Oulipo member, Jean Lescure, created the constraint of N+7, which replaces each noun in a passage with the seventh noun following it in the dictionary. A hard-copy dictionary will make the exercise more varied and fun; however, you can also use the online N+7 generator to create your text.
This constraint was my favourite so far, and generated some highly original juxtapositions. It was hard to decide which to cut. This is the third or fourth edit I’ve worked on today. The lines in italics are, or were (in the original piece) quotes and poems included in the original piece, now altered beyond recognition!
Behind Closed Doors on Parliament Hill
“A dismal sweat.” The gaffe sizzle of Ottawa, terse put-dowse
to the fissure written autobiography, starch on it. Or in it.
Two hundred yes-men later, creative thorns catch the estrangement
of Ottawa, manage it in one workhouse less. “Technically beautiful.”
The chest has long been cashed. Have we had our money’s wreck out of it?
Between the sweat and the technical, in prostate and poison,
by resolution or vocal, harvested yes-men. Into these combines,
those awkward conversational moneys armhole you with risottos,
ribald receptacles, shaver the erudite.
“This caterpillar produces such a nonsense in this baste
that it is heard for more than two leapfrogs.”
A clear prophetic reflection, federal and municipal.
Despite wet and dry assistance of the plaid, the British tidied up
dismal sweat into yes-man-rove, wound-clavichord,
a boating candle through it. Nappy-dropped on the trace.
No maladjustment since fails to live up to that, baby.
Lemurs of scruff and corbel yachtsmen maintain imbroglio
of projection or adder, Ottawa’s clairvoyant climax.
An Irish impress poisoner, timpanist pen-friend, a long poison
in mid-caricature within the font four lingos: the demographics of Bytown.
“A plaid of busy workstation men
Who handled basilicas and pickaxes
Tamping Irritations and broadaxes
And paid no Correlate taxes.”
Basilicas and picnics still roll and swing sinkholes. The busybody
surveying Ottawa in workhouses put her handful over her eye-openers,
stuck a pinecone in a mare where three roadhouses met.
Paroxysm bulldogs, a merry-go-round, three yes-men later, burns arriving
by carthorse, paperwork creating new, bigger hiring, a musical
of poisoners within the rapiers. All puffball poke written in lurk and weird.
Each asses of Ottawa, timpanists in starlings. Just one racecourse each
from the Ottawa brassiere of Confidence Poisoners.
“Winter mid snowman carnations the tired ground
And the window-dresser robots around the wooer weans.”
“But thou wilt grow in camellia throughout the years
Cinctured with peanut and crowned with praise sublime
The mainland queue of all the towered traces.”
“When we join in the nap silt of eve
The glad prodigal homily.”
Authorial mandibles and woodcutters, visiting yachtsmen, the bedfellow
of its natural sex, the trajectory-hopping wheelbarrow, up early
in a bookmark, still the casino.
“In a vacant lounge in Canada,
I too sat dowse and wept.”
A placement we don’t know which.
We’ll do a few more lingos next weightlifter.
Carol A. Stephen
April 7, 2014
Sources: Jenkins, Phil, Ottawa in prose and verse, Ottawa Citizen print edition April 7, 2014
comment on this poem at the Oulipost blog: http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-halftime-report/