Oulipost #4: Fibonacci (Variation)


April 4, 2014

The Prompt: In a Fibonacci sequence, each term is the sum of the two terms immediately preceding it; typically with 1 as the first term: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5,8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and so on.

Select an article from your newspaper and create a poem using the words that correspond with the numbers in the sequence. Your poem will take the form of first word, first word, second word, third word, fifth word, eighth word, thirteenth word, etc. You can continue until you’ve run out of words in your article or until you’re happy with the poem’s conclusion.

A common variation is to avoid repeating the first word.


Hiring went

into deep winter

the key


temporary survey.

Hiring total



And Sales Are Up

J.C. Penney is that magic

in-store partnership

in/out launch

associated, also…


She’s Working the Steps

The past

couple weeks

an ugliness/fury

to         {allegedly high}

that stipulation area.


Take That, Media

The Obama administration

Thursday creation

Communications: the operation


it (media)

as official

chairman said,




The Bend in River

will Jazz the public,

Tinker,             Edward,



The Good Old Days

Long before was fine–

green, especially in company

at the website, granddaughter.



Rugaber, Christopher. “Better weather may have lifted job growth in March.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 4 April 2014.

D’innocenzio, Anne. “Penney teams up with Elle Macpherson for lingerie.”

Staff. “PARKER: Criticism of First Lady worsens again.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 4 April 2014.

Arce, Alberto. “White House defends ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 4 April 2014.

Staff. “Local brass and Joshua Academy singers join UE musicians in Tinker Memorial concert.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 4 April 2014.

Antlfinger, Carrie. “Milwaukee group wants to buy Pabst Blue Ribbon.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 4 April 2014.



These were surprisingly fun to do, and easy thanks to Doug Luman’s Ouliposcripts (http://oulipost.douglasjluman.com/oulipostools/ ), but newspaper articles tend to be fairly short. Nothing wrong with short poems—I love Haikus/Senryus—but I had some time to kill, and wanted to see what relationship(s) might develop between multiple poems generated from the same day’s news. I found that getting jiggy with punctuation and spacing/line breaks was helpful for this exercise!

Read how other Ouliposters tackled this prompt here.


Filed under Oulipost, Poetry

4 responses to “Oulipost #4: Fibonacci (Variation)

  1. Nancy Chen Long

    Wow, you are prolific! These were fun to read:)

  2. “getting jiggy with punctuation” I’m sooo stealing that. These are excellent. I loved this exercise too for the same reasons and am pleased to see others doing more than one (so I look less psycho).

  3. Love these, and that they are thematically linked, well done!

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