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.
Ok, so what to make of that? Of course, there is a restriction right off: sourcing text from the newspaper. That at once makes it at very least a found poem. I decided to simply go with that, taking lines from the paper that appealed to me, and assembling them more or less in the order found, but I did not maintain that as a constraint at all, since I went back and forth between articles to choose my lines. Here and there I added a word or words that were not from the source, but which I knew were somewhere in the paper. I changed one tense from past to present. This is also more or less a remix. Read my fellow Ouliposters here: http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/oulipost-29-canada-dry/
All the Heavy Stuff
A little midnight car surfing
through those Rocky Mountains at night
forty years on the road, hard miles and
calloused fingertips, Canadian-tough:
a police car bad idea to the letter.
A backhoe shovel plunges into the desert:
14 dump trucks loaded with Atari, ET
dumped in a hole in Alamagordo.
All the heavy stuff happens in the music,
every single detail pays homage
to Robert Johnson and Hank Williams.
combine the two—
That’s rock ‘n’ roll.
CAS, April 29, 2014
Spears, Tom, Car surfers and spectators ticketed in Gatineau, Ottawa Citizen, print edition, April 29, 2014 (C3)
Robb, Peter, Memories of Canada, Ottawa Citizen, print edition, April 29, 2014 (C5)
Pileci, Vito, Pop culture fan unearths cache of Atari games, Ottawa Citizen, print edition, April 29, 2014 (C3)