Category Archives: headlines (after Queval’s “Cent Ons”)

Oulipost #9: Headlines (After Jean Queval’s “Cent Ons”)


put robots to work
national profile roots
pastry chef rising

baffled by distance
ferocity of ‘freakish’
end scientists want

slammed into river
Seattle roots your Wednesday
coverage in sports

seek answers edit
note book: the delicate is
vulnerable aft


more updates and more
underwater pings heard a
base shooting today

odds & ends convicted
Obama puts pen into
how to reach the world

male stripper did visit
rescued  more in-depth stories
optimism grows

nursing home action
still not pin pointed deploy
report for finding


minister denied
“all the political forces”
rest Russia’s foreign

unrest could involve
power struggle continues
he said tries to quell


encryption method
wood a dying logging town
team for home open

poachers attack be
loved in technology used
bad guys can access

beloved ancient red
memory on a machine
wood giants thieves seek


you want to return
look at devastation if
helpful, no-pressure

learn study of site
visit exactly one month
a free demon


robots to speed up
documents submitted to
bring Pabst Blue Ribbon

home effort stands out
brewery complex vacant
jobs call the market

to buy anchorage
return it to the city
enter our stock news

look at today’s game
risks rise as support ends work
new assembly build


Poems were constructed from numerous articles in Seattle Times 09 April 2014 Print Replica.

Note on composition and process:

These poems were an experiment with using newspaper headlines to create cento-like poems. It’s based on Oulipean Jean Queval’s “Cent-ons,” a collection of 5, 20-line poems made entirely from magazine and newspaper headlines. (Read the prompt and check out the other 80-or-so Ouliposters’ take on the form at the Found Poetry Review’s blog).

Today’s work was relatively simple. I started again with the print replica of the Seattle Times. I took the prompt a little liberally, and expanded my search for more than just article headlines. I also included captions for large photos and the headline-like text of the ads. I cataloged them by page (A-1, A-2, etc) as I’ve done with most of the experiments thus far. I do this so I can go back and pick the work back up next month, fleshing out more poems for each form. I wanted these to be distinct from the quote centos from day 1, so this time I decided to employ a renku-like (renkus are linked haikus) constraint on the writng. In other words, i was crafting stanzas of 5 syllables-7syllables-5syllables with a hard juxtaposition between lines. I got pretty far, I guess, given being strapped for time.