Oulipost #26: BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW (BELLE ABSENTE)

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April 26, 2014

The Prompt: The outlaw in question is the name of the person (or subject) to whom the poem is addressed. Each line of the poem includes all the letters of the alphabet except for the letter appearing in the dedicated name at the position corresponding to that of the line: when writing a poem to Eva, the first line will contain all letters except E, the second all letters except V, and the third all letters except A.

Choose someone mentioned in your newspaper to whom to address your poem. Compose a beautiful outlaw poem following the procedure outlined above and using words sourced from your newspaper text.

Notes: The name I chose was “Ma Hale,” and the resulting seven sections, before line breaks, were as follows:

-M: We exchange ukulele songs. I prize each derived, liquidy sound, but just to be friendly.

-A: Sorry, I’m jesting. Come here, my love — so unique, so complex. We descend like locusts on our elbows, on the other: empty, then refilled. Sleepy, spent, we doze.

-H: Sometimes we drive around as excited immigrants in our own city for a lazy afternoon, only to park just by a quiet river.

-A: Let our love mystify or puzzle the experts, the quick keepers of bills since we, too, fill our bowls with good, home-cooked food. With joy.

-L: Amazing, how this enchanting exchange conjures such bad questions. Back away, movers and shakers.

-E: Just back away from six hours of dogging inquiry and valid lazy complaints.



 

Afternoon Reverie

 

We exchange ukulele songs.

I prize each derived, liquidy sound,

but just to be friendly.

 

Sorry, I’m jesting. Come here,

my love — so unique,

so complex.

 

We descend like locusts

on our elbows, on the other:

empty, then refilled.

Sleepy, spent,

we doze.

 

Sometimes we drive around

as excited immigrants in our own city

for a lazy afternoon,

only to park just by a quiet river.

 

Let our love mystify or puzzle

the experts, the quick keepers of bills

since we, too, fill our bowls with good,

home-cooked food. With joy.

 

Amazing, how this enchanting

exchange conjures such bad questions.

Back away, movers and shakers.

 

Just back away from six hours of dogging

inquiry and valid lazy complaints.

 

Sources:

Aaron, Joe. “Sleepy town, but nothing small about Ma Hale’s reputation.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 26 April 2014.

Baldor, Lolita. “Active duty military suicides drop; Reserves go up.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 26 April 2014.

Doyle, Abbey. “Rockin River City Ride two days of fun, family, fitness, organizers.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 26 April 2014.

Eifling, Sam. “Steel guitar makes Hawaii think twice on ukulele.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 26 April 2014.

Human, Dan. “Lending for small businesses picks up in Indiana.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 26 April 2014.

Pearson, Jake. “Lawyer: Congressman Grimm faces federal charges.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 26 April 2014.

Staff Report. “11 Courier & Press staffers earn state awards.” courierpress.com. Evansville Courier & Press. Web. 26 April 2014.



Read how other Ouliposters tackled this prompt here.

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6 Comments

Filed under Oulipost, Poetry

6 responses to “Oulipost #26: BEAUTIFUL OUTLAW (BELLE ABSENTE)

  1. I like both. Each has its own effect. I’m liking the prompt more than I thought I would.

    I’ve been meaning to ask: Why the devil is the coffee cold?

  2. Love this Jody! Well done.

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