Prophet

BASTARD sped clergymen

Sums collected,

Express traveled,

Strangely fantasied,

Possessed of idle dreams,

Not knowing, but full of fear.

Prophet me streets,

Sing in rude rhymes

To hundreds treading:

Highness up your crown.

-Job

(Remix poem based on excerpt from Shakespeare’s King John: Act 4, Scene 2)

Knight of Pentacles

A rather dull Friday

Look forward

To more drudgery

Stop!

Change is possible

Step out of the rut

Choose different

Choose life

Take a risk

Even if it terrifies you.

Great advice

But I am no knight.

-Job

The cicada laughs

Wings like clouds

Mount the wind

Shoulder the blue sky

Beat a whirlwind

Setting off a six month gale

When the bird looks down

All he sees is blue too

Water piled up

Deep enough to

Bear up the big boat.

Looking up

The cicada laughs.

-Job

(Cut-up poem based on Chuang Tzu)

Butter

Every time I butter toast

I think of you

And that morning

In the college canteen

When you taught me

Your secret method

To soften the fridge-cold

Foil wrapped butter tabs

By leaving them under those

Cheap leaky-spout teapots

For a few seconds.

I melted too but

Never told you.

-Job

Writing Prompt: OULIPO Poem

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.

Good luck.

-Job