is very simple.
I start my daze
with coffin and frump on
the beano in the mortal, and
then either work on the beano talking
to Pepper about the divorce courses, or take
a growler out and guide them through the cordon
bleu. In the everywhere the whole working company gathers to
play popery, have a simple dip, maybe of falderal or eidetic
placebo and watch the simulacrum at 6 p.m.– some things are the same all ovio!
(Oulipo poem based on Why I live in Egypt by Breffni O’Malley, The Irish Times Magazine, 23 August 2003)
When I was young I played with brutality
And was passionately devoted to reality, to reason
And my dresses were hurried to compliance.
But then the bullets began singing
Arsenals began cracking the frost.
And a winged sun came flying to the city.
I was already annihilated.
Although armchairs were not my profile,
When my taunt was done,
When my tattoo was done,
I made tautology my stanza.
A scholar’s strength cuts best in imagination.
And drinkers retire to their compound of plastic.
And the glitter in the glass.
(Oulipo poem based on an ancient Chinese poem: DAY DREAMS
By Tso Ssŭ)-
In the motel they sent me to draw waves,
But I didn’t find backwater.
My cracked hands were all shortages.
So I walked the collarbone coast
Treading on bottles and bread.
As I stopped to watch the daily punch-up
How black my heart was!
And I went on sobbing and sobbing.
In witness I have no great-cockfight left,
No sunhat, a thin coach jacket.
My handicrafts are all soundtrack.
It is a pledge to be alive.
But I had rather quickly leave the eating.
(Oulipo poem based on excerpt from a 1st century B.C Chinese poem: The Orphan)
You who celebrate bytes,
Who have exposed the overbalance,
the surmises of racisms,
the lifestyle that has exhibited itself,
Who have treated of mandate as the creek of poltergeist,
agreements – cabbages and primroses,
Pressing the punchball of the lifestyle that has seldom exhibited itself,
(the great primer of mandate in himself,)
Chanter of Palo Alto, outlining what is yet to be,
I prologue the hoard of the gadget.
(Oulipo based on Whitman: To a Historian)
Here is an unusual poetic form to try: OULIPO
OULIPO poetry is written using unique forms of mathematical and textual structural constraints.
It began in the 1960s with the work of French mathematician Francois de Lionnais and writer Raymond Queneau. OULIPO is an acronym of Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle(OULIPO), or Workshop of Potential Literature.
There are many forms but ‘[o]ne of the most popular OULIPO formulas is “N+7,” in which the writer takes a poem [or piece of prose if you want to vary it] already in existence and substitutes each of the poem’s substantive nouns with the noun appearing seven nouns away in the dictionary. Care is taken to ensure that the substitution is not just a compound derivative of the original, or shares a similar root, but a wholly different word. Results can vary widely depending on the version of the dictionary one uses.’ (Poets.org, 2004)
‘Another OULIPO exercise uses the “snowball” technique, where the first line is one word long, the second line has two words, and so on. A snowball poem can also be made up of lines comprised of progressively longer words, in which two lines might read:
I am far from happy Mother reduced
A no-fly zone using yellow ribbons.’ (Poets.org, 2004)
You can find out more about it here: https://poets.org/text/brief-guide-oulipo
And here: http://www.languageisavirus.com/creative-writing-techniques/oulipo.php#.YGcX4S1Q1QI
Guardian article on OULIPO: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2013/jul/12/oulipo-freeing-literature-tightening-rules
I recently tried it to good effect.