Category Archives: blank verse amidst the prose

Oulipost #6: Blank Verse Amidst the Prose

Times Malaysian air

authorities the signal had aboard
in recent years a testament of wine
produced his company’s a high
school math of modest means across
the street be forced  to move
reported by the crew a Chinese ship


 The Hall

The heat to play and celebrate the Spring
for spice a poster art I work the miss
look Malaysia Airlines plane the search
flotilla that the signals had and voice
recorders (two) the second Saturday
The Chinese signals were reported by
Xinhua a photo series from the sun-
ny regions east when people said they were
underwater have to find new homes


The talent and tenacity of wine

Investigating three reports by ships
Underwater sensors had to play
the signals had a photo series from
the hall attached to aircraft data and
to nearly every region of the search
flotilla that authorities of wine
produced to raize the building and construction
when people said they were of modest means
and now he leads an industry that is
the crew aboard the Chinese signals were
a testament a poster artist look
we’re much more on the world stage than we
than twice what many residents I work
a high school math the signals had the miss.


Poems were constructed from numerous articles in Seattle Times 06 April 2014 Print.

Note on composition and process:

These poems were composed by looking for unintentional instances of blank verse (unrhyming iambic pentameter) occuring in the prose of today’s Seattle Times. It was a real slog of pattern recognition. These are a few stabs at poems that I’ll have to come back to in my free time next month, since I have tons of unused lines in my notebook. I’ll be editing these notes a bit tomorrow to add more clarification, but I wanted to share the results before day’s end.



Oulipost Warmup #2: News as I-am(b)s

Finally getting back to posting my warm-ups for next month. This 2nd one was a bit more difficult than the tautagrams.

The object: to look for blank verse among the prose.

It’s been a while since I’ve worked with iambic meter (unstressed/stressed syllables), so it took a little adjustment and focus to get started. However, once I got in the habit (and made sure I was listening to music in mostly 4-4 time), the work flowed more smoothly. I found it best to catalog various sets of iambic feet (each foot is two syllables), so that I could graft together my 1-foot and 4-foot phrases and my 2-foot and 3-foot phrases instead of relying only on natural pentameter. I found it fun to create 3-line stanzas that roughly followed the pattern:





Since there were far fewer isolated iambic feet, this allowed certain sestina-like repetitions in the stanzas. I like how the collage-pattern also creates recurrences in themes and reference across the poem, but each time the theme gets altered — something I’ve always appreciated about Ted Berrigan‘s Sonnets. I’m sure I’ll have to give myself extra time for this form, when I tackle it next month, but If I block out an extra hour and read some iambic pentameter the night before I should be in good shape. Here’s my warm-up blank verse among the prose.


They Also Vowed to Block a Move


among a little noticed outcome of

a shootout in the state a month before

addiction had significantly few


career across the Gulf of Thailand to

a window or suspected fragment spot

that little pocket is all you can do


invent a car in how they get around

believing right this month the market has

in greater numbers than at any time


become to 35% of those

a fishing pole we also offer you

without a trace in water miles deep


careered to protest the proposal which

officials say our smallest most discreet

behemoth transit network saw again


become available exclusively

the average price the special offer ends

the public took advantage of an x


invent instead of how you’re hearing it

to set their clocks experience depends

as evidence the nation’s urban shift


among the other transit systems in

insurance plans Americans are bored

few prisoners have incomes high enough


become a blip expanding bus and train

I’ve known about today in history

the trembler struck at 9:18pm.