Oulipost #30: Patchwork Quilt


It’s with a touch of sadness that I give you today’s final challenge: “Conclude the project by writing a poem that incorporates words and lines from all of your past 29 poems.”

In reviewing my poems from the month of April, I found that there was an ongoing metapoetic theme.  I spent some time writing about writing, sharing some of my hopes and fears along the way.  Thanks to everyone for sharing the poetry, the encouragement and the fun with me on this journey. The title of my final poem is a headline from the 04/30/14 New York Times.

A Marathon Performance (Aches, Too)

Waiting for the project’s midnight mountain to begin

A time of soul-searching, not cynicism.
“You have to have an open mind,” he said.
A voice remains we never use,
a medium for transmission.
The whole straitjacket –
crazier, conspicuous – posing…

Fallen deeply and hopelessly,
in a hole with no way out.
Outrage and transgressions.
In the anxious smiles of others,
an invitation to loss.
The invisible backbone did not show.

But here was the inappropriate verb –
continuing evolution in the wilderness,
some crackle of resistance.
Arise, spar, shine, brazen heirs!
A brighter prognosis tweaks the mash-up.
Concoct a sassy creature.

(The 17th of Interesting)

I slipped and slid and tiptoed back.
He, she, him, her – each the same.
Sweet center between them.
Secret power, a full cup,
inspired byzantine statements.
The stars remain aligned.

…and that’s how this all started.

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3 thoughts on “Oulipost #30: Patchwork Quilt

  1. Thanks, once I finally recognized a bit of a theme, it was a lot easier, except for that darn “Column Inches” challenge. Videotapes never did play a role, and now as I write that, I think I will edit that word out in favor of “and.” What fun it would be to talk more about process. I loved it when you provided words with overstrikes or when someone showed step-by-step how they had thought things through.

  2. Lovely. I especially liked the lines “A voice remains we never use,/
    a medium for transmission.” A haunting hint at what remains unspoken, no matter how hard we try to communicate.

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