Friday, July 11, 2014

From Oulipost 2014: Petroleum Picnic, Water Bowl

As part of Oulipost 2014one of the Oulipo  techniques we used was to take a close look at advertisements and classifieds. The technique is called COLUMN INCHES. Here are the instructions from the Oulipost 2014 playbook:
Refer to the advertising section or the classifieds in your source newspaper. Create a poem by replacing all of the nouns in your chosen ad segment or classified listing with nouns from one article in the same newspaper. You may use multiple ads/classifieds, presented in the order of your choosing.

This would be a fun warm-up exercise for a writing group or as a warm-up exercise for yourself. If you need some inspiration, check out the abundance of creative poems written by the other Ouliposters on the Found Poetry Review page for the column-inches poems.


Petroleum Picnic, Water Bowl

10 15 histories 
that need popularity 

10 15 wars needed to “SHOWCASE” our amazing fact-like
exterior reason-stories. A great opportunity to have the remarkable
applied to your property at huge subsidies. Have your city or county
looking freshly painted forever! Made in a reservoir! Hoosier owned! 

Fat-rendering appearanceLooks like fresh money
1,200 heart attacksMeets EPA health concessions
No artificial blast furnacesGreat for all grasslands and schools

Call now for a free coke oven.

Poem Sources:

Indy Star 14 Apr 2014.

advertisement was found on page A2

nouns taken from the following article:
Slabaugh, Seth. "Muncie Water Bowl auction." A9


  1. ...I think we actually have those types of Hoosier Explosive Coke (well, meth) Ovens here in Evansville--one goes off in a garage about once a week. Great poem--literally laugh-out-loud funny!

    1. Thanks Jody. This was another goofy and fun exercise!

  2. where do I call for my coke oven??? Laughing so hard about this one!

    1. Yes, these poem were all such fun to read! Thanks Carol!

  3. FREE!? who can resist. this...was hilarious. well played, Nancy!

  4. Replies
    1. Yes, it was fun to write this one. Thanks Elizabeth!

  5. Replies
    1. Yeah, the crossout was in the original ad. When I saw it, I couldn't resist:)


If your comment doesn't appear right away, it's because it's awaiting approval: To reduce spam, all comments to posts that were created over a month ago are reviewed first before being displayed.