Oulipost #29: Canada Dry

Wow, 29 poems down for April doing the Oulipost Project, 1 to go! Today was an interesting prompt as it was one that we were supposed to use no “formal” constraints, but make it look like there was.  So not having any rules but my own to follow, I set about just looking through The Blade for interesting phrases that I might use in composing a poem. They didn’t have to be any length or about anything in particular. Funny thing is, when I got on about the third article (of my eight used) I started to see a “theme” shining through that I hadn’t expected. Once that happened, I just kept going until I had a whole lot of lines to work with and I kept 25 of them (most in their original phrasing, only a couple that had partial use of an entire phrase). I started moving them around on the page (in my hardbound journal) until I “found” my poem. I’ve enjoyed composing quite a few other poems this month, but I have to say this one was a lot of fun. Maybe it was me being left to my own “devices” or maybe it was taking what I’d discovered about being playful with phrases and words this month and letting them make some cool leaps! Nevertheless, the phrases were taken from mostly articles about sports and food/recipes. Interesting the leaps the mind makes…or maybe it’s just mine! LOL! I hope you enjoy my Canada Dry poem! Following that are the sources used, the Oulipost prompt, and the link to see what some of my fellow Ouliposters did with their Canada Dry:

Shaken, then Stirred: A Jarred Version

We live in a natural garden, once a lake-bed,

everything and anything can grow here.

Always looking for the best –

it teaches growing skills.

We were aggressive, we were swinging.

Serve the largest pool of humanity possible –

maybe you wouldn’t wander too far

from the vanilla and the chocolate.

And, in this condition that’s about all

you’re going to get. It’s been a taffy pull,

always listening to gossip; a fourth sacrifice.

It’s been bait and catch, repeatedly. Still looking.


Still looking. Ideally, this is a two-person job.

The good fortune of wetting a line.

Focus. Don’t just drink tequila.

So, play mariachi music, and let’s talk.

After resting overnight, it was slightly tingly.

I want to experience more of that –

from Ann Arbor, I’d be staying in hotels

after late nights. Which is really what I want to do.

Sweetly vying; do it easily –

force me to go to extremes.

Spread some, continue rolling.

Sometimes you can taste something

and just fall in love.



Bilyeu, Mary. “Fiesta Time.” Toledo Blade 29 Apr. 2014. D1/6. Print.

—. “Keeping the FAQs.” Toledo Blade 29 Apr. 2014. D1. Print.

Burris, Keith C. “City’s urban gardening effort growing.” Toledo Blade 29 Apr. 2014. B1. Print.

Chavez, Jon. “Youth market may stay flat.” Toledo Blade 29 Apr. 2014. B6/7. Print.

Markey, Matt. “Fishing bounty in Ohio and Michigan a pretty easy sell.” Toledo Blade 29 Apr. 2014. C1/4. Print.

Messina, Ignazio. “State may help smooth trail.” Toledo Blade 29 Apr. 2014. B1/2. Print.

Odam, Matthew. “Master of Mexican cuisine Rick Bayless ‘always loved other cultures.'” Toledo Blade 29 Apr. 2014. D1/2. Print.

Wagner, John. “Ray still rolling.” Toledo Blade 29 Apr. 2014. C1/3. Print.


Oulipost prompt:

Canada Dry

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.

Link to fellow Ouliposter’s Canada Dry poems:


See you tomorrow!






2 thoughts on “Oulipost #29: Canada Dry

  1. Pingback: Oulipost: The Exit Interview | Lylanne Musselman

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