Wednesday, April 30, 2014

drabdaymomay... on the way!

From the Curator of DrabDayMoMay...

"Dear Drabblers,

You've heard the old saying "April showers bring May flowers"? Well, today I'm introducing you to a new saying. "April showers bring DrabDayMoMay". It's sure to catch on in the general vernacular.

Because here we are. April less than two hours away from her demise. May just around the corner, ready and waiting for us to arrive.

You know the rules. A drabble is a piece of writing exactly 100 words in length. My challenge to you is to write one every single day in May. They can all be a cohesive story. They can be wildly different from each other. Or some sort of in-between state. It's all good.

On Thursdays, I'll post the title for Super Saturday. Saturdays, you post the drabble that goes with that title. You don't have to do it but it's always intriguing to see the different stories that come from the same title.

If you are drabbling on your own blog, that's fine. If you'd like to post your drabbles on this blog, let me know and I can give you access. When posting here, remember to tag your name so that it's easy to read the drabbles by author. And feel free to add other tags as well.

The point is to write. 100 words. 31 days.

Let's do this.

Best of luck,
The Curator

Oulipost Round-Up

April is over.  Get ready for lots of drabbles!  (Nicole provided word prompts this year, so there may be fewer cat poems than the last two or thee drabble months.)

but before i let April go... someone on facebook had a splendid idea that i chose three of the ouliposts that i like the best for myself.

here they are...

There are the Memories: Oulipost #21

There are the Cranberries: Oulipost #14

There are the Definitions: Oulipost #3

and to wrap it all up officially...

a sleeping cat...

on a pile of newspapers...

Oulipost #30: Patchwork Quilt

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


a mansion is frozen in lime juice
on the beach, in the deep water,

especially on the coastline
where, the next day (despite emotional drama),

herring urged the hobo to drive the ocean,
damn the heroin, and school the whale

like a car (they go by) to join with similar fruit.
real pie.  Punch the injury of the funded hard whale

the two men who could fit between these
caught the duet and released it

to a tragedy of scallops, lobster and oysters
employed by organisms for specified

front of faces at fenway park
where any several soft-rayed food fishes

in front of the famous family of fishermen
from all kingdoms of life can be found and remain.

Oulipost #29: Canada Dry

Prompt: 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.” (A musical example is Andrew Bird’s “Fake Palindromes.”)  Be creative, and write a poem sourced from your newspaper that sounds like it’s been Oulipo-ed, but hasn’t.

Source: Cape Cod Times, Wednesday, April 30, 2014

family rapidly of rising than
 prices dozen are cod putting will
no squeeze branches of limes
on a Tuesday.

when animal league boston
Mexican truck low-cost
and surgeries who aren't
the lime juice spike
and shore dog inching towards
a cat who came home
procedures, told local clinics.

visit the combination waggin'
Tuesday has taken big parked
in the tire lot no restaurants
unplanned margarita
which be average burden
owners animal league say.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Oulipost #28: Melting Snowball

Prompt: 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. Challenge yourself further by only using words in order as you encounter them in the text.


I would like to dedicate this poem to Autumn, the pretty kitty pictured above.  I hope she finds a forever-home soon!

For Autumn

characteristic tortoiseshell
(appointments) contentedly expressive
attention (previous equally loving years)

 more fur do a.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Oulipost #27: Irrational Sonnet

Prompt:  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. As with the preceding sonnet assignment (see April 14) you may interpret “sonnet” as formally or as loosely as you wish.

Source: Cape Cod Times, Saturday, April 26th, 2014, the Real Estate Section

set nicely on the edge
and just walk through
some of the best...

peace and tranquility.

(gain) access to the
knowledge of the
keepsake of the canal
over two weekends.

 - it's time.

we're with you
every step of the way;
on the beach,
in the city,
deep water boating.

Oulipost Interlude

Jack is helping me catch up on my Oulipost poetry. 

Oulipost #25: Larding (line stretching)

Prompt: 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. The supplementary sentences must either enrich the existing narrative or create a new narrative continuity.

Source: Cape Cod Times, Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Days after finishing
the Boston Marathon
in her mother's memory,
an Osterville woman
discovered that she was not
the only one who crossed
the finish line wearing
her bib number. 

Males of most species of birds migrate north earlier than females.

The nonprofit group
started renovations
at its Dennis farm
this week
and hopes to open
a new retail store
there late this summer.

Police are investigating
after a 40-year-old woman
was found dead
in a homeless camp
on Yarmouth Road
on Friday night.

Birds are on the move everywhere this season.

A group of local
anti-casino advocates
is backing Boston
Mayor Martin J Walsh
as he calls into question
the state's process
for licensing a casino
in its eastern region.
Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 on Friday night.

The farm stand
in Dennis
sells herbs
and produce grown
at the Dennis
and Marstons Mills farms.

The big bad Bruins have made lots of goalies feel sick this year.

Half of all jobs
 in science,
and math require
some form of computing
according to US
Bureau of Labor
statistics from 2010.

The situation is becoming untenable, Scudder said.

Manning says
she was unsure how
her bib number
was stolen, but
she did say that
she posted a picture
of it on facebook
on the Saturday
before the race.

Chance favors the informed observer, especially along the coastline.

Oulipost #24: Homosyntaxism

Prompt: 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.

Source: tonight, i decided to take my news from the past.  from one hundred years in the past, in fact.  the picture was printed in late April of 1914 about the Cape Cod Canal. 

the image comes from

the sentence i think i'll play with tonight is... "This does not mean that the canal is open for shipping."  And i'll be using option 1.

i don't usually divulge much of the processes, but i find it really fascinating (enough to point out) how drastically different the vernacular and syntax of journalism between then and now.  one hundred years is a mighty long time. 

This does not mean that the canal is open for shipping.
Pronoun / negative auxiliary verb phrase / verb / conjunction / article / noun / auxiliary verb / verb / preposition / verb.

He shouldn't leave but a man does want to love.
She couldn't love fore the days would hurt.
They don't live because a wound needs to heal.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Oulipost #23: Inventory (with Shakespeare, yo)

Prompt: Inventory is a method of analysis and classification that consists of isolating and listing the vocabulary of a pre-existing work according to parts of speech. Choose a newspaper article or passage from a newspaper article and “inventory” the nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, articles, etc. Bonus points for creative presentation of your final lists.

Mr David Tennant as Hammy.  Stolen from NewScientist,com

Sources:  (more specifically:  and i only used the first few paragraphs until i got enough to play with...)

Bernardo - Guards

middle night ghost king
it one they all

castle guards prince friend
is comes tells

arrival light heavens output
bright full astronomical medieval new

allusions narrative devices
traditionally heavenly often

bodies musings turn
of when of to as by

the Bernardo, the Guards

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oulipost #22: ANTONYMY

Prompt: In 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.


The garage was fully engulfed
in flames within five minutes
of the first loud bangs
The garage was burned
to the ground leaving only
a few charred beams still


a mansion is minimally dug out
out of water

without a thousand years
of a last silent slow motion

a mansion is frozen
to a sky coming together

the lot extinguished frowns
agitated and lying down.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Oulipost #21: Confabulation

Prompt: Craft a conversation poem using “he said/she said” quotes that you find in newspaper articles.


"there are," she said "the memories".
"we're on the second floor," he said.

"these treatment options," she said
"the next day, that night, i was ready to go again."

he replied, "yes, despite the emotional drama."
and she, "because of my experience."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oulipost #20: Lescurean Permutation [plain]

Prompt: Select a newspaper article or passage from a newspaper article as your source text. Switch the first noun with the second noun, the third noun with the fourth noun, and so on until you’ve reached the end of your text.


the public clubs
are looking to launch libraries

this collection (to get their summer started,
they are asking for your unwanted and unused month)

through the remainder of April
and during the library of May

the children's room will be
available in the donation bin

Oulipost # 19: SESTINA

Prompt: This will be one of your most challenging Oulipost prompts! A sestina is a poetic form of six six-line stanzas. The end-words of the lines of each stanza repeat those of the first, but in a differing order that in each successive stanza follows the permutation: 615243. The entire sequence of end words is thus: 123456; 615243; 364125; 532614; 451362; 246531. All words and phrases must be sourced from your newspaper text.


Massachusetts is the keynote whale
for annual budget debate set to charges
representatives will spend time next to an officer
the second time in route
the center said the whale is like bombers
which is the next stop for heroin

researchers have identified heroin
charged with possession of a whale
past and present top federal bombers
confident about pulling off charges
1,000 miles outside of its normal route
to separate themselves from their officer

police did not elaborate on the officer
and being present where heroin is heroin
three were transported along a route
the driver of a car was a whale
The center said the animal was not on charges
to police release bombers

chief justice of the high bombers
was killed a year ago by the suspected officer
even sightings in the colder waters off charges
discovered the 21-year-old heroin
and urged cooperation from the whale
speculation about making another route

bowheads typically inhabit the route
identified during an aerial survey of bombers
first responders killed in the whale
as it fed alongside officer
they discovered heroin and arrested the heroin
all eyes are on the charges

some of the developing charges
over for a crosswalk route
ramps down activity for heroin
according to bombers
the animal has been seen by an officer
now three Falmouth people face the whale


Prompt: Choose a sentence or short passage from your newspaper to complete a homoconsonantism. In this form, the sequence of consonants in a source text is kept, while all its vowels are replaced. For example:
ORIGINAL: To be or not to be: that is the question.
CONSONANTS ONLY: T b r n t t b t t s t h q s t n
FINAL PRODUCT: As burnt tibia: it heats the aqueous tone.


Original Sentence: "A relative of the right whale, bowheads have thicker blubber best suited for the arctic waters they typically inhabit."

Consonants only: r l t v f t h r g h t w h l b w h d s h v t h c k r b l b b r b s t s t d f r t h r c t c w t r s t h t p c l l n h b t.

Final product:

real tv fat
hear go hit,

while be we hide
- shove to huck -
re-blob by re-blast.

stay defer,
their cat caw trust.

he top call
no hobo too.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Oulipost #17: HAIKUISATION

prompt: The haiku is a Japanese poetic form whose most obvious feature is the division of its 17 syllables into lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. Haikuisation has sometimes been used by Oulipians to indicate the reduction of verses of normal length to lines of haiku-like brevity. Select three sentences from a single newspaper article and “haiku” them.


herring. they go by.
jumping, pooling, and schooling.
damming of rivers,

by many names, but
habitat degradation,
anadromous fish.

And what eats herring?
Everything reported,
fighting hopeless odds.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oulipost #16: CHIMERA

prompt: The chimera of Homeric legend – lion’s head, goat’s body, treacherous serpent’s tail – has a less forbidding Oulipian counterpart. It is engendered as follows. Having chosen a newspaper article or other text for treatment, remove its nouns, verbs and adjectives. Replace the nouns with those taken in order from a different work, the verbs with those from a second work, the adjectives with those from a third.


)silly spacetime banned by worried kang(
kang byung-kyu (a terrifying light) said two
of the ripples  have become silly spacetime 
(and a giant discovery) he took a third star
banned (also tended to be that of a possibility)
researchers wear a fourth (evidence) but cover
no powerful waves about it (kang worries)
164 things were shamed of whom 55 were
embarrassed (20 per cent) (said 292) dics were

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Oulipost #15: Prisoner's Constraint

Prompt: Imagine a prisoner whose supply of paper is restricted. To put it to fullest use, he will maximize his space by avoiding any letter extending above or below the line (b, d,f,g,h,j,k,l,p,q,t and y) and use only a,c,e,m,n,o,r,s,u,v,w,x and z. Compose a poem using only words that can be made from these letters AND which you source from your newspaper text.


some one sure,
mean sure,
now some as near one
as ocean as can move
more over common,
over sure.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Oulipost #14: COLUMN INCHES

prompt: Refer to the advertising section or the classifieds in your source newspaper. Create a poem by replacing all of the nouns in your chosen ad segment or classified listing with nouns from one article in the same newspaper. You may use multiple ads/classifieds, presented in the order of your choosing.

Source: The Cape Cod Times, Sunday edition (because I didn't buy a paper today, oh no!), April 13th 2014 Section E

The Cranberries

Looking for a full time, year
round  sales distillery (super market).
Must be self motivated, fruit
service oriented, and have a strong
moonshine in summer sales.  If you
possess these cranberries and want to
join a rum with similar fruit please
forward your deal to set up a

Oulipost #13: EPITHALAMIUM

Prompt: An Oulipian epithalamium, or marriage song, is one composed exclusively with the letters of the names of bride and groom (bride and bride, groom and groom, etc). Visit the engagement or wedding announcements section of your newspaper and select a couple. Write a poem using only words that can be made with the letters in their name. You may choose to use first names only if you prefer anonymity or full names if you’re desperate for more letters.

source: names are Victoria Whipple & Andrei Ciobanu from Cape Cod Times Online/Legacy

an auto victory road car lead the race
ended period career - he had to win with white led title

union won without center capped
title three tied enter earned care

nine winner other where without
point at center race car

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Oulipost #12: SONNET

Prompt: Write a sonnet sourced from lines found in newspaper articles. You may choose your own sonnet type ( Examples here) and should feel free to be creative with the rules. One known Oulipo variation is “sonnets of variable length,” in which one must compose a sonnet in which the lines are either as short as possible or as long as possible.


The Whaling Incident on the Line

The incident is under investigation, I’m grateful and thankful to have found.
While businesses wait to see what becomes, the rough and tumble world of conventions,
State and federal law dictates that boaters debate about certain local aid levels or welfare.
But from a different vantage point to the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal,

one of those areas that could be, my good friend and colleagues,
Vulnerable and Dangerous for someone with who she shared a bed!
An understanding that spending Right Whales could once again be seen,
they debated and passed a local aid, holding the line on candy and soda.

Meanwhile a research vessel collided with a feeding whale, that might stir an uprising among the populace.
The injury to the whale was hard; much of the tragedy lies in her promise.
Two men killed were doing the line work, far more than could fit between these covers.
Her mourning process is full of anxiety. Location provides native stone, sand and gravel.

Something to do with the fact that they kept true to his word by keeping out,
When asked about the predictable rejection, he said "be on the lookout for feasting whales."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Oulipost #10: Snowball

Prompt: This procedure requires the first word of a text to have only one letter, the second two, the third three, and so on as far as resourcefulness and inspiration allow. The first word of a snowball is normally a vowel: in English, a I or O.

From your newspaper, select a starting vowel and then continue adding words of increasing length from the same source article or passage. Challenge yourself further by only using words in order as you encounter them in the text.

Source: Bragg, Mary Ann. "Ill will over shellfisherman license." Cape Cod Times. Wellfleet. Thursday, April 10, 2014 Published: Page A10.

a in has vote
night marina allowed
revoking shellfish commercial
considering continuation investigation

Oulipost #11: Univocalism

Prompt: A univocalic text is one written with a single vowel. It is consequently a lipogram in all the other vowels. If he had been univocally minded, Hamlet might have exclaimed, “Be? Never be? Perplexed quest: seek the secret!” All words used must be sourced from your newspaper.

And this is how I chose which vowel to use...

Source: Front page of the Mashpee Enterprise, Volume 15, Number 30, April, 11th, 2014

punch fund Pub!!

- shut up -  
- run up  -

but run full up by us

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Oulipost #9: HEADLINES (variation of Jean Queval’s “Cent Ons")

Prompt: Compose a poem whose body is sourced from article headlines in your newspaper.


Man arrested after ...

Cannibal tadpoles
eat the fourth state of matter,

London mayor Boris fights robot cars
for federal Monomoy ice skating, and

Hilltop's Championship fiberglass cows
find home in Sandwich town meeting.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Select a name from one of your newspaper articles, famous or not. Compose a poem using only words that can be made from the letters in that person’s name. For example, if you selected “John Travolta,” you may only use words that can be made from the letters A, J, H, L, N, O, R, T and V.
The use of web-based tools is highly encouraged to help uncover different words that can be made from your letters of choice. One tool you might consider is the Scrabble Word Finder.


read: deval patrick,

earl diva, dial a vicar;
eat red pita;

replicate tea
at la cardia palace atria

via vertical detail.
caviar cartel die epical.

crepe carp diver,
par pear ape vita rite.

real pie.  real deal.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Oulipost #7: N+7 (released it into a nearby poodle)

Prompt: You’ll want a dictionary for this one! Select a passage from one of your newspaper articles. Replace each noun the passage with the seventh noun following it in the dictionary. A hard-copy dictionary will make the exercise more varied and fun; however, you can also use the online N+7 generator to create your text.


Massachusetts homily inventor turns out to be a duet

Politico in Massachusetts responding to reprieves
of an inventor in a woodcutter's homily
quickly quacked the casino.

A Nosey-parker
Reaper woodcutter called politico
Saturday from her upstairs beefburger
to reprieve that she heard loud banging
nonsenses downstairs and feared someone
had broken into her homily.

Ohms who responded
found no signpost
of a breakwater-in.

But during a quick seat
 of the homily, politico found
a soot-covered woodwind duet.

Politico say it appears
the duet got in through the chiropodist.

An ohm caught the duet
and released it into a nearby poodle

random... thoughts...

occasionally, i feel the need to reflect in order to feel better.  better... than... whatever i am right now.  not sad.  maybe, more, lonely.


i am in the office all by myself for the next two weeks.  there's a lot to get done, and i really shouldn't be on my laptop, but i feel like i need to reach out a little.

i have npr on in the background, purple tulips hanging out of an oversized vase on my desk, hot tea, and more work to do than i think i will be able to get done on time.  nevertheless, i have to try, and i will. 

everything is good.  it is quiet.  and although i can be quite productive when i'm on my own, it is a little lonely. 


Sunday, April 06, 2014


Prompt: Compose a poem using unintentional lines of iambic pentameter found in your newspaper.

tacos, ceviche and locally grown
seafood served at the university

bringing more local seafood to
part of a six-week pilot program

about local fishers and undiscovered

scallops, lobster, and oysters
open to the public for a change


Saturday, April 05, 2014

Oulipost #5: Tautogram

Prompt: Compose a poem whose words — or at least the principal ones — all begin with the same letter. The words must be sourced from your newspaper.

F-words from the Front page of the Cape Cod Times, April Fifth, 2014

five, four, fenway park
we found a few in front of the faces,
in front of the famous family fisherman,
following PHillip,
the father's first afterthought,
found under flexible floors
from faces of surfcasters
and 10-Foot fishermen,
from fisherman's families,
from Friday to the future
to a five to 0 vote on fishing,
funding fundraising fund,
first in front of,
then found in a file

Friday, April 04, 2014

Oulipost #4: Fibonacci (variation)

In a Fibonacci sequence, each term is the sum of the two terms immediately preceding it; typically with 1 as the first term: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5,8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and so on.
Select an article from your newspaper and create a poem using the words that correspond with the numbers in the sequence. Your poem will take the form of first word, first word, second word, third word, fifth word, eighth word, thirteenth word, etc. You can continue until you’ve run out of words in your article or until you’re happy with the poem’s conclusion.

(kiss kiss
those cool nights)

games and...

... to more

... a technologies...


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Oulipost #3: Definitional Lit

Prompt: Select a single sentence from a newspaper article. Replace each meaningful word in the text [verb, noun, adjective, adverb] by its dictionary definition. Repeat this treatment on the resulting sentence, and so on, until you’ve had enough! Note that after only two such treatments with a relatively compact dictionary, even a two-word sentence can produce an accumulation of 57 words.

My beginning sentence: "All donated blood remains on Cape Cod for use at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital." from:
Definitions from:

the whole quantity of
a gift (a contribution of something)
that circulates in the principle
vascular system of human beings (
consisting of plasma in which red and white
cells and platelets) (a suspended fluid)
is to continue in the same state.

it continues to be specified so as to remain
(or be suspended from)
a piece of land jutting out into the sea (
where any of several soft-rayed food fishes
(of the family Gadidae) can be found in the cool,
North Atlantic waters).

the whole quantity of a gift (
intended to belong
or be used in connection
with some purpose) (as in put to service)
continues to be specified so as to remain
at an institution in which sick or injured persons
are given medical or surgical treatment.

BONUS PIC:  this is what i looked like this morning while composing this piece.  give me a little leeway.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Oulipost #2: Lipogram (CAPE COD TODAY)


A lipogram is a text that excludes one or more letters of the alphabet. The ingenuity demanded by the restriction varies in proportion to the frequency of the letter or letters excluded. For this initial exercise, you will compose a poem using only words that can be formed from letters that are NOT found in the title of your newspaper. For example, if you are working with the Washington Post, you must avoid using words that contain the letters A, G, H, I, N, O, P, S, T and W.


fill is his will
3rd will him his

if his will in him
is high will

six will is will sign
will is will

his will
in him

Sources: all published on April 2nd:

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Oulipost #1: Cento Poem

Oulipost begins today!

Every day this April, nearly 80 poets will write one poem per day by applying constrained writing techniques sourced from the Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle — or “workshop of potential literature”) group to text sourced from their daily local newspaper. This is the first of thirty prompts in the Oulipost project.

Oulipost #1: Quote Cento

When composing a cento, poets take lines from existing poems (traditionally without any alterations) and patch them together to form a new poem. Today, create a cento using only quotes referenced in newspaper articles. For example, if a newspaper article contained the line “It was a tragedy,” commented Detective Smith, the line, “It was a tragedy,” would be available for you to use in your poem. While you can’t change anything within the quotes themselves, you may choose to break a longer quote in half or use just part of a quote as needed.
  • Purist? Challenge yourself to write your cento using only complete quotes (sentences) as they appear in your articles.
  • Add an additional constraint by challenging yourself to use only quotes sourced from a single article, single newspaper page or single newspaper section.
(snagged from the found poetry review blog)


California is shifting
with and through other companies

and the inventors
force the innovators
to more reuse
at what they are doing

we employ organisms
for irrigation
that are very professional

it's a good time

but i think
farmers use river water
from all kingdoms of life
no matter what happens

what we chose
that allows us to be creative
and less and less
at the point where
we are beginning
life forms

Source: Gold, Robert. "Shoring up the Global Ecology." Cape Cod Times. Woods Hole. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 Published: Page C1.