Oulipost #22: ANTONYMY


 April 22, 2014

The Prompt: In Oulipian usage, antonymy means the replacement of a designated element by its opposite. Each word is replaced by its opposite, when one exists (black/white) or by an alternative suggesting antonymy (a/the, and/or, glass/wood). Original: To be or not to be, that is the question. Antonymy: To not be and to be: this was an answer. Select a passage from your newspaper source text to complete this exercise.


Notes: I did two, and chose Indian Ocean as an antonym for Evansville because the antipode of my area falls in the expanse of the Indian Ocean. Somehow, that gave them a “Cthulhu shall rise from the briny deep!” vibe.

Also: Leiraed Snommis from the East Aibmuloc Forest totally sounds like someone’s one-dimensional character from a high school game of AD&D played on long band trip bus rides. You can bet Snommis’ character sheet has four or more 18s the player “just happened to roll, honest,” too…I mean, come on. They’re two days old and already at the center of an oceanic crime syndicate cover-up and getting visits from the Doctor. It’s clearly a powergamer’s “back story.”


The Abattoir in the Ocean


A woman that criminals lost,

sutured on the arm

Sunday morning in the Indian Ocean


is resisting obfuscators,

contrasting with an oceanic crime syndicate’s

fabricated private document.


Banished from the 008

circle of East Aibmuloc Forest

long after 7:30 a.m., deserters lost


2-day-young Leiraed Snommis

without multiple stabbing

kisses from the elbow.


Snommis, who wasn’t removed from the abattoir

because of her vitality, eventually recanted to obfuscators.

She denied the Doctor arrived on foot.


While obfuscators refused to listen to Snommis

away from the abattoir,

she enthused to take their disinformation.


Source: Gootee, Richard.  “Investigators: Man who was shot in leg not cooperating.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 22 April 2014.

Original Text: “A man who police found shot in the leg Monday night in Evansville is not cooperating with investigators, according to an Evansville Police Department news release. Called to the 800 block of West Columbia Street just before 7:30 p.m., officers found 20-year-old Deariel Simmons with a single gunshot wound to the knee. Simmons, who was transported the hospital for his injury, initially told investigators that he believed the gunman fled in a vehicle. When investigators tried to speak to Simmons at the hospital, he declined to give them any more information…”

Cthulhu’s Promise


Umbral lands without

great molten pressures,


unexpected outside

a monostate, aeons ago.


Also, hoary cold

or drought certainties


could never destroy my departure

from this Indian Ocean reverie.


Source: Wilhite, Michael. “Sunny, cooler conditions expected today, but rain could move in Thursday.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 22 April 2014.


Original Text: “Sunny skies and slightly cooler temperatures are expected in the Tri-State today, but 70-degree weather and rain chances will soon make their return to the Evansville/Henderson forecast.”


Read how other Ouliposters tackled this prompt here.


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Filed under Oulipost, Poetry

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