All posts by Melanie

Aside from perhaps on a cosmic level, Melanie's very existence was unplanned. During her formative years, her brain waves were officially decreed "borderline abnormal". For consistency's sake, she has managed to maintain these themes throughout her life thus far. If she had the resources, she would buy her tiny childhood home in Detroit and put it on stilts near the ocean.

Oulipost #3: Definitional Lit

People in general sloped backward,
allowing to remain
(in the same condition)
a male —
to the exclusion of all others —
lodging in a house —
or building.

Human beings —
as distinguished from animals —
or other beings,
not specific
or definite,
inclined in the reverse (of the usual way),
permitting by neglect,
oversight (or the like)
to stay behind —
unchanged in character, condition.

The specific portion of space
normally occupied (by anything)
a restricting,
limiting (or modifying)
circumstance.

A staminate plant —
a keeping apart —
different in nature or kind.

The greatest possible being:  the remaining ones (of a number).

To be the property of
a temporary place to stay (one fourth of an hour),
a building for any purpose,
anything
built
or constructed.

Sympathetic substances or natures,
(conspicuous, marked),
an inhuman person,
being the remaining ones (of a number).

A living thing :
specified —
precise —
particular —
having fixed limits —
tending in a direction that makes an angle (with anything else)
flat or level,
situated at the vertex,
acting in a manner opposite or contrary (to that which is usual),
as an appliance or apparatus,
habitual
or customary.

Most convenient,
desirable or favorable:
a direction (or vicinity),
tolerating disregard,
watchful care.

(Ilk).

To hold out —
or endure —
in a stage already passed (unchanged in character).

Any spot in a surface
not altered or different in any way.

One such feature or trait —
social position
peculiar to somebody,
serving a system of objects
(with relations between the objects defined according to general custom) —
took possession,
no matter what.

Confining —
serving (to restrain) —
softening minor details,
having stamens
but no pistils.

A scheme
to swindle custody (aside):
various elements of the natural world.

Loving
large in number
that may (or can) be a living thing,
left after the destruction of all else
(noting some indefinite day in the future).

The sum of a collection of units
(to remain as before)
a piece of land,
effective for a time only,
a space set apart
for a particular purpose.

To endure —
next —
after the third
(the time indicated by a timepiece):
the act of constructing
houses.

The subject in hand:
Something —
no matter what —
Of sound or sturdy construction.

An image formed
from a number
of simpler
elements.

 

 

Source:  Kass, John. “Why the rush to subdue old man? Charge alleges cop beanbag rounds just weren’t needed.”  Chicago Tribune. 3 April 2014: 1.

The 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.
http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-3-definitional-lit/

My sentence:  “They retreated, leaving him alone in his room.”

Oulipost #2: Lipogram (Newspaper Titles)

1955-2014

59  DJs

DJ         ’70s        ’n’     ’80s  ’90s

2012,                           2008,                                    DJ

2008,            DJ                 DJ           DJ

1982,           35          DJs

DJ                1955

’70s         DJ

1977,            206 S.

1979,                                               my                                                                                       DJ,

’80s,                                  my                            my                         my                                        ’80s,                                                               DJ

my     my        my

2004,                            2000       DJs                                                                                         2009                            DJ

$10,000

my     my        my

my DJ

Source:
Kot, Greg. “FRANKIE KNUCKLES 1955-2014: His Chicago sound was heard around the world. Knuckles was ‘godfather’ of house music — and much more.”  Chicago Tribune. 2 April 2014:  1.  Print.

The prompt:
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.
http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-2-lipogram/

OULIPOST #1: QUOTE CENTO

Denial of the science is malpractice.

If you come into the office (and ask)
Was that actually true?
The answer is no.

I met with someone a month ago, and she read a list of questions. One was,
How do we keep women?

I slowly came to understand
how limited and clumsy an approximation was my model of her,
how many variables I had not accounted for
(whose existence I had not even guessed),
and how large and liberating a role chance played in all our affairs.

Even though she named me individually
I felt the clock ticking,
I was the only child, and I lived 1,500 miles away
It was not easy.
It is hard to separate the real ones that are emotional
versus the actual conversations that you might have.

The realization was staggering.
There are other people like me.
So many, in fact, that they have a name for us.

We’re all attracted and gravitate toward positive people,
upbeat people,
people with energy,
We want to feed off of that.

We have a bat, too, so we have a say in how it turns out

But I always watch one more tape after it’s happened to make sure.

 

Sources:
“The gap years: Women leave the workforce for a variety of reasons, including to raise their children or care for aging parents. But finding jobs after long absences can be difficult. Here are some women who have used re-entry programs to find employment.” Chicago Tribune digitalPLUS Magazine. 1 April 2014: 6. Print.

Cohen, Jodi S. and Stacy St. Clair. “Juror issues may trigger retrial:
Foreman of panel that sided against CSU in wrongful termination suit was also defendant in dispute filed by relative of trustee.” Chicago Tribune. 1 April 2014: 6. Print.

Dardick, Hal and Bill Ruthhart. “Mayor’s pension fix: Tax, cut property taxes would rise, benefits would shrink for some city employees, but $600M crisis still looms.” Chicago Tribune. 1 April 2014: 1. Print.

Miller, Greg, Adam Goldman and Ellen Nakashima. “Senate report casts doubts on CIA interrogation claims.” Chicago Tribune. 1 April 2014: 10. Print.

Preston, Jennifer. “Paving the way: New programs help women return to workforce after taking breaks to raise children, care for parents.” Chicago Tribune digitalPLUS Magazine. 1 April 2014: 3. Print.

Reuters. “Global warming threat escalated in U.N. report.” Chicago Tribune. 1 April 2014: 11. Print.

Rosin, Hanna. “Letting go of Asperger’s: Months after our son was diagnosed, the label officially disappeared. And that turned out to be a good thing.” Chicago Tribune digitalPLUS Magazine. 1 April 2014: 11. Print.

Sullivan, Paul. “Lame old story: Offense instantly reverts to form.” Chicago Tribune. 1 April 2014, sec. Sports: 1. Print.

Wiederer, Dan. “With Allen, it all checks out: Pass rusher believes in his new team as much as it believes in him.” Chicago Tribune. 1 April 2014, sec. Sports: 2. Print.

 

The prompt:
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.
http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-1-quote-cento/

Oulipost Warm-Up #2

WARM-UP #2: BLANK VERSE AMIDST THE PROSE

And now for something slightly more difficult…compose a poem using unintentional lines of iambic pentameter found in your newspaper (or practice source).

My source:  http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-14/news/ct-des-plaines-oasis-closing-met-20140315_1_des-plaines-oasis-tri-state-tollway-dagan

The results:

The sea of superhero-themed plush toys
So easily attainable with just
Correct maneuvering of a claw crane
the perfect place for him to experience
with greasy fair and weary truckers
“It might seem kind of cheesy but to me…”
And lying on a picnic table bench
The oasis of her memory is not the same

The Oulipost Interview with a First Time Pseudo-Oulipian

Question #1:  What excites you about Oulipost?

They say that writing with constraints causes creativity to flourish.

Question #2:  What, if anything, scares you about Oulipost?

I’m not very good at doing what I’m told.

Question #3:  Have you written experimental or found poetry before?  If so, tell us about it.

For a design project, I altered cheap paperback romance novels from thrift stores, carving out niches for found objects and mimicked Tom Phillips’ A Humument, creating erasure poems from the text.  Sadly no photographic evidence exists.

Question #4:  What newspaper will serve as your source text?

The Chicago Tribune, which I already apparently mysteriously have a subscription to.  Or maybe the free, hip, Red Eye?

Question #5:  Who’s your Spirit Oulipian?

David Levin Becker.  The newest member of Oulipo as I am new to Oulipo.  From Chicago, where I currently reside, sort of.  Has a bunch of photos of animals on his website, including tortoiseshell cats, and I have a tortoiseshell cat named Lily.  Has a category on his website of his writing titled “not fiction but not very informative either”.  Knows French.