The Oulipost Exit Interview

Sad, in some ways, that April has come to a close and with it the Oulipost challenge.  It’s been a challenge, indeed, but a great deal of fun along the way, thanks to all the companions with whom I’ve shared the road.  On to the exit interview.

Question 1. What happened during Oulipost that you didn’t expect? What are the best (or worst) moments for you?

I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I did, nor did I expect to take myself as seriously as I did.  The former worked in my favor, the latter not so much.  My best moments were those in which I finished a challenge and wanted to share the result with my husband because I was proud of what I had accomplished (not as frequent as I might have hoped, but it was sweet when it did occur.)  The very worst moment was when I accidentally erased my finished Chimera and lost it completely as I fumbled to retrieve and post it.  For the sheer difficulty of a challenge, the Sestina, where I started off on the wrong foot and never got back onto solid ground until about 10:30 PM, after many hours of struggle to get something/anything down on paper.

Question 3. What does your street look like?

I live on a four-house suburban cul-de-sac.  It’s not exciting in the least, although I do have deer, rabbits, groundhogs, squirrels and a large red fox who visit my back yard on a regular basis because we homeowners keep eating away at their natural habitat here in southeastern PA.

Question 4. Who is your spirit Oulipostian?

I started out the month with Georges Perec and his oh-so-Parisian black cat, but then moved on to Harry Mathews, when I purchased a used copy of the “Oulipo Compendium” on Amazon and, upon its arrival, was delighted to find it signed by one of the authors. By the end of April, my spirit Oulipostians were all the members of the Oulihive, who encouraged me, inspired me, and made me smile along the way.  A special shout-out to my virtual Breakfast Club, the early risers, with whom I shared coffee/tea and companionship, Amanda, Carol, Margo – and to Doug Luman, whose tools saved the day over and over again through this month of challenge and fun!

Question 5. What are the top three poems you wrote during this project?

In my judgment of my own attempts, shorter is better, so I choose my untitled haikuisation poems; Excellence, my univocalism poem; and Real Art, my melting snowball.

Question 2.  What questions do you have for your teaspoons?  What questions do your teaspoons have for you?

Why do you insist on being called “tea”spoons when I use you mainly for dairy products, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese and the like?

Their question for me: Tea without sugar, without cream, without lemon – really?

Question 5. What will you do next?

Breathe. Read many more of the poems this incredible group produced last month.  Write!  Practice writing, learn more about writing, keep writing.  Wait (somewhat impatiently) for next April.


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