Oulipost #29: Canada Dry

Today’s Challenge: “The name of this procedure is taken from the soft drink marketed as “the champagne of ginger ales.” The drink may have bubbles, but it isn’t champagne. In the words of Paul Fournel, who coined the term, a Canada Dry text “has the taste and color of a restriction but does not follow a restriction.” (A musical example is Andrew Bird’s “Fake Palindromes.”)  Be creative, and write a poem sourced from your newspaper that sounds like it’s been Oulipo-ed, but hasn’t.”

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that it took me forever to think this challenge through, only to determine that the only constraint is the use of the newspaper; beyond that, there is no constraint.  So I selected appealing words and phrases at random, all from Section D, “Science Times” in the 04/29/14 edition of The New York Times and arranged them in a bit of a snowball/melting snowball (using both individual words and phrases with spaces as “letters”)  that tries to sum up my experience in Oulipost this April.

Mistaken Impression

Not safe!
a risky method
Powerful questions,
near panic,
At our peril,
ominous results.


Not for the timid
hapless bystanders,
limited as some were.

Interconnected series –
both savior and menace –
stunningly successful.

Continuing evolution
in this wilderness-
safe and feasible.


To experiment =
consequences =
happy ahhhs.

Dissecting potential quandary –
Unknown beauty, acute edge.


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