OULIPOST #15: Tax Day

increase users, e-commerce consumers.
move income; rein in revenues.  
in come emissions—a sex issue.
announce: summer means save.
snow swerves worse (scenic reasons occur).
menu owner unrest.
since six, seven serene services,
severe scenic scenes.
remorse occurs. same course.
score cars, more care. same recession:
over-crisis. nine more new accuse unrest.
manure owner was near sex,
on came a voice. seize, even since we saw—


Sources: U-T San Diego 15 April 2014. Print.



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.


OULIPOST #14: WANTED: 35 Women with Texting Loss

Qualified Communicators Needed for Conversation Pleasantries Experience

The relationship potluck for this 
guessing game will end April 25, 2014.

During this Limited-Message anniversary,
husbands are looking for women like you,
who may be experiencing varying manners
of texting loss, including e-mail, to evaluate
a remarkable new method of digital
conversation inflections that could be
the touch to your celebration. 



AccuQuest Hearing Centers—advertisement. “WANTED: 35 People with Hearing Loss.” U-T San Diego 14 April 2014: A5. Print.

Phillips, Jeanne. “Dear Abby: Communication Online Lacks Personal Touch.” U-T San Diego 14 April 2014: C5. Print.


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.


OULIPOST #13: Epithalamium for Strangers

Allied lilacs. Local dahlia carol.
Kale-deliria. An aerial aria
for like. Hide or Heard?
Heard. Fire or hired?
Fire. Radial elf roar.
Held, hold: ideal. Oil-hair lair.
Railhead. Fairlead. Irked,
freak-afraid. Alike. Fair.
Flared for all. A hailed
idea. Roll. Ride. Care.

Source: “Engagement: Adelia Carrillo & Ali Fakhri.” U-T San Diego 13 April 2014: A30. Print.


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.



OULIPOST #12: A Short Song of Style & Home

Homeowners can be both stylish and shrewd.
Paint a landscape using a photo of birch.
HGTV videos on YouTube—
fingers simply reaching for a light switch.
Crayon artistry of a roaming toddler
(oil would have taken too long to dry),
can instantly make the room seem brighter.
Because you can make a bunch of dyes,
you’ll love the saturated deep colors—
an ideal expression of fun.
The offices of Sterling Cooper
Draper & Pryce—the original tongue.
Backsplash wraps the kitchen in luxury.
Cocktail Ottoman from Z Gallerie.


Machado, Tatiana. “Midcentury Kitchen Gets Update.” U-T San Diego 12 April 2014: E2. Print.

Cox, Lillian. “Savvy Style.” U-T San Diego 12 April 2014: E1, E4. Print.

McLaughlin, Chris. “Natural Dyes Create Unique Easter Eggs.” U-T San Diego 12 April 2014: E3. Print.

Flam, Lisa. “Tips for Keeping Walls and the Woodwork Clean.” U-T San Diego 12 April 2014: E4. Print.


Write a sonnet sourced from lines found in newspaper articles. You may choose your own sonnet type 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.

*I attempted a Shakespearean sonnet. Most of my lines are 10 syllables long (some are closer to iambic pentameter than others), and I am pleased with the ABABCDCDEFEFGG rhyme scheme. 


OULIPOST #11: A is for Try Again

Man asks, what rank?

Walmart tasks Barack.

Bad law. Splash. Small call.

Hard arm, last hawk—

cash bay bay, all cash,

all day. Harsh jay hangs back,

starts a fall; pat what? Draft

a what? Last park has wants.

Wants a hall. Wants land.

Stands glad, all straw. As a call,

dad’s glad. As a patch,

can’t hang, man. Rank

thank, half back. Star art,

fan’s slang. Draft a plan. Slang

an arm. All past. Bad day.

Grand plan. Bad Barack.


Source: Words drawn from U-T San Diego 11 April 2014. Print.



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.



OULIPOST #9: Slices of Women

Bipartisan critics slam women in workplace,
rise in at-home mothers, and cultivating a passion 
to quell uprising. Court: unequal pay for women—
the slice is right. Vitamins in pill, liquid form are equally effective.

Woman is looking for her family’s support: some members
of board want S.D. police detective to lead panel on women
in auto theft crime spree; going gets tough
when cuts turn real, but finding a great winery
is like making a new friend, is like a right to care,
is like saluting pork price rise. Matzo ball soup
is many things to many people. Instructions missing.


Source: Bits and pieces of several headlines from U-T San Diego 9 April 2014. Print.

Prompt: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9: HEADLINES (variation of Jean Queval’s “Cent Ons”)

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


OULIPOST #8: Aria for Father Francis Van Der Lugt



Associated Press. “Dutch Priest Gunned Down in Syria.” U-T San Diego 8 April 2014: A5. Print.



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.

Name: Francis Van Der Lugt


OULIPOST #7: Noun-sense


Source: Littlefield, Dana. “DAs Support Anti-human Trafficking Bill.” U-T San Diego 7 April 2014. Web.

Prompt: MONDAY, APRIL 7: N + 7

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.

Original text for my poem, with the nouns bolded:

“If passed, the bill would amend the penal code to create a consolidated trial process for human trafficking and related offenses, including pimping and pandering. Similar laws are already in place to prosecute serial rapists and child molesters.”


OULIPOST #6: The Excitement Over

That’s largely the debate spinning within

tough-looking Navy SEAL recruits running—

an alternative to combat forces.

It’s even worse if they’ve been out of work.

The Taliban were ousted in the wake.

On Saturday the excitement over

congratulating Afghanistan, but

since January most residents count—

more than 900 of the nation’s top.

The Taliban were ousted in the wake.

We are having a profound debate on

the intellectual war games being,

for some, progress, particularly—

there are really a couple of reasons.



Brennan, Deborah Sullivan. “Animal Lovers Divided Over Feral Cats.” U-T San Diego 6 April 2014: A1. Print.

Dibble, Sandra. “Water Supply a Constant Struggle in Ensenada.” U-T San Diego 6 April 2014: A1. Print.

Gamel, Kim and Rahim Faiez. “Afghans Vote in Droves, Defying Taliban Threat.” U-T San Diego 6 April 2014: A17. Print.

Nellas, Demetris. “EU Ministers Working with Russia, Ukraine to End Crisis.” U-T San Diego 6 April 2014: A17. Print.

Magee, Maureen. “Kids Vie for Finest Chess Crowns.” U-T San Diego 6 April 2014: A3. Print.

Paid Advertisement. “Local Businessman Gives Away $188 A/C Tune-Ups and Duct Work Inspections for Only $87.” U-T San Diego 6 April 2014: A2. Print.

Showley, Roger. “Panel Offers Tips for Getting Back to Work.” U-T San Diego 6 April 2014: A2. Print.

Steele, Jeanette. “An Appropriate Namesake.” U-T San Diego 6 April 2014: A1. Print.



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

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