Oulipost #25: Larding

“There are no whales here to watch,” he said, scanning the empty sea.
Even though I had been around them, struck them and watched them die, now I was watching them ballet, caressing their young. (Imagine what your home would look like without any trees, shrubs, flowers or grass).
“Why did you take me on this terrible, terrible tour of my past?”
Better to linger over these locations for a moment or two as the guest continues a train of thought. Stop the celebrating, avoid the stragglers and return to the rebuilding already in progress. We no longer use pieces of mirror to signal where the whales were from hill to hill.
“Clearly, in the future, we’ll have to get a grip on this and carefully, carefully design the next phase,” he said.
For some patients it could be life-changing. But it won’t matter as much as what is already taking place. Memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. Someone to catch the glimpses of its beauty and lack thereof. In close-up. But stick two strangers in a car, and suddenly there’s an intimacy – sometimes comfortable, sometimes not – enforced within its glass-and-steel enclosure.
“Everybody likes the blame the storms, but there are storms every year. Watching them took my breath away. The rising water spilled into the basement of my small fieldstone office perched alongside the stream.”
It can do all that — as long as you believe such a fickle, abstract thing exists. The car never stops. Landmarks are pointed out, drive-by style. There are no question marks in my mind. Gardens that have been carefully tended for years are now at risk of being lost. And there are likely more on the way.
“You see any whales to watch?”

 

 

Sources:
Charles, Jacqueline. “Last of the whalters: St. Vincent is one of the few places in the world where whale harpooning is still allowed. Some cling to the contested tradition, but many would like to see it come to an end.” Chicago Tribune. 25 April 2014: 15.

Conway, Sean. “Planning helps solve garden water troubles”. Chicago Tribune. 25 April 2014: Chicago Homes, 5.

Greenstein, Teddy. “Yea or nay, union push spurs change for NCAA”. Chicago Tribune. 25 April 2014: Sports, 1.

Hine, Chris. “Heat of the momentum: Bickell’s big goal could have series rolling Hawks’ way”. Chicago Tribune. 25 April 2014: Sports, 7.

Karp, Gregory. “United’s earnings under the weather: Storms, Asia weakness cited for $609M 1st-quarter loss CEO calls ‘disappointing”. Chicago Tribune. 25 April 2014: Business, 1.

MacVean, Mary. “Early tests in on 2 drugs aimed at preventing migrains: 1st targeted agents must still undergo confirmatory trials”. Chicago Tribune. 25 April 2014: 12.

Metz, Nina. “‘My Chicago’ is a promising work in progress”. Chicago Tribune. 25 April 2014: Arts + Entertainment, 1.

Milbert, Neil. “Beating drum for his entries: Rivelli running pair in Land of Lincoln Stakes”. Chicago Tribune.25 April 2014: Sports, 9.

Sullivan, Paul. “Cubs can turn out lights, Wrigley’s party is over”. Chicago Tribune. 25 April 2014: Sports, 1.

The 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.

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-25-larding/

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