Category Archives: confabulation

Oulipost #21: confabulation

Talking Cure

“On weekends, I can make up ”
she said. “I work for my tips, not my minimum.”
“The first thing we’d have to do is reduce,” he said
“We’d look at having one less.” She said “A student?”
he said. “And working,” she said “evil
of the Sewol.”  “Green men have seized
the sites,” he said. “the photos only further
confirm this,” she said, “EMERGENCY!”
he said, “Before, hospitals were kind
of silos.” She said, “We have nothing
to indicate it was anything…”  “Other
than a tragic accident?’’ he said.
“It was a very difficult transition,” she said.
“I could play just naturally,” he said. “I didn’t
“know any of the terms,” she said.
He said, “The biggest part, was understanding.”
“Not just playing it off impulse?” She said.
“It’s all right. We’ll get out of this,” he said.
“We are much better than this,” she said.
He said, “There is no other way to feel either?”
“We know what we have going here,” she said.
He said, “It’s just a bump in the road.”
“The only way we are going to snap out of this,” she said.
“if our guys start performing?” he said.
“A little better,” she said. “It was a great
game,” he said. “But we had some opportunities,”
she said, “to get some things done.”
“And we just didn’t do it?”
he said. “What I can say is, I know
everyone is trying,” she said.
“The guys are having a harder time,” he said
“Adjusting? They’re slowly picking it up,” she said.
He said, “and trying to fix problems.”
“Every day?” she said. “And it’s working,”
he said, “I’m amazed by the things that they’ve done.”
In the past?” she said.


“God bless his tireless fight,” he said
“No one is precluded from suing us,” she said,
“merely by purchasing.” “Liking our brand
Facebook pages,” he said. “That is just
a mis-characterization,” she said,
“the email said, ‘We are announcing today that we have reverted.’”
“There is this pervasive view,” he said. “That these are dangerous?”
she said, “That’s not what the data tells us.
They said, ‘Kraft’s Oscar Mayer Wieners may
instead contain the company’s Classic Cheese.’”
“We’ve known for years we have a problem,” he said.
“Being out isn’t a very effective way to change,” she said.
He said. “I don’t think you punish anybody into doing anything.”
“It looks a little jarring,” she said. “Fractionated”
he said. Her: “Thanks will never be enough.” “It is
a process, and it takes time,” he said. “But I think
we’re on,” she said. “We want to start building
a bond” he said, adding: “It’s going to be
amazing once we get everyone here, and we start
playing our brand.” She said, “Our system’s
been introduced in everything we do.” He said. “I think
that’s all been established.” “That’s the difference,”
she said, “in everything — the details.”
He said, “We’re not detailed enough,
so that’s where we’ve got to go.”“We’re definitely on an upward
trend,” she said. “Guys are doing a good job
figuring out how to go about doing.” He said. “They didn’t
recruit as many whateverstar” She said, “but still that chemistry
aspect is so important.” “They’re able to dominate,” he said. “It’s something
we’ve never been able to witness.” She said,
“I don’t think we understand fully, but I’m excited
to see.” “We were flat to start,” he said. “In the middle
of the night,” she said “I started thinking  about what I’m going
to do.” He said, “how I’m going to defend. … Things
like that. It’s a good feeling.” “We’re capable of
playing a lot better,” she said. “But it’s just one
step,” he said. “Today’s was about as good as you
could have hoped,” she said.


He calls her “little shanty by the tracks.” “He had another
seizure the other night,” she said, “it’s like he’s in a hole
with no way out.” The other day he came in and said,
“Ain’t that a shame: I’m carrying my life around
in a backpack.” “It broke my heart,” she said
and declared, “unconditional war on poverty!”
He said, “Whole families have been wiped out
in this county: mother, father, children.” She said,
“But they get involved with drugs, and the next thing
you know, they’re getting arrested.” He said, Mama couldn’t
write, so, you know, there ain’t no names in it.” She said,
“I want to be one of the ones who gets out of here.” He said.
“I don’t want people to talk about me, with me
sitting here crying.” She said her other mommy and daddy, they don’t want her
to go. “They’re scared.” He said  “she’s going to get hurt,”
“Our politicians never really did look ahead,” she said,
“for when coal wouldn’t be king.” He said, “Therefore, we’ve fallen
flat on our face.” She said, “I had a boy in here the other day
I went to high school with. Teeth missing.” He said, You can look at them
and go, ‘He’s going to be the next to die.’ ” “I was
as backward as these kids are,” she said in the office of her school.
“We’re isolated. Part of our culture,” he said. Leaving for college,
she said, “you’d think I’d committed a crime.” “As God calls preachers,”
he said,” to preach, he calls teachers to certain
jobs.” She said. “I really believe it is my mission to do this.”
“Give these kids a chance,” he said, “Someone from Indiana,
they’re not going to live in a trailer on top of a mountain.”
“I want to be one of the ones who gets out of here,” she said
“Curtain,” he said. “Postern of Fate,”
she said. “The Big Four,” he said. “Dead
Man’s Folly,” she said. “Elephants Can
Remember” he said. “Labors
of Hercules?” she said. “Freddy,”
he said. “Independent Lens,” she said.
“Baseball?” he said. “2 Broke
Girls,” she said. “Bones,” he said.
“Castle,” she said. “The Blacklist,” he said.
“The Boondocks,” she said. “Muscle
Shoals,” he said. “Days Are
Gone,” she said. “It’s obnoxious
when you show up somewhere, “ he said,” and you’re like, ‘Cool,
I’m one woman and there are like 900.’” She said, “Being a woman
on tour, you’re kind of in a man.” He said, “It has every-
thing to do with who’s available.” ”Who’s on tour?”
She asked, “Who’s released a new record, where
there’s a ton of buzz?” He said, “If we feel
we’re getting too malecentric, we will try to address that
situation.” She said, “But it’s usually last minute when we look
at how this is balancing out.” He said, “women musicians have always been.”
“severely underrepresented,” she said. “Where the girls go,
the guys follow,” he said. “It’s terrible stereo
typing,” she said. He said, “But the people
leading the charge in going to see concerts are women.” “And women
don’t want to see other women?” She said. “They tend to want to see men
perform,” he said. “I used to walk around with my stick,”
She said. “What is that?” he said. “There’s a bunch of kids
playing,” She said. “It’s very obvious that the growth is in-
creasing over the years,” he said, “that says a lot
about community.”“That never seemed to materialize,”
She said, “so we just decided to go on our own.”

Poems were constructed from numerous articles in Seattle Times 21 April 2014 Print Replica.

Note on composition and process:

These poem are an experiment in in confabulation, conversational poems created by juxtaposing and distorting quotes from the newspaper in a kind of de-contextualized dialogue. Check out the Found Poetry Review’s blog for the official prompt, and check out other Ouliposters’ attempts at this form.

I began this exercise like nearly all the others, downloading the pdf print replica of the Seattle Times and extracting all the text, separating it according to the publication’s pagination. I then used the “find” function in Word to hunt down all text inside quotation marks and cataloging the quotes by page. I then combined all the page 1 quotes (A1, B1, C1), page 2 quotes, page 3 quotes, etc, in order, and began cutting down and breaking the quotes up into poetic lines, finally adding in alternating “he said/she said” tags. I noticed as I worked on editing and confabulating the quotes, just how vague and indeterminate much of the quoted material is in the paper, and how hypnogogic and psychologically revealing it could be, which is why I decided to treat these as poems in a sequence (there will be nine total when I finish them next month) that I titled after the colloquial reference to psychoanalysis, “Talking Cure.”