The Oulipost project was officially over after I posted my Patchwork Quilt poem…poem #30, on April 30th. I participated in the challenge that was put on by The Found Poetry Review as a part of National Poetry Month, along with 67 fellow poets from across the world. When I started the project, I didn’t know what I was in for…I suspected a lot of time spent on working on prompts that I had no idea if I would have time to complete. The surprise was…I completed all 30 prompts, each day, and got to know some wonderful people and their work along the way. We were asked to complete an exit interview, and it’s taken me four days to finally succumb to the fact that this wonderful ride is really over.
Question 1: What happened during Oulipost that you didn’t expect. What are the best and worst moments for you?
I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did, not only about Oulipo and found poetry, but about myself and my own writing style; how even with constraints and others words (taken from the local newspaper, The Toledo Blade) that I found – my humor, my ways of seeing the world came shining through even when I’m not conscious that it’s happening. I really feel the worst moment was the day that I posted my final poem for the project. Otherwise, there was not a bad moment about the whole process.
Question 3: What does your street look like?
My street is going through a transition, just like I am…a rebirth…while my street is bursting with spring colors, and grass that is growing so fast it needs cutting already, birds that are merrily singing their songs – I am bursting with creative ideas, new projects, and singing right along. There’s also a lot of For Sale signs coming down…and going up along my street…and although I’m not going anywhere I feel like I’m moving in new directions. I can’t ignore the potholes and cracks in my road that have come about from this horrid winter we’ve had (and with how cool it’s been here…still hanging on!) and several of them were recently patched; however, some of them are wearing orange cones as hats…waiting for repairs…and waiting…and that is what some of my poems are doing… waiting…and waiting to be revised as I finish up the grading of this spring semester, catch up on reading, DVRing, and visiting with friends…that didn’t get as much attention during April.
Question 4: Who is your spirit Oulipostian?
First and foremost, I felt inspired and welcomed by all Ouliposters who I had interactions with all month. But the ones that I kept up with by either corresponding with or visiting their blog site everyday without missing: Jody Rich, Nancy Long, Margo Roby, Mary Sexson, Amanda Earl, Massimo Soranzio, Barb Crary, & James W. Moore…just to name a few!
Question 5: What are the top three poems you wrote during the project?
1. “Shaken, Then Stirred: A Jarred Version” – Canada Dry: https://lylannemusselman.wordpress.com/…/oulipost-29…/
2. “Controlled Citizens” – Column Inches:https://lylannemusselman.wordpress.com/…/oulipost-14…/
3. “Don’t Fail to Cash in on Chances” – Sonnet: https://lylannemusselman.wordpress.com/…/oulipost-12…/
Question 2: What questions do you have for your teaspoons? What questions do your teaspoons have for you?
My teaspoons would like to know why I haven’t been more vigilant with their bathing during April. They’re use to always being snug against each other safely tucked in their drawer. During April they were sprawled out all over the counter top, tossed in the sink, and soaking endlessly in various coffee cups.
I would ask them: As old as you all are, why can’t you wash yourselves?
Question 6: What will you do next?
I‘m always writing poetry, so it wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t doing that; however, writing more found poetry is definitely in my future…especially while it’s fresh on my mind. I also will be sorting out my “regular” poems to put into a couple of new manuscripts, and I have enough poems leftover to compile some chapbooks. I will also revise some of these poems from the Oulipost project in hopes of having enough to have a chapbook as well. I will also get more sleep, visit family and friends more, and enjoy the outdoors.
I’m also hopeful that a lot of us Ouliposters will keep in touch and continue sharing prompts, ideas, and poems.
This was a a grand experience!