Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo

PoMoSco Day 30

Here we are, at last. The final day. I have loved having part of this month be posting poems I thought you’d enjoy. The final prompt asked us to: Visit your local restaurant, bar or coffee shop and snag a copy of the menu. Write a poem using only words and phrases found on the menu.

This, as with any source, depends on text to be workable. I was lucky. I chose a Japanese menu. The restaurant must make a hundred rolls and they name every single one of them. In fact, I had too many words. The first things I did was delete words I knew I wasn’t going to use, so the list was not so intimidating. I like what I finally arrived at: Life is a Japanese Menu.

Other items on the menu (I went nuts today, because it’s the final one):

Barbara C: Please ask

Richard Walker: aromas!

Massimo Soranzio: Buried within

Misky: Filling and Earl Grey at Pret

Kimmy Stühle: Angels on the Moon

Gary Glauber: The Western Chinese Amigo’s Umbrella

Zann Carter:Live–Often and Well

Andrea Janelle Dickens: Émigré Memories

Lori Brack: gypsy midnight

Okay, I’m stopping. The relatives are on their way from the airport, so I guess I should cast my eye over the flat. The dusting… ah, well. Enjoy these. I hope to, a couple of times next month, post links to some more that I come across as I go back through and read without a deadline.

I will see you Tuesday for my regular prompt; Thursday for links and such; and Friday for the prompt roundup.


Posted by on 30/04/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry, pomosco


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PoMoSco Day 13

Hey, all. Seventeen days to go. Today’s form had me in terror. Paint? Crayons? You mean artistic? Then the saving word, collage: Create a poem that’s part erasure, part art. Instead of marking out the text you don’t need, use markers, crayons, paint and other materials to turn it into a picture. Not a strong artist? Try collage, using cut-outs from magazines and other sources to obscure your unused text. I can’t do traditional collage, mind you, but I can cut and layer: All That’s Left. It will take a few seconds to load.

Other artistic ways to obscure unwanted text, yet set off the poem in a way that works with the poem:

Rachel Green: A Fish  click on the fish

Pamela Sayers: My Mother Wore Heels in the Kitchen

Gary Glauber: All City

Misky: On Adder-Bit Wings

Barbara Crary: The Face of War

Marsha Schuh: After He Sailed the Distant Seas

I’m off to double-check tomorrow’s poem. It needs… something. Enjoy.


Posted by on 13/04/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry, pomosco


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Poetics Serendipity: National Poetry Month — It’s Almost Here

8:57 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Mandy Patinkin singing I’m Old Fashioned

Hello, all. I’m having a lazy morning. Skip is chaperoning a band trip for four days (I did not snicker), so my entire routine changes. Today, I’m going to list as many National Poetry Month links as I have found. The only one I can’t give you is the one in which I am participating, the Found Poetry Review’s. The link will stay private until April 1st, at which point I’ll put the link up, should you wish to follow some found poetry madness. Misky, the two Barbaras, Richard Walker, Pamela and Ros are all participating.

1] I love the first site ( which offers 30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month, running from ordering a free National Poetry Month poster to chalking a poem on a sidewalk to participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day. Don’t miss Ginsberg’s essay on Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’.

2] Robert Lee Brewer will run his annual April Poem a Day Challenge with guest judges.

3] NaPoWriMo is one of my favourites to follow. If you head their way now, you’ll find them in the midst of a countdown where they are giving us sources and resources.

4] Kelli Russell Agodon is hosting The Big Poetry Giveaway, which starts tomorrow. I have participated several times (both as giver and recipient) and have a wonderful library of chapbooks. Visit Kelli for an explanation of how you can participate. I loved the years when I gave away books and I loved winning books. This year I will only put my name down for the drawings and I look forward to wandering through the poetry blog world adding my name to the hopefuls.

5] At the Poetry Foundation, we are told: One week from today we kick off National Poetry Month with our annual blogging extravaganza. We know, dear reader, you’ve been waiting all year to see who the 20 poets will be for 2015. Wait no longer! Join these poets in April for conversation, insight, and a celebration of our favorite art.

I will see you tomorrow for the roundup of this week’s prompts; and next Tuesday for an image prompt. Then the blog goes dark for the month of April. I think. I know I can’t run the normal blog posts and participate in writing a poem every day. What I don’t know is whether I will appear occasionally with news from the Found Poetry front.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 26/03/2015 in links, poetry, writing


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Oulipoem 30: April 30 — Patchwork Quilt

So, here we are, at last. I hate to let it go. It has been an extraordinary month of camaraderie, learning, and poetry. So many thanks to everyone for the fun, but most of all to Jenni and Beth who orchestrated the project and Doug who designed tools to help with many of the prompts. You can find all three over at the Found Poetry Review, as well as the final poems of my fellow Oulipoemers.

For our final prompt, we were asked to ‘Conclude the project by writing a poem that incorporates the words and lines from all of your past 29 poems’. As happens so often, the poem went in its own direction. I couldn’t shake the train conductor.

The poem:

Crow woman is a season

— this was one piece
out of a moment,

a study of patterns
in isolation
even imprisonment —

when a train conductor (who secretly
has a story to tell locked in)
dances in a shaft of sunlight.

(all we can do is trace out patterns,
an exclamation point
missed moments,mercurial moments)

Night brings his lips tickly with still.
He ignores his thin chances,
never stops to think —
feels the power, sees no threat —

(don’t try to cool the fires
let tempers flare fierce and bright)

a door closes
carefully    — important —

a death sentence on the run
lost terrified and besieged by the wild forest
the fictitious focus

(because we know what happens
— the real reason they jump —
a recent misstep,
a sense of abandonment
the end of the world —
the pieces will fall into place)

where a girl hangs
ghost-like from the washing line
roots cut loose
a duration in search of a translation
(her world     her window     her strange inspiration
takes flight — cyan woe. Pull.
The kite has small wings.)

Dahlias, acacia, jasmine,
long-stemmed roses,
powdery stephanotis, lilies
and hydrangeas —

the spreading of her ashes was at sea.

The sources:

The material is from my last 29 poems, therefore from the San Francisco Chronicle and The Wall Street Journal, whose writers I give all my thanks.



Posted by on 30/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poetry


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Oulipoem 29: 29 April — Canada Dry

As hard as the run has been, I am appalled that I cannot stop tomorrow from being the 30th. Is it 2015 yet? Be sure to see what other Ouliposters did with the freedom of this prompt, particularly Nancy Chen Long.

The prompt:

This was the most fun, so far, because the prompt let us be almost free from constraint. The only real constraint — aside from our brains — is that the words have to come from the newspaper. My added constraint: one article. ‘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.’

I found an article on yesterday’s tornadoes and pulled all the phrases and words I wanted to work from. I almost left them as the fading form, below. Out of curiosity, I wandered over to Language is a Virus and tried out a couple of their tools. I went nuts with the Gyroscope tool and ended up using bits of Whitman, Pound and cummings, as far as stylistic devices. The line-breaks and order are mine, as well as some shuffling. The Oulipo constraints I might have been using are N-7, Chimera, and the Lescurean Permutation.

The original words:

skies darkened rain lashed unrecognisable unscathed
lashing ripped demolished volatile swirled collapse
combing through debris spawned outbreak
trees stripped clean of bark
roar roared touching down
grass scorched brown
a bedsheet hung from
an electrical pole
hurt upon

The poem:

give me clean hurt skies
give me darkened grass
— collapsed lashing —
give me a roar where the skies’
hurt grows, lashing through
debris spawned outbreak
roared swirled stripped hung
the branches ripped out of me
like arms

blue you are
brown you are
skies you are
swirled — so high — you are

the outbreak has ripped my hurt,
the hurt has collapsed my unscathed

stripped you are
and you are roar
with stripped bark above
volatile — so swirled — you are
and all this is dark to the unscathed

stripped I am

The source:

Campoy, Ana, Dan Frosch and Miguel Bustillo. ‘States Reckon With Tornadoes’ Toll’ The Wall Street Journal 29 April 2014


Posted by on 29/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poetry


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Oulipoem 27: April 27 — The Irrational Sonnet

As our brains turn to a condition I refer to as mind mush, it seems fitting to be working on an irrational sonnet. I had a great deal of fun writing this [now that the spectre of a traditional sonnet has been put aside]. I admit that the poem got to a point where I knew I was going to post it, sonnet-like, or not, because I liked it. It does have 14 lines and it is irrational in its stanza breaks. There is even an iambic-ness in many lines. Unusually for me, I decided against starting and ending punctuation.

My sources are primarily two articles from the Book Review section of The Wall Street Journal and one phrase from a third review. I pulled lines and phrases and then started braiding. I was startled when I found myself heading on a surreal tack, not something my literal brain does. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process.

Be sure to check for links in the comments below, as well as heading over to the FPR.

A heads up to all the people who have been following and writing and posting poems: the final poem requires that we take one line from each previous poem and combine them to form a new poem. I know!

The 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 you may interpret “sonnet” as formally or as loosely as you wish.’

The poem:

two women waiting for a tram peer through a wall
a girl hangs ghost-like from a washing line
a train conductor dances in a shaft of sunlight

denying his traitorous actions to the end

a hunter, a searcher for something simple, a jigsaw
puzzle with the image emerging, a shaping hand
a collection of eyewitness reports, a study of patterns
in squares, in isolation, even imprisonment

reiterating the broken circle painted on the boards

emerging from sun-shrouding dust, how they remained
silent for decades, for decades silent, and how they met
through light this year without summer, fit together
as the final piece slipped onto the board, reiterating
the broken circle painted, his traitorous actions

The sources:

O’Donnell, Michael. ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’ Books The Wall Street Journal 27 April 2014
The Editors. ‘Photo-Op: The Figure In The Carpet’ Books The Wall Street Journal 27 April 2014
Winchester, Simon. ‘A-Once-a-Millenium Blast’ Books The Wall Street Journal 27 April 2014


Posted by on 27/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poetry


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Oulipoem 26: April 26 — Beautiful Outlaw/Belle Absente

I’m late, today. My apologies to any out there waiting for the prompt. Should I be later than is good for you in the next five days [and you have not discovered this yet], head to the FPR, scroll down and you will see the latest link to the latest prompt.

For other examples of responses to today’s prompt, head over to the FPR.

One way or another we have done this exercise, so it shouldn’t stress you, other than the actual doing of it [:-D]. The name I ended up picking is Ory. The reason for my lateness is that my husband’s beloved uncle died last night and I had to get Skip on the road to Baton Rouge and me provisioned for several days. Ory was 95 and the entire family were with him last week for his birthday. I think Ory was waiting for that. A special gentleman he was.

The prompt:

Belle Absente or, Beautiful Outlaw. ‘The outlaw in question is the name of the person (or subject) to whom the poem is addressed. Each line of the poem includes all the letters of the alphabet except for the letter appearing in the dedicated name at the position corresponding to that of the line: when writing a poem to Eva, the first line will contain all letters except E, the second all letters except V, and the third all letters except A.

Choose someone mentioned in your newspaper to whom to address your poem. Compose a beautiful outlaw poem following the procedure outlined above and using words sourced from your newspaper text.’ I chose, instead, the name of my husband’s uncle, Ory.

The poem — two forms [I liked both, couldn’t decide]:

To Ory: As Your Soul Takes Flight

Fly. Carve gentle, ever larger, ever farther, arcs in the air. Pull. The kite has small wings — in a breeze, a quiet air, sails like a hang glider. Take flight. Experience.

Laze. Take flight in the faintest wind. The quiet box pulling off swoops loops and dives needs no assembly. Dance.

Tumble. Bounce back into the air, no parts to break. The star flake when it hits the ground, rises, not even a breeze required, takes flight, dancing impossible to resist. Ascend.


To Ory: As Your Soul Takes Flight

Fly. Carve gentle, ever larger, ever farther,
arcs in the air. Pull. The kite has small wings —
in a breeze, a quiet air, sails like a hang glider.
Take flight. Experience.

Laze. Take flight in the faintest wind. The quiet
box pulling off swoops loops and dives
needs no assembly. Dance.

Tumble. Bounce back into the air, no parts to break.
The star flake when it hits the ground, rises, not even
a breeze required, takes flight, dancing
impossible to resist. Ascend.

The source:

Kronsberg, Matthew. ‘At Play: High and Mighty,’ Gears & Gadgets. The Wall Street Journal 26 April 2014

The article was one on kites and kite-flying. I picked the phrases I thought matched Ory and was amazed how easily the ‘use every letter’ part was. The only letters I could not find and did not want to force, were the letter ‘j’ in each stanza and the letter ‘x’ on the final.


Posted by on 26/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poetry


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