QUILLFYRE’S #OULIPOST 26 BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW AKA BELLE ABSENTE

Calvino-300x300 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.

To view what my fellow Ouliposters have shared, visit the Oulipost blog here: http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-26-beautiful-outlaw-belle-absente/

I worked mostly from a single article, but found that for certain letters like q, x and z I had limited choices. How many times can you repeat subsequent in 6 sentences?  With the constraint at times of the omitted letter, I decided to use words occasionally from a second article.

Once I had my sentences complete and in compliance with the belle absente rule, I then (ha! Subsequently!) inserted line breaks to make it more like a poem.

Here are my sentences, followed by the poem. The title is the name I chose to work with, Miriam.

SENTENCES:

All puny sorrows nuanced, shattering exploration into the agonizing job of suicides, the subsequent overshadowed it burrows deep, expecting kindness, a balance of funny and sad disappointed.

The wry humour, overshadowed square, large, excellent, the job of funny Ezra feels the lack, however, and what makes up for the lack?

To die a long suicide attempt involving pills and knives and bleach leaves agonizing in the subsequent months you want to live, and expecting to want to live, but also know it’s a futile job how does one live with such knowledge?

The novel opens more: the house of Ezra, the father’s own excellent hands hauled away on the back of a truck, never to be seen subsequent the father, who makes a job to block the sun’s glare as he stares at the place home used to be.

The subsequent survivors, bronze children, the conflicted emotions, the shell-shock job of simply loving someone who dies, the well of resentment to expose institutions.

While each unhappy exploration is revealing, unhappy in its own way, the subsequent terrain of guilt, frustration, anger, despair and fear, look where you stand: a fine job of exploring that bronze landscape.

MIRIAM

All puny sorrows nuanced, shattering exploration into
the agonizing job of suicides, the subsequent overshadowed.
It burrows deep, expecting kindness, a balance
of funny and sad disappointed.

The wry humour, overshadowed square,
large, excellent, the job of funny.
Ezra feels the lack, however,
and what makes up for the lack?

To die. A long suicide attempt involving pills
and knives and bleach leaves agonizing
in the subsequent months. You want to live,
and expecting to want to live, but also know
it’s a futile job: how does one live with such knowledge?

Various pills

Various pills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The novel opens more: the house of Ezra,
the father’s own excellent hands hauled away
on the back of a truck, never to be seen subsequent.
The father, who makes a job to block the sun’s glare
as he stares at the place home used to be.

First abandoned house in Glenkeel

First abandoned house in Glenkeel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The subsequent survivors, bronze children,
the conflicted emotions, the shell-shock job of
simply loving someone who dies,
the well of resentment to expose institutions.

While each unhappy exploration is revealing,
unhappy in its own way, the subsequent terrain of guilt,
frustration, anger, despair and fear, look where you stand:
a fine job of exploring that bronze landscape.

Sunset Grand Canyon (Arizona)

Sunset Grand Canyon (Arizona) (Photo credit: gabri_micha)

CAS, April 26, 2014

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QUILLFYRE’S #OULIPOST 25 LARDING AKA LINE STRETCHING

Ouliposter-Badge-Plum-300x300Aka “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.

 

This constraint was more of a challenge than it seemed at first, since the number of blank spaces to be filled can grow quickly, and each addition changes the narrative, requiring a reassessment of which space should be filled next. I had already decided on a last line, so rather than having two consecutive lines for my starting text, I chose from two quite different subjects.

 

I would have found it less challenging if I had not spotted so many lines I wanted to use in the source text. So, my process was too long to show here.  And once again, I have a fairly long poem.

 

 

 

NEGOTIATING THE MEDICAL MAZE OF CODE, INTRIGUE AND RELICS

 

A hospital is the breeding ground for slang doctors use
to describe patients, situations, how many patients “boxed” that night,
medicine’s dark enduring secrets, the slang and coded words.

Dark, unexpected forces delve into the root causes of the turmoil:
the ability to distinguish between a person walking past and one who
wants to stop and chat, negotiate obstacles interpret postures,
a noise complaint from the neighbours, an erotic subtext whose film record
is a charmingly clunky precursor to the found-footage craze,
a soundscape of static and feedback, sudden bangs by champagne corks
popping or a bed collapsing under sexual activity rating 2½ stars out of 5.
Frequent flyers and cockroaches patients return to the ER
again and again investigating the clinical madness of the occult.

 

The kid-size robot acknowledges a raised hand, tracks three
conversations at once, sophisticated reactions, robotic legs,
five to 20 seconds to take each step, climbing, then buckling
falling over, kicking a leg to counterbalance like a primary school kid
helping his father pick up a newspaper in the morning.

 

A snitch for Israeli intelligence close to the inner circle of terrorism
found in the grass near Rome’s main airport, a famous terrorist — or freedom fighter
trapped in a house by the local community of rock-throwers. It’s a dangerous game.

 

There are several jolts: The so-called “sacred chin” of St. Anthony,
the saint’s jawbone and several teeth, St. Gennaro’s dried blood,
eight microphones, 14 power sensors and two stereo cameras that can
sweep 120 degrees, the fragment of bone, blood-stained cloth. The martyr’s blood
liquefies, all assembled into a kind of Frankenstein’s monster that never comes to life.

 

It evokes the hopeless complications from the other side of the security fence,
a more subtle kind of treachery. Obese patients are “whales” or “beemers,”
a play on body mass index. Old people, known as FTDs, failure to die, become
a symbol of impenetrable tragedy.

 

Cracking the code of hospital slang isn’t pretty. Some friggin’ Exorcist s—t
combined with a mad scientist theme. Add some flickering lights, flashbacks,
and a last-minute drive to the library miles from any notions of narrative coherence.
The Canadian Medical Association’s code of ethics: Doctors practice medicine
“in a manner that treats the patient with dignity and as a person worthy of respect”.
A tangle of loyalties as complex as the Middle East, reminiscent of Chinatown.
The enmities run deep.
Everyone is guilty of something.

 

CAS, April 25, 2014

 

SOURCES:

Kirkey, Sharon, Are you a whale, “FTD” or a “cockroach”? Ottawa Citizen print edition , Postmedia News April 25, 2014 (A4)

Hagiwara, Yuki and Jie Ma, Asimo aids quest for robotic cars, Ottawa Citizen print edition, April 25, 2014

D’Emilio, Frances, Relics through the ages 6 things, Ottawa Citizen print edition April 25, 2014 (A12)
Stone, Jay, a few jolts, but no shocks, Ottawa Citizen, print edition, April 25, 2014 (E4)

Stone, Jay, An informant’s story told in hints and feints, Ottawa Citizen print edition April 25, 2014 (E2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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QUILLFYRE’S #OULIPOST 24, HOMOSYNTAXISM

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.

To see what my fellow Oulipians are up to with this constraint, visit today’s blog post at the Oulipo Project post on the Found Poetry Reivew: www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-24-homosyntaxism/

I thought I was going to do Option 1, but I ended up doing a variation on Option 2. While I did not use an entire paragraph, I did use excerpts from two articles to create my homonsyntaxisms.

Here is the base text for the two selections, showing the parsing of the sentences in red and the lines using the same syntax in blue:

Article 1. Liberals are getting a bad name — another bad name, that is.
Noun verb article adjective noun adjective adjective noun, idiom
Cats have nine lives, mysterious secret animals, they say

They were called traitors during the Bush years.
pronoun verb noun preposition article noun noun
Most hunt members of the rodent species

Flip-floppers during the Kerry nano-seconds.
noun preposition article noun noun
Opportunists behind a cat mask

But now, during the No One Can Tell Me What to Do Because No One’s Really in Charge Era, they’re called something that they’ve historically called conservatives: intolerant.
conjunction adverb, preposition article noun phrase noun pronoun verb noun, conjunction pronoun adverb verb noun adjective
and instantly from a Zen Cat Statue pose they capture mousey when they’re exactly primed: felines, patient

…the claim is more accurately phrased like this: liberals preach tolerance towards different kinds of people, and they’re intolerant of other peoples’ intolerant beliefs.
article noun verb adverb adverb verb preposition pronoun: noun verb noun preposition adjective noun preposition noun conjunction pronoun verb adjective preposition adjective possessive noun adjective noun.
A cat will always elegantly climb on someone: Cats love comfort in cosy surroundings upon laps, but themselves are solitude-loving for their own comfortable sleep. 

 

Perec-300x300

Article 2.  Deer still balk at crossing the border with Germany even though the physical barrier came down a quarter century ago.
Noun adverb verb preposition verb article noun preposition noun (subordinating conjunction phrase) article adjective noun verb adverb article adjective noun adverb
Trees never bend to hear a river beside them, as if an ancient wisdom  taught the first saplings instinctively

The average life expectancy for deer is 15 years and none living now would have encountered the barrier.
article adjective noun phrase preposition noun verb number noun conjunction pronoun adverb adverb verb-aux verb verb article noun.
a silent water music in soil, rooted 2000 centuries before they finally majestically begin to sing a lullaby

Fawns follow mothers for the first year of their life and learn from them where to go.
noun verb noun preposition article adjective noun preposition possessive noun conjunction verb preposition pronoun adverb verb
Voices raise melody for a swift current across its banks while singing it gently to sleep.

 

English: Willows by the River Tone Willows and...

English: Willows by the River Tone Willows and their roots create a more constricted and rapid section of the river a few metres downstream from the scene in 803479. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

From the resulting lines, I developed two of what are certainly draft-stage poems:

Behind a Cat Mask

Cats have nine lives, mysterious secret animals, they say.
Most hunt members of the rodent species,
opportunists behind a cat mask and instantly
from a Zen Cat Statue pose they capture mousey
when they’re exactly primed: felines, sphinx-like,
a cat will always elegantly climb on someone:
Cats choose comfort in cosy surroundings upon laps,
but themselves are solitude-loving
for their own comfortable sleep.

English: Siamese cat, head in profile Español:...

English: Siamese cat, in profile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Willow Songs for Water

Trees never bend to hear a river beside them, as if
an ancient wisdom taught the first saplings instinctively
a silent water music in soil, rooted 2000 centuries
before they simply softly begin to sing a lullaby
Voices raise melody for a swift current
across its banks, while singing it gently to sleep.

River Willow

River Willow (Photo credit: FreeWine)

CAS, April 24, 2014

SOURCES:

1. Gormley, Shannon, Liberal intolerance means being intolerant of intolerance, Ottawa Citizen print edition, April 24, 2014 (A13)

2. Janicek, Karel, Deer still respect old Iron Curtain, Associated Press, Ottawa Citizen print edition, April 24, 2014 (A10)

 

 

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QUILLFYRE’S #OULIPOST 22 ANTONYMY

Ouliposter-Badge-Blue-300x300In 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.

To view a variety of Antonymy poems today, visit the Oulipost Blog here:

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-22-antonymy/

So, at first read, how hard can this be? As it turns out, it’s a bit tricky. Remembering to change negatives to positives and past to present, and vice versa, as well as simply doing the antonyms for nouns made it easy to miss some. However, it  was one of the challenges I really liked, and I ended up doing both of the two pieces I chose as alternatives. I hadn’t been sure which would work, had intended to combine them, then found enough for two poems.

(I can’t decide which I prefer, so I present them in the order I wrote them.)

A Silence Out of Mid-Summer

 

At an end was not a silence
the loss, a denial.
One doesn’t repulse.
You last hated far from
anywhere, before 2014.
You are not forty and fifty.
Death isn’t inside-out water sieves
or sand dunes.

 

Sand dunes in Morocco

Sand dunes in Morocco (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I never sit under a water sieve
nor step out of a dune.
Everything, and sorrow
unfairly complicated or unfairly sad
outside a meadow unfenced in scrub.

 

Losses don’t halt neglect.
You never see in front of you
but you never think you are sad.
You always think you are an outsider.
You aren’t a woman without the high silence,
indifferent not to be the opera diva,
not to speak classical arias before classical
is popular. You are that bad,
and give up the dabbler apathy.

 

Nobody that detested an ignorance
about assembly-line painting, the curse
which ended in a silence out of mid-summer.
43 above in here, South of 44, dead outside the attic
miserable outside a stranger’s skeleton.

It is aimless now or it was aimless then.

CAS April 22, 2014

 

Buy the Pigeon, Sell Carnivores

 

Plug in a softener after you return from work.
Uncreative unplanned waste, absolute underground cool
has fallen 980 amperes Fahrenheit. Deserts were alkaline
or equatorial water shoes were frozen. Red waste was
less conservative, moderate red questions to the inside towns
plausible, and walking the dog, out-of-control disconnect.

 

Waste gorging. Buy the pigeon, sell carnivores,
fertilize clay or poop out isolated vegetables,
dying under usual seascapes, water less simply avoided
as clumsy claws. Pigeons aren’t noisier and dearer,
nor more dangerous to mineral fertilizers, but gather loss
pesticides as well as diamond inhalations. Individuals
won’t unionize, but leisure participations were maxed out.

 

Plastic tree-wasting dilemma. Extract 4 reams of A10 envelopes
out of the aptly unlabeled Black Pigeon stickpile, but 3 hours before
the plastic dilemma rolls in. Out of this 3 hours the stickpile
assembles, forms, thickens, wets, but spews next century’s surplus
out of plastic. Ten stickpiles waste 6 oak twigs daily, forget about
adding machines never occupying a square foot.

 

Twig death. The giant asteroid is solidifying. Alien births exclude
some dirt, scratched glass, papier mache or epinephrine, none
buried at a temporary launching pad above naturally-fed desert.

 

A disassociation does not make life all the less joyful.
Dust of a life cannot kill the crocus.
We cannot remain the seed.

 

CAS APRIL 22, 2014

Rock Doves on the Empire State Building

Rock Doves on the Empire State Building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sources:

Robb, Peter, The Voice, Ottawa Citizen print edition, April 22, 2014 (C1, C8)

Kielberger, Craig & Marc, If you were a tree, what would you be? Ottawa Citizen, print edition, April 22, 2014 (C1, C8)

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