Thursday, September 19, 2013


In the Driver's Seat

holds on
with both hands.
Can’t be shaken loose.
Handles every curve and swerve.
Won’t let go in ice or
snow, wind or rain, sleet or heat.
The hitchhiker who takes everyone for a ride.

The 7th challenge of the Our Lost Jungle Poetry Form Challenge is OULIPO, a philosophy that combines poetry and math. Seriously? Yes, I wouldn't kid about something like that.
As Khara House explains, "OULIPO is an acronym for Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle, or “Workshop of Potential Literature.” Devised by the combined efforts of a French mathematician (Francois de Loinnais) and writer (Raymond Queneau), OULIPO seeks to create literary works written under constrained writing techniques."
There are a number of techniques of which Khara gives a sampling. I chose the Snowball, perfect for a poet who grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. In my example, each line of the poem increases by one word. I had to be careful when I was counting because I started to fall back into counting syllables instead of words.
Have you ever written a poem using one of the OULIPO techniques?
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  1. Beautiful poem, Michelle. And so true.

    At least your OULIPO makes sense. I did the N+7 and it was all over the place.

    1. Thanks, Janice. I have a feeling Gertrude Stein would have liked the N+7.

  2. It is a lovely poem and true. Grief as a hitchhiker is a good was to put it.

    1. Thanks, Debi. I liked this form, but I think I want to try some of the others, too.

  3. I really like that image of the hitchhiker. Great poem!