Tag Archives: #sonnet

Oulipost #27: Irrational Sonnet

The Wild Side of Summer Movies
(3 Irrational Sonnets)

Analysts see big
shooters and police
at risk, including:


The case of a California
phone loaded with pictures
police fear losing an investigative
instinct, was searched by


holes in computer networks that
trace any guns found at
the restructuring of the Boeing
paperwork about who had the
engineers’ $100M a year


A firearms fixture
put the public
risks in loss.


some of them imprudent
contain personal info that
the Founding Fathers will meet
incriminated by his smart


hindering police efforts to trace
crime scenes, putting the public
savings seen at centers
keep electricity flowing, have become
a piece of Boeing’s broader push


Not knowing the where
of loyal, proven
hunters target shooter’s


selfie generation this week,
searched, no warrant, police
tool; others contend devices
when the Supreme Court dialed


big bucks in moving Boeing –
a major domestic-security concern
about who had the guns
hindering police efforts to trace
this is just an incredible number.


Poems were constructed from numerous articles in the  Seattle Times 27 April 2014. A1 Print Replica.

Note on composition and process:

These poems in the Oulipean form of irrational sonnets, or sonnets in which the stanza-lengths are influenced by the irrational number pi —  3 lines/1line/4lines/1line/5lines. Be sure to check out how other Ouliposters treated this quirky form on the Found Poetry Review blog.

For this exercise, I decided to amp up the irrationality by reflecting the stanza lengths in the line lengths as well. I scanned the front page of the paper for 2-word, 9-word, 16-word, and 25-word groupings that might work. Then I broke the groupings up into 1,3,4,and 5 word chunks and mixed and matched the sets. Not a bad outcome, despite my rushing to try and finish this exercise before the month’s end. I might come back and treat other pages of the paper in a similar fashion when I return to these next month, but for now, I must sprint on to finish with my fellow ouliposters.


Oulipost #12: Sonnet(s)

1.  turn, PUSH

Seattle’s newest breed of ride-service companies, determined to
bond to make room for growing enrollment. The final
chilly Friday night in front of a packed Safe
Room, ma’am. What were you doing in there? The
chair for your home. How will you use the
impossible seems achievable now. Walk the walk, and
the problem is breaking down institutional and cultural barriers that
average, 77 cents for every dollar men make for
you can break through barriers. Perform the actual work
yourself, because everything else will stem from your answer
“lassie” is a repeat. Still wanna watch it? Sure!
Throw a good game. You can’t throw a bad
count was close enough — 58 percent in favor, just
Keep Seattle’s Ride Options has rushed into campaign mode



2. ‘Affluenza’

The wealthy family of a Texas teenager sentenced to
claim a refund amount greater than shown on returns
bigger than that.” True, but this had plenty of
adventure. Does he have an acute sense of denial?
swim back into view. “What I really like is
financial insight. Dress with style. Persuade with humor, talent
paying jobs) to their white male counterparts (who make
systemic lack of upward mobility for some has led
home. Settle a legal matter. Make long-term plans, and consider
15 years have made it easier and more economical
sense of direction. Guess what, Mom! We got something
“It’s always great to have competitive games like this
woman pleaded guilty Friday in separate tax-fraud cases,
irresponsibility, a condition a defense expert called “affluenza.”


3.  we’re the latest sign that he has become sensitized

“Our position is that we will not be issuing
the microorganisms in the soil before they become available to
see me in the parking lot on Saturday night, I’m
The feel and sound of fresh pages! All you have
Today is a 7. Get into a fun puzzle. Imagine what
private sector is noble, but this effort should focus
a new film from a premium service that makes
boxes hidden behind a wall panel. “It adds to the
form the first-ever Gender Pay Initiative to analyze inequities
drum up new business. Stay flawless in your reasoning
A real book lover prizes the smell of a new book! And
after missing the cut. “I say the same thing every year,
the nutrients in organic fertilizers must be broken down by
this — and that includes our position that the selection was not viable,”



news outlets in Britain lost no time in misapprehending
his fingerprints all over the infrastructure of Seattle and
a woman, who claimed she partied with the 49ers
to regret it (?) Thirty seconds after I pulled out
long-term plans, and consider different options. Today is
waking up from the long sleep of winter. As the weather is
disappointed with  what President Obama has done to
every dollar men earn, according to the Census Bureau
there are plenty of ways to revamp the one you
by carefully researching the facts. Today is a 6. Competition
makes you wonder what his coke can did to
time since news broke Thursday about his alleged involvement
the infrastructure work that you never see, but is
shutting off its BlackBerry servers at the end of the work

Poems were constructed from numerous articles in Seattle Times 12 April 2014 Print Replica.

Note on composition and process:
So, I missed a couple of days. Sometimes my ADHD can pull me into processes and tasks that are huge time sucks. I’m a bad judge of time/duration and can sometimes impulsively get super-focused on a task, which can be really productive but kills my ability to plan effectively. This weekend was no exception, so I’ll be catching up on posting today and tomorrow. In the meantime, be sure to check out the other participants’ approaches to this classic form at the Found Poetry Review blog.
These poems are riffs on Oulipean formal synthesis: merging a traditional form — the sonnet — with arbitrary constraints.  In “Lipo: a Manifesto,” Francois Le Lionnais (co-founder of the Oulipo with Raymond Queneau) spelled out the groups mission as two-fold: 1) to reboot old forms like the Lipogram and Cento AND 2) to synthetically create new forms by applying insights from math and science to by now hackneyed forms like the sonnet. He and Queneau constructed an example: the Cent mille milliards de poèmes (transl. One Hundred Thousand Billion Poems) by taking 10 formally identical sonnets layered on top of each other as in a book, they slit the pages in between the poetic lines to create tabs that a reader could interchange to create new poems, creating 10^14 poems out of 10 poems, or an inexhaustible book. The other source of inspiration here was Ted Berrigan’s collage sonnets in which he attempts to amplify the volta, or turn, in the sonnet by cutting almost kireji-like between each line instead only once between the 8th and 9th as in the Italian sonnet or between the 12th and 13th as in Shakespeare. His main method was somewhat simple: he took 6 sources (his own poems and poems he was reading at the time) and put them in a sequence, or queu; he cut and pasted one line from each poem in order into a new poem, repeated the process in reverse, and ended by choosing his final two lines at random from the source poems. My method here is very similar.
First, I took the print replica of Saturday’s Seattle Times, as usual, and extracted and organized the text according to the newspaper’s pagination. Nothing new. But then… I thought, it could be really effective to break all that text into approximately 9-word lines with articles as wild cards to allow for poetic effect (WARNING: this is a HUGE time suck). 40 hrs later, I have some really fantastically prepped source material,  but I’m two days behind. Good thing I have today off.  Anyway, I did as Berrigan did. I placed the text files in a queue on my desktop. For the 1st poem (“turn, PUSH”) I went with the front pages of the main paper sections (A-1, B-1, C-1, D-2 since the front page was only an image) as well as some sub-sections I separated out because they would be make good contrasts: comics, horoscopes, headlines, and editorials. I used seven files total, chose 1 line from each in order and then 1 line from each in reverse order. Then I used the headlines to pull the title from. All of which took maybe 10 minutes. I repeated the procedure using the 2nd pages of each section (“Affluenza”) and again with the 3rd pages (“we’re the latest…”) and the 4th (“Disconnect”). I could have kept going, but I am behind, and next month is for following up on techniques and procedures. I imagine this will be quite fruitful. I could likely get a whole chapbook out this one exercise, as I can continue to nearly-infinitely mix-and-match and reconfigure these text files without ever exhausting the material.