Ouliposter-Badge-Plum-300x300Today’s constraint is a variation of Jean Queval’s “Cent Ons”.

The instructions are quite simple: Compose a poem whose body is sourced from article headlines in your newspaper.

I used the print edition of this morning’s paper, putting together a list of headlines, moving from section to section, but as I went, already phrases were waving little flags “Pick me! Pick me!” so that by the time I was finished the list, I had highlighted more than enough to create my poem.

Even in my choice of subject, I was already outside the box, which was wonderful, although I never imagined ever writing a poem about this:


Zeroing in, a Zombie Sonnet

Tensions sweep eastern cities.
The politics of fear in Southern Ontario’s
undead playground, a bloody rivalry Cold War,
a delusion of safety zones.

Inuit seal hunt zombie MPs.
Exciting first-round matchups:
Trailer Park Boys duel Ford’s*
shifting tectonic plates.

Body parts grown by UK researchers
attract diplomats, tit-for-tat frantic farce
on a cold April day at the centre of the campaign
to end death. Humane Society’s ok with it.

Lest we forget,
it’s all about the tulips.

Carol A. Stephen,

April 9, 2014

*Ford’s refers of course to Toronto’s notorious Rob Ford.

English: Zombies

English: Zombies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Headlines used:

  • Lest We Forget Vimy Ridge
    Province’s shifting tectonic plates
    Death of separatism? It’s a delusion
    Arrest made in stabbing death
    Russia, Canada duel with diplomats
    Zeroing in on the zombie safety zones
    Southern Ontario undead playground, tongue-in-cheek study says
    Humane Society ok with Inuit seal hunt
    Tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions not common since Cold War ended
    Ben Johnson, Trailer Park Boy joins Ford’s re-election campaign
    Body parts grown by UK researchers at centre of campaign to attract investment
    Tensions sweep eastern cities
    Plenty of potentially exciting first-round matchups
    The politics of fear
    On a cold April day
    Traditional playoff pairing led to a bloody rivalry
    It’s all about the tulips
    Actors deliver a frantic farce

If you want to read more about Oulipo, click on this link to read Into the Maze: Oulipo at Poets. org, the Academy of American Poets website.

If you wish to read poems from other Ouliposters, you will find them here: http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-9-headlines-variation-of-jean-quevals-cent-ons/#comment-1787

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