Oulipost #25: Larding

‘WE’RE STUCK AT THE MOMENT’

The CBO has a minor kerfuffle
The news didn’t shock most officials
A newspaper quoted the father of 14
He recalled driving past a public-housing project
creating a masterpiece in a mug
The move follows what he said was “the overwhelming success”
“Regrettably … we don’t have an agreement”
Hanging out on the beach for the summer is not productive
“The window to change course is closing.”
Some are rethinking their safety
But getting around the suburbs after hours would be tougher
At the same time, most will be receiving
That development counted as a “big improvement”
We’re pleased with the overall fundamentals
At the end of the day, the bulk of the growth is adding people
experts say a measured approach is the right one
It would be a major victory for the network
The Internet empowers pimps to post an endless stream of titillating photos
Cloud is clearly their No. 1 maniacal focus right now
Americans don’t like messy narratives
I’d rather be late and get it right,” he said.
Sometimes students have a vision
It resonates with customers
We’re investing heavily in new geographies


Poem was constructed from sentences numerous articles in the A section of Seattle Times 25 April 2014 Print Replica.


Note on composition and process:

This poem was an experiment with the Oulipean method of “larding,” in which you continually pad the narrative by inserting new sentences between the existing sentences until the poem reaches a desired inflation. Check out the Found Poetry Review blog for the official prompt and to see what other poets have done with this method.

I must say, the end of the month is fast at hand, and I think I’m bordering on burnout. I found it pretty difficult to stay focused on this method, though I see potential. As with many of the other exercises, I began by scanning the print replica of the Seattle Times for a couple of sentences to start with. I quickly landed on two subtitles: “We’re stuck at the moment” and “Mayor says there’s still time for accord.” I then went article by article through section A of the paper pulling a sentence from each and inserting it between sentences already on the page. I must confess, I tried to go in order, but my head was hurting and I broke my own protocol, inserting lines between sentences wherever I felt like it. I also took some liberties in revision by reordering the lines a bit, and by eliminating the final line (the second of my two originals) because I decided I just didn’t like it.  I’ll probably come back and take another stab at this when I’m less cranky, but for now, it is what it is — a tub of lard with some tasty lines thrown in.

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