to melt.  I also tried to abide by the rules and with using the word in the order that I found them. I think I did a pretty good with that part.

Also, it melts...

The result:



Borchers, Callum. Nanomedicine could improve surgical implants. The Boston Globe. 28 April 2014. Web.

Several other articles from the homepage of The Boston Globe. 28 April 2014. Web.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


The prompt:
Create a 14-line sonnet sourced from lines from your newspaper that is divided according to the first five digits of the irrational number pi – that is, into stanzas of 3, 1, 4, 1 and 5 lines. As with the preceding sonnet assignment (see April 14) you may interpret “sonnet” as formally or as loosely as you wish.

The process:
I just started looking for iambic pentameter. I pulled pieces of lines and full lines themselves. It was quite difficult. The paper was full but since I've been baking all mine is blank. I did change some tense and as with yesterdays poem, I wanted it to say something. Something that stands up. 

The result:

A theory that just might explain origin

Learning their lines by heart, they soar, they sear
They linger in the memory, he died
It’s a small group of sympathetic friends

The scene was telling, and fairly typical

It felt charged with impact, streaming with light
Stop, look closely and you will see beauty
The interplay of cultures is the theme
Tell the world what the government has done

But one rich sector might just prove elusive

It never stops, this sort of unceasing 
On the hunt for the next generation
Villains who are victims of circumstance
Bold, creative acts of innovation
Bigger, stronger people will come, after

Several articles from The Boston Globe & The Globe Magazine. 27 April 2014. Sections A-N. Print.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


The prompt:
The outlaw in question is the name of the person (or subject) to whom the poem is addressed. Each line of the poem includes all the letters of the alphabet except for the letter appearing in the dedicated name at the position corresponding to that of the line: when writing a poem to Eva, the first line will contain all letters except E, the second all letters except V, and the third all letters except A.
Choose someone mentioned in your newspaper to whom to address your poem. Compose a beautiful outlaw poem following the procedure outlined above and using words sourced from your newspaper text.
The process:
As usual, I picked a short name and a name of a man who was a champion of democracy in Myanmar. I found his name in the Obituaries. I wanted to make this a quality poem for obvious reasons. I enjoyed the process because searching and finding cool words was intellectually stimulating. Plus, I was in a Starbucks for part of the writing process and now I smell like coffee and cookies. It's sexy. 
This took me a long time. I found it difficult to focus on this rainy day. Plus, I was hungry. I changed tenses and played with words a bit but I swear I used just about every article in today's paper. 
The result:
Win Tin
Democracy champion saving subjects from stabilizing pay and questionably picky taxes
Handles sharks, runs a bar, catches grenades, puzzles even more by exes of newly jammed quotes
Quick-fixes vary with him, majority rules, but widely sized gaps appear
Diversify and back common people; a jab; a warning—faxed—quickly—vaporized, how?
Abuses cause vast, flash attacks when more neglected people unjustly freeze next quarter
Quite a bit of love goes through him, you see, with the evil & hazards here: 
Truth speaks justice...

Several articles from The Boston Globe. 26 April 2014. Sections A-G.Print.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Oulipost #25: Larding

OuliPost #25

The prompt:Aka “line stretching.” From your newspaper text, pick two sentences. Add a new sentence between the first two; then two sentences in the new intervals that have become available; and continue to add sentences until the passage has attained the length desired. The supplementary sentences must either enrich the existing narrative or create a new narrative continuity.

The process:
I split sentences and tried to follow the rules. I almost mad-libbed it again but I start piecing things together.  An article about ducks cracked me up so I had to put in 5 ducks killed. 

I'll add more later....

Now, it's later. I just started finding sentences and half of sentences and putting them together. i think I used almost 10 articles. I think it came out..okay..

The result:

Duck Photography 

Photography, a technological marvel, was long considered an artistic stepchild.
Elements read like a mystery novel.
The federal government started a program in 1994, for scores of aspiring artists to debut their work.
What followed is a complicated saga that has produced more questions than answers.
 Illegal guns seized, opiate addicts and five ducks killed.
A less happy experience and the government has had second thoughts about the decision.
 “Arty” was not a term.

What often does not come up is the work.
Neighborhood groups encouraged to get involved. The way they join them is to copy them.
Like life, it’s all a big balancing act.
Today we think of the medium, as having been an art form from the beginning.

Several articles from 
The Boston Globe. 25 April 2014. Section A-G. Print. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014


The prompt:
Homosyntaxism is a method of translation that preserves only the syntactic order of the original words. To give a rudimentary example, if N=noun, V=verb and A=adjective, the outline NVA could yield solutions such as “The day turned cold,” “Violets are blue,” “An Oulipian! Be wary!”)
Option 1: Choose a sentence from your newspaper source text and write as many homosyntaxisms as possible based on that same variation.
Option 2: Complete a homosyntaxism of an entire paragraph or article found in your text.
The process:
Guess which one I chose?? You got it, option 1. I didn't source the words from the text. I made them my own...I think that might be cheating. I would like to thank...Margo Roby for this Mad Lib idea. 
I was stumped on how to go about this so I had to take some inspiration. I am making this my own and keeping some adverbs. I may have cheated on some "adverbs" as well. 
The sentence really spoke to me so that's why I chose it.  Then as I started, I hated it. I then started to think...let's work off of this. Let's get 2 common words together and make some statements. It's not perfect and it's not poignant. I used some different pronouns and I let it fly. 
Here is the sentence/inspiration:
"Art and empathy can take us only so far."
The result:

Talks and walks can give us justly....
Sticks and stones can break me ever so slowly.
Words and music can feed me every so often.
Determination and strength can move him exactly here. 
Propaganda and extremists can fuel him crazily always.
Books and paper can destroy her never.
Self-doubt and anxiety can ruin her always.
Love and kindness can save us most of the time. 
Hate and revenge can kill us always. 

Smee, Sebastian. "In portrait of late artist Jon Imber, life and love endure." The Boston Globe. 24 April 2014. Arts Section. Web. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


The prompt:
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.

The process:

I made a chart. Well, first I chose the first article I saw and it didn't involve the Marathon. Woo!! Then I made the chart. I decided to leave the proper nouns alone. Blech! I don't like them. Only 1 adverb...YET.   Honestly, these prompts make me second guess myself on my language knowledge. 

I honestly don't want to do the html code for a table..I did that today at work several times so i am just going to use a screenshot. How lazy am I????
I only chose the 
So here we go:

As you can see, my image goes out of bounds slightly..ha! Secondly..I only have 3 verbs. 

So I think I am going to write some nonsense. I first thought of using the words going across and then I's my chance to just mess this up. 

I tried and tried and tried some more. I finally came up with using articles and conjunctions and nouns and adjectives. It came to be a bit of a list. 

The result:

Mill Mansion

Sweeping and sailing and seaside 

The town
The inn
The park

A race
A morning
A rubber

On waterfront
On granite
On trend

Another tourist
Another postcard
Another weekday

Into basement
Into museum
Into people

Where is
Where found
Where stream


Woolhouse, Megan. "Yachts and a food pantry in uneasy juxtaposition." The Boston Globe. 23 Apr 2014. A1-A7. Print. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


The prompt:
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).
Original: To be or not to be, that is the question.
Antonymy: To not be and to be: this was an answer.
Select a passage from your newspaper source text to complete this exercise.

The process:

I swear today will be the last day of Marathon inspired poems. Yesterday, I went to the Marathon. yay!!! I was at Mile #19. What a great day!
This was a bit tough. I chose a short passage and I kept thinking to myself..errr..what's the opposite of this. I took some creative license when it came to numbers and such. I hope I did the prompt justice. I even used part of the title of the article as my title.

The result:

The passage:
They clanged cowbells for hours, extended hands for high-fives, and waved posters for friends while hooting for strangers.  They packed 8 deep in Ashland, 12 deep Natick, and so tight in Back Bay it was impossible to count. 

Jeers emptied the water

I silenced ear rings
For seconds
Retracted feet for low-ones
Or flipped off newspapers
Nay, enemies 
While crying
For friends

I unpacked 16 shallow out of
24 shallow Southie
or so loose in Front Dessert
they were easy to abandon


Moskowitz, Eric. "For 26 miles, the cheers filled the air." The Boston Globe. 22 Apr 2014. A1-A12. Print.

Monday, April 21, 2014


The prompt:
Craft a conversation poem using “he said/she said” quotes that you find in newspaper articles.

The process:
I am not entirely sure what a "he said, she said" poem is, so I took some creative license. I've clipped quotes to make the poem more of a narrative. I've even used some names and modifiers of he said and she said. I also repeated some quotes to round out the poem.

The result:

Intimate Whisper

“Jack,” Betty yelled.
“Don’t be afraid..…”
“I’m suggesting you need to start thinking about a plan B,” John said.
“I have a better idea,” he said.
“We’ve gone through a major transformation,” she said.
“I wish I could do that,” he said.
“The feeling is just pride,” Betty said with a snarl.
“I was hurt,” John said.
“There’s more people involved in this,” she said.
“That was really a surprise,” he said. 
“I kill a lot in Providence,” she said.
“It was good to get those first 2 early,” he said.
“I just think you’ve got to decided what you want to do,” she said.
“It was part of the job,” he said.
“This might not be a bad thing,” she said with hesitation.
“But everyone is different,” he said with a sigh.
 “I kill a lot in Providence,” he said.
“I kill a lot in Providence.”

“Don’t be afraid…”

Over 10 articles from The Boston Globe, Print. 21 Apr 2014 Sections A-G. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014


The prompt:

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.

The process:

I love Sunday's because there is an ever present and somewhat large Arts section. The article I chose details an "up-and-coming" female rap star. I've been reading and seeing her videos about her for over a year so I am not sure how ground breaking and on the edge this article really is. Anyway, I couldn't resist another poem that did not contain sophisticated subject matter. I just had to use it.

Also, her video mimics the movie "Clueless". That's way harsh.

The poem isn't great. I am not sure it makes sense but I did take some poetic license at the end and with some tenses.

The result:

Iggy Rap

 Blessing has the burden
And the rapper
Of being a rising profile
With an odd
At way
With the artists
Most genres
Come up in the caricature
If you wanted a rap star
Of the least likely, azaleas
Blueprint could be your female
Looks like one (and is Southern).
Raps with a murder.
Rendering bizness…biznassss....


Reed, James. "Is hip-hop ready for Iggy Azalea?." The Boston Globe.  20 Apr 2014. N1-N4. Print.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


The prompt:
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.

The process:
Such cute kitty. Anyway, I tried to follow the rules but....I didn't. I couldn't source all the words. I just sourced my end words. To be somewhat successful, I had to throw caution to the wind. I did source some words from the source text. So, that was sort of following the rules. Doug Luman is the man and I used his excel. I still am not entirely sure if created a proper sestina but I gave it a go. It's the longest poem I've ever composed, I think. 

Also, the Excel document and myself screwed up at the end and I did not intend the poem to end the way it did but I like it. I changed a few tenses and pluralizations of words. 

The result: 

A harrowing, glossy, (happy) experience

Seeking sustenance proves harrowing
the pangs of hunger lingering
a bologna sandwich, not normal 
food photographs glossy
Eating lunch with friends
A fond memory

You are a memory
I search for happiness, something less harrowing
A food for the soul, Could it be friends? 
A walk to find what is lingering
Yogurt--- glossy
Is tidy the new normal?

I wonder what is really normal?
Is it something in our memory?
Is it new, exciting, shocking and glossy?
Do we shrink to a whisper, something less harrowing?
We are strong, but wounds still linger
We peer into ourselves, we search for friends.

Changing colors, changing friends
A chameleon, is that normal?
Suspects in this, a motive still linger
I cannot erase your memory,
into something less harrowing
Our photographs shiny and glossy

Feelings masked under layers of glossy
Paint, a face hidden to friends
sustenance still proves harrowing
I will never be normal 
It's all just a memory
Balogna sandwich thoughts still linger

I grew to find, it's okay to linger
Cover your face with all things glossy
Until it's all just a happy memory
Hold tight to new and old  friends
You will never be normal 
Because if you are, you life is harrowing

I cried because it was all so harrowing
I dried my tears and I’ve stopped seeking normal
You are my friend
(and my normal...)


Rusell, Jenna. "For Watertown residents, normal will never be quite the same." The Boston Globe.  19 Apr 2014. A1-A6. Print. 

Moskowitz,Eric. "Danny takes strength from ordeal with Tsarnaevs." The Boston Globe.  19 Apr 2014. A1-A6. Print. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


The prompt:
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.
The process:
I found this very telling yet endearing sentence and although it provided limited letters, I felt compelled to use. I like what it stood for. The article was a tribute to a fallen officer who worked in the Boston Police Department Gang Unit and passed away this week from what doctors "think" are complications from injuries he sustained during the Marathon Shoot Out last year.  The article is touching. 
My poem really doesn't not have anything to do with the articles subject matter and I think it came out cohesive, emphasis on I think.

For the title, I used half of the consonants from the title of the article. I am getting crafty. 
The result:

It heals none

Yeah, I vote
A blue new rookie
Not a hag
An age on tab
Tied, jail
Avid oath
Lived it.

The source text:

You have to be a lion to work in the gang unit. But DJ loved it. He loved it.

Cullen, Kevin. "The lion and the lamb." The Boston Globe. 18 Apr 2014. B1. Print.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


The prompt:

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.

The process:

My process wasn't really a process at all. I pulled 3 random sentences from an article and tried to make it different from the article. I played with tenses and pluralizations. Was I successful?? Not too sure. Did I have fun? Sure did. Did I try to make it different from the text? Yes! 

The result:


Between 2:30
The victim, he backfires
Success, no-man’s land

4:30: emails
His man: deception, no facts
M(o)ore words arrive in

Night preaches balance
Boss owns all importance 
Late night life, has been

One mo(o)re victim in
Expect facts around-the-clock
Sent: Man has not lived.

Teitell, Beth. "Bosses' late-hour emailing sends an unsettling message." The Boston Globe.  17 Apr 2014. A1-A12. Print.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The prompt:
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.

The process:

I tried to follow the rules. I really did, really...I swearz it.  I always get confused with noun-trains and adverbs and adjectives and I just want it to be correct. :/ Then I put the pieces and words together and noticed not very many adjectives..mostly nouns and verbs...

I then started mixing lines up and putting them together so things would make sense. I wanted to make this better than what it was. I didn't love is a little better. It's not perfect and I couldn't continue because my source article is gross and wordy and I liked the first sentence but I also liked how I forced my poem to end. I saw some words and then the replacements were pretty funny. 

Here it is.

The result:

Slimming Shapewear Taxes Pyramid Needle Scheme

They were received at two 
and by women 
From basic undergarments
In the fear, 
They drilled to lingerie
Products, and fat
Pain Lately 
Maidenform of women
To file
In what cases ask a
Garment power
Suits delays the slimming shapewear

Healy, Beth. "State sues over pyramid scheme.  The Boston Globe. 16 April 2014. B1-B5. Print.
Borchers, Callum. "A Dental Visit With No Drill."   The Boston Globe. 16 April 2014. B1-B7. Print.
Johnson, Katie. "Lingerie firms are sued over slimming claim." The Boston Globe. 16 April 2014. B1-B7. Print.
Fernandes, Deirdre. "Mass. Tax deadline extended."The Boston Globe. 16 April 2014. B1-B7. Print.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


The prompt:
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.

The process: 
I thought..oh boy this will be tough. I will need the Scrabble Word Finder. I didn't. Today, is the one year anniversary of the Marathon Bombing. They had a special wrap-around cover and on the inside a short article and quotes. I went through the short article and quotes and found short words and pulled something together. It's a bit commemorative. My apologies. I live about a mile away from where "he" was found. I went to the same university he went to and taught there. I was held captive that Friday in April and watched unmarked patrol cars scour my street for hours. 

The result: 

we are more aware
we survive
we move
we run
we rise—sun

we see issue
we own

we want same
we mean more
now, even more

runners, survivors,

A special piece: "One year late." The Boston Globe.  15 Apr 2014, V1-V4.
Contributors: Mark Arsenault, Billy Baker, Anica Butler, Maria Cramer, Liz Kowalczyk, Eric Moskowitz, Shelley Murphy, Martine Powers, Dina Rudick, Andrew Ryan, David L. Ryan, and John Tlumacki.