Oulipost #30: Patchwork Quilt

Scraps (the Patchwork Girl of Oz)

Stare unsubtly at the wizard, like
milk on the floor. You understand
forever. The center of hell isn’t hot, but
a cheeky jellyfish lamp hangs
from a corner. As human society
encroaches further into fantasyland,
tongues decay slowly and we
forget childhood every morning.
Winter loss lines quietly release
your broken promises.

Swallow the next stage of life.
Every face I go out in, someone
points a gun at me. Trashy people
doing trashy things like lonely vases
tracking roses. The right spell
may be flammable. The skeleton
lustily drills along with the jaws.

Come on. Seven sea cows entered
the flow of years and I
would have skipped out on each
breakable trachea to quench
the burning sensation.

Lord only knows Death’s apology
deserves to be well known.
Wrecking ball broke down
royal oral sobs with the onshore
floweret. Inside a moon of Saturn,
some secret shadow showed
sympathy. A paper hospital

with a widespread reputation
for bringing into existence a person
attached to another by feelings
of affection all day, all year.

But it’s like making a sandcastle.
The waters will eventually wash it away.

April 30: Patchwork Quilt

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


Oulipost #29: Canada Dry

Out of Focus

Every September, like milk
on the floor, we’re off. A diplomatic
approach to tar pits. In reality,
little more than a desert stopover.
Like some rays and dust,
they bring it along to every visit.
A thousand pictures already.

Show embarrassment.
Family charts packed like
sardines readying a field. Done in,
as a dragon. Burial places
briefly stop photo-snapping.

So go it alone, move covertly.
Stare unsubtly at the wizard.

Woodland deities need
a deeper kind of interaction.
You understand their desire.

Source material:

McInturff, Jack. “Daily Crossword.” The Houston Chronicle 29 Apr. 2014: E4. Print.

Dear Abby. “Photo-happy grandparents to change their view.” The Houston Chronicle 29 Apr. 2014: E4. Print.

April 29:Canada Dry
The name of this procedure is taken from the soft drink marketed as “the champagne of ginger ales.” 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.” Be creative, and write a poem sourced from your newspaper that sounds like it’s been Oulipo-ed, but hasn’t.


Oulipost #28: Melting Snowball


Multitalented Hellzapoppin

kickstarted attraction

bathhouse nickname:
forever divine

woods face
bit my I

Source material:

Guerra, Joey. “Forever divine.” The Houston Chronicle 29 Apr. 2014: E1. Print.

Hoffman, Ken. “‘Half Man’ the star of revue.” The Houston Chronicle 29 Apr. 2014: E1. Print.

April 29: Melting Snowball

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.

Oulipost #27: Irrational Sonnet

A Sudden Change in Weather

The land was dense with mountains,
wide with sun-drenched valleys
occasionally lit by rainbows.

I found a dead body.

Facedown and alone
under jagged spires, a woman
sprawled on the rocks.
She was cold to the touch.

The center of hell isn’t hot at all.

But snow was falling and hell
was on my mind. On the mountain,
everything moves faster. Gravity
warps time. Passing through the same
forest, it felt good to be alive.

Source material:

Chasnoff, Brian. “Weathering Patagonia.” The Houston Chronicle 27 Apr. 2014: L4. Print.


April 27: Irrational Sonnet

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.

Oulipost #26: Beautiful Outlaw

Escape (for Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

Winter’s freeze requires a planned out venture, a leaf-beaten house, a cajun

textured seagrass rug. Pretty knowledge

is only proper. Blue textiles require even more fertilizer. The couch

filled with driftwood logs from the rootstock job.

It changed into lucky backpack foam. No soggy consequences, even when exposed.

Why not just apologize?

My hummingbird bush just froze to the ground. Avocado cakes grow

in large-sized tubs. Except

we wanted to plant roses and enjoy organized sex next to glasses filled

with meat and shells. Crab cakes visit

a small part of you. January vodka drinks quit rocking in chairs.

Crazy, waxy blood

requires every bad explanation. In an adjacent room, a cheeky jellyfish lamp

hangs from a corner. There was no microphone drop.


Source material:

Fikac, Peggy. “Perry’s trips leave his critics bemused.” The Houston Chronicle 26 Apr. 2014: B1. Print.

Huber, Kathy. “Terms on plant tags can be vague.” The Houston Chronicle 26 Apr. 2014: E1. Print.

Pinkerton, James. “40 years sought for 13-year-old in killing.” The Houston Chronicle 26 Apr. 2014: B1. Print.

Reid, J.C. “Eating in the new crawfish capital of Louisiana.” The Houston Chronicle 26 Apr. 2014: L3. Print.

Robinson, Jill. “Overland Equipment Tahoe bag.” The Houston Chronicle 26 Apr. 2014: L1. Print.

Rufca, Sarah. “Island Style.” The Houston Chronicle 26 Apr. 2014: L1. Print.


April 26: Beautiful Outlaw

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.

Oulipost #25: Larding

Mind Games

As human society encroaches further into fantasyland,
you’ll wake up feeling as if you can’t be stopped.
We’re seeing more and more of these unicorn attacks,
as human society encroaches further into fantasyland.
Philosophy is as clear as the beard.
You’ll wake up feeling as if you can’t be stopped.
There were so many other valid directions to point.
We’re seeing more and more of these unicorn attacks.
As human society encroaches further into fantasyland,
problems begin but don’t end.
Philosophy is as clear as the beard:
it might transform into something else.
You’ll wake up feeling as if you can’t be stopped,
as if they were handling boulders.
There were so many other valid directions to point.
Everybody has to be aggressive.
We’re seeing more and more of these unicorn attacks.

Source material:

Bigar, Jacqueline. “Your horoscopes for Friday, April 25.” The Houston Chronicle 25 Apr. 2014: E9. Print.

Fiegen, Jonathan. “Problems begin but don’t end at Harden.” The Houston Chronicle 25 Apr. 2014: C1. Print.

Piraro, Dan. Bizarro comic. The Houston Chronicle 25 Apr. 2014: E9. Print.
April 25: Larding

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.

Oulipost #24: Homosyntaxism

How It Ends

if you crumble cookies constantly
if you bake crow fondly
if you draw forests darkly
if you dream wolves nightly

they will find you

so I give secrets away
but I keep silences inside

because tongues decay slowly
because boys grow hungrily
because princesses die foolishly

we will end it
we will stop them

and we’ll forget childhood forever

Source material:

Peyton, Lindsay. “Feral hogs are on rise in the area.” The Houston Chronicle  24 Apr. 2014: Online.


April 24: Homosyntaxism

Homosyntaxism is a method of translation that preserves only the syntactic order of the original words.