Category Archives: tautogram

Oulipost #5: Tautograms


Times time tossed thirty-one transfer that there Taliban to to they that threats tight television to TURMOIL to times that to trades this technical to technology traditional they that that to them t t t training to that THERE threats through then timber-shingled turn tree to to tied tight Times that there they thought there times that to there there this that TECHNOLOGY through Tuesday that triggered time to to three textile to three three to this train Transit train that two that to Timothy to to to taking to trying to to trademark TODAY times to to tollfree to to TRAVELER textile to times times to times to tablet Thanksgiving terms times two to their there that to time that they there turned that to they two that they their to two throughout to that time to those them to their there to to to this to that to to time tribute to to talking to teenagers three taken technology to t-shirt that to that there two-bedroom to to things traveled to two-week trip to there temple to tries to to to that That trigger training to truck to this their two Texas Times this that that Thursday Twitter to there those to that technology to their thought this tech to to to they took that to think to target top tech to touched Thursday to to time technical to to to that their them their their their those there that to to to this to took this tsunami to  that that that to to think to to this to  to this treated  that those Theodis told to twice twice times Texas three that to take temporary to time than two to told to they told top Texas Times television to Thursday that to television they that they talent to to to traditional to that to tonight to to to that that top there to that that to to to them this to time to time to turn time to this time to to that that to that to Tina to to take to TV time too traditional to two this to those these to that to ties to top this tenant tossing trash tenant told to Tampa Tribune Thursday told teenage trash trash told Tribune that thought trick told Tribune that there to they to TV Thursday Tina they told to to that two-semester that takes them to training to them them that Twitter trades There technology to their to teach This told that two three that to to things to tenure to them to teach that true to technical to teach to that to to to there times to take to these that they to that that to tell them that they through to that to That then-superintendent to that twice three to to to theatre time this teen terre-torn turned tech told that to tourists that to those that they towering that to there think that to they told to this to those then to talk they their to think their there these to these than time that to that those tavern there then that to together to try to t to there that top two to tearfully twenty to that taped that to tearfully talking training through to that to this to that to themselves to times to to that theater to they their that too


I Is In I

Its in iPad is intuitive include inefficient It includes iPad if Iran it Iranians immediately Investors in its initial in it is implications in investigating if insider-trading information is it in into is its in it in interview in it in is in Internet in it its it into is if its In into iPad is I intuitive include industrial is I in I is in is instance I installed install-Internet installing I is important ID I in Internet in inform in issue I is it it I if in I is its it introduce I its I Internet it I it is Internet it is in I is increasing I is it indeed is in itself is it isn’t it itself is idle Inc interest indexes interm indexes industrial Industrials indexes in Idaho if it in its In it is Its initially if in is in institution in it IS it I is in iPad I impaired it iPhone I into it is it iPad it iPad includes its insert It is if iPads I iPad it iPad itself independent industry imagine in Internet ISPs I Internet it improve it increases is in it in I in isolate its invasion its it-Intelligence including in is in including it is in insurance in information interviewed information is its It is in its I is I is I in it is inefficient incompetent I is incomprehensible ignoring ignition is ignition-switch is in into is in issue ignorant in it is I iconoclastic I ignored is industries into in It is I into it intrusion its is is investigating into include is Italian is it in ignore is issued in its I is in initiate investigation is into it inside it it is it isn’t If it insists investigations it is INDEPENDENT I in insurgent In it instantly is included in install it in insurgents industrial-scale if into it Independent is investigating irregularities in it is in is in including in itself is in interview it is it is in international in insist introduced in individual in Italian in influential is important issue is its issues include issues including insider in Iraq instantly is invasion insurgency in Iraq in it identified in I in International its important isolation is imposed in its International ICC in its intentions in interview


Monuments, Morning

my mechanism moored my many more most manhunt Manhattan Madison man many macaroni-salad-and-salmon mudslide machinery mass mud mudslide many mobile MUDSLIDE Mayor Murray Month meeting Mayor Murray many making most may  male Madison man month meantime moratorium months MEASURE mudslide modest much movies media midnight monuments men muppets most muppets mad-is-on Mountlake Majestic Market Meridian Monuments Men Mr Monroe Monuments Men Mars Most Movie Moms Missing Middle make music make medium military members make maintenance mine middle made mistake my manageable move me my mention may mention my many master monuments may Madagascar many Monrovia members more manageable morning memory mother moments memento mayor months made money mere mudslide matter mudslide MEMORIES mudslide March made mudslide members march mudslide month management mother memories made medical mudslide material million may make minimal movement much mud missing magnitude measure massive march-mudslide-missing mother mudslide many mudslide mini-four-wheelers making months makes me map mother mudslide more maligning management meant many minutes make moment missing mom more making morning monuments massage matters most music makes multiple mediums mischievous moved miles makes memories missing moratorium



extend estimated expression else earlier early events each effort entering extraordinary early embrace else extensions either EXTENDED effort end EAST end England eagles ended encouraged excel expects EXCLUSIVE everything every extremely excited eight each editorial earned earn Earnhardt embedded effectively even ebb ended errors either everybody else extends even each events enough each easy error errors error eyes ears end early even embarrassing everything even eight ended eighth end early enough extended emotions effort either extensively experience enemy embraced everything even earlier expect ends excellence expectations even email expected effort eliminated expressed early excitement ever expected ELSEWHERE electrical engine extension


 Saturday Sale

shown steps special storage so some spring start somewhere seas seem steps simple simplifying self stuff selling smoothly support set start satisfies shredding state shredding shredathon start such sewing some saving strategy spend some storage stuff suggests specialized selling selling selling such stores Seattle stores support should some such storage start services Saturday soon stairs smelly-shin-snow-soaked-strip staircase says society says supervision safe so socialize so stimulate says service should say sure safe safe sleep stimulation such says steps studio so space supervise safe stay should space-sleeping store’s same supply settling story such statistics show survey showed state spring season swings some step spend shouldn’t say steps space supervising see Saturday service shops shop some shopping says smoothest she says showing says shop see specials seek shop stubs statements steps  someone says see suit so say sold seller says sure someone showers sinks small soap successfully such sprinkler systems several savings sewage systems septic system service start since system showers sinks system so storage sewers spread system slightly so suitable systems simple successes sumppump system should store soil Snohomish send systems simple Saturday special says something stages says system suites speakers so speaker’s sound says smartphones speed security systems seamless says settled standard says second spring spaces schemes say surround say shops Seattle says so stellar select suites SATURDAY SATURDAY spotted spied seven small Seattles say says sales simply summit sweeping side-story second style streetscape says sense she says shapes stunning says similar sale spoken should space studio selections says system says summit styles SATURDAY SATURDAY sounds square states spa spaces system select state says savvy secure spot says SATURDAY SATURDAY special shoppers state some search service shows single-family selling single seeking start such suitable situation step-searching simplifying shoppers search status signatures similar sites subscribe stunning skyline stations sung stunning stainless steel sites small section story storage small sea-swirl salmon Saturday smartphone study study smartphone see study season seats since souvenirs souvenir show sale silver show stamp stamps Seattle sale Seattle stolen storage stay subscription show swap see stainless shape stop self Seattle storage semi-stacking shotgun souvenirs sporting Sales Sale SALES shots socialized superior social shots shedding small size shots serious site standard sound standards Spring shots site SATURDAY

Poems were constructed from numerous articles in Seattle Times 05 April 2014 Print Replica.


Note on composition and process:

These poems are Tautograms made from today’s Seattle Times (see the Found Poetry Review prompt for the exercise here). A tautogram is a text in which each each word begins with the same letter. Since in the Lipogram experiment (Oulipost #2), I excluded the letters of the word “Times,” I thought it very Oulipean to bring the letters back (George Perec did this in his novel Les Revenentes, in which every word contains only the vowel ‘e,’ which of course his novel La disparition excludes). Using the print replica of today’s Seattle Times, I copied all the text (including most of the ads), pasted it into both Notepad then Word to strip the formatting, which I’m much more adept at thanks to yesterday’s format issues. I separated and assigned a letter from my seed word to the different sections of the paper Front Page/Nation/World (T), Business (I), Regional (M), Sports (E), and the Home insert (S). I then used the handy, Java-based Ouliposcripts (via fellow Ouliposter Douglas Luman) to pull out my tautographic lists.

In warmups last month, I did these by hand, so the wordpool was sort of disconnected (I made lists by parts of speech), and the process more MadLib-y. This time, I really liked how the Java script read the text so methodicallly. I really dug the kind of sonic map it made of the paper, so I kept the lists largely intact. I did make some excisions. For instance, I removed all the articles from “Times,” and I cut most of the stock market abbreviations in “I Is In I,” most of the repetitive sports player’s names from “Editor,” and many of the billion “Seattle” occurrences in “Saturday Sale.” I did do some more significant editing in “Monuments, Morning,” to make the poem something of an elegy, since today would have been my Mom’s 65th birthday, and I wanted something in all this to commemorate her. I thought that particular poem was fitting, given the references to the recent mudslides and the recurrence of the “Momuments Men” title from the movie listings, plus you know, M for Mom.

In all, I really love the language slippage in these, how many of the repeated words get potentially endless inflections of meaning, and how the shifted context shifts the parts of speech and function of most of the diction. they remind me a lot of both Dr. Seus’s Fox in Sox, as well as Gertrude Stein’s work in Tender Buttons and The Making of Americans, which are two of my all-time favorite books.


Oulipost Warmup #1

Queneau-300x300It’s just shy of two weeks until the constraint-fest begins. For those who missed my earlier post, I am participating in  Found Poetry Review‘s annual National Poetry Month project. This year the theme is to apply OuLiPo constraint-based exercises/forms to the local daily paper — The Seattle Times. Every day in April, I will be applying a new constraint to the content of that day’s paper in order to compose a poem from the text found in the paper. My personal goal, because I have masochistic tendencies, is to shoot for 3-4 poems for each exercise. Last August I participated in a similar project — composing and mailing a postcard poem per day. I walked away with nearly 60 poems total, and the bulk of a draft for a manuscript. Of course, it’s not advisable to jump into such endurance exercises without a hefty amount of practice and planning.

Here’s the first of a handful of practice exercises I’ll be sharing here in the lead up to April. It’s what the Oulipeans called a Tuatagram — a poem in which, primarily, each word begins with the same letter (In Greek, Tauto gramma means “same letter”). Since I wanted to see if I could compose a sequence from the form, I took the word “post” as a seed word to pull my letters (P-O-S-T) from. I then chose sections of the paper to associate with each letter: P= Front Page; O=Opinion; S=Sports; and T=Technology. In my handy notebook, I cataloged, according to parts of speech, the words of each section that began with the assigned seed letter. I then borrowed the syntax of the opening paragraphs of the lead article in each section to help shape the final pieces (basically, I made Mad Libs out of them and filled them in with words from my word lists).


(a Tautogram in 4 parts)

Planes of the Public

Pulitzer prize puzzles and publicly protested profit periodicals

played to the participants in the Powerball period perhaps. Par-

ents purchased a publisher and preliminary participants and pop-

ped in a particular passage as if Port-a-potties were preaching pro-

portion to a precise population, not potentially to present political


Own One Opinion over Owned Options

Of the online owners of our outcome-wise obligation, operating

opinions should option to owing others on outcomes of one off-

icer who owed opportunity of otherwise owned operations.

Spectacular Surprise Stirs Some for Something

Sunday Stuff

  Shockers Seem to Start Simple Speech in   

  Straight Strikes to Shake Schedule

Soon the speculation searching, short season should steal the source

solid 2nd-tier successes streamed to the script before some spiraled to

a slow Saturday: “Still somehow, somewhere?”

The schools are sure of a stolen state starting to stir sarcastic shirts

for the steadily strained short saying at the somehow shaky start.

Speaking to susceptible saints, as many as seven steady stars will

strain in the scoreless second-half.

Tuesday Tepidly Takes Time to Transform Those Tools

The times Tuesday takes the trouble, the texture transforms to tech-

nique through training texture-wise two textbooks thick, then that was

a tepid-texture-testing theft trade-off. Like the trade-thinking tech threat,

there “thing” tended: a technological turnover.

That’s their technical tax. To them, that’s a target that types the texture of

transparent times. Tuesday had taken a talent for textbooks through a tab-

let turned to Twitter, where the tools tell thinking thumbs to type to three-

dimensional time. Tuesday tried out those teenage traits in a teleconference

and trusted Thursday’s. Then, the Twitterverse took Tuesday on a threat to

tech-security, their theft-proof thousands.