Oulipoem 21: April 21 — Confabulation: He Said, She Said

21 Apr

The prompt:

Self-explanatory, isn’t it? Craft a conversation poem using “he said/she said” quotes that you find in newspaper articles.


Okay, I went down a different track [you like the way I say I broke the rules?]. I can tell you that the Monday Wall Street Journal does not lend itself to this and I can no longer access the complete San Francisco Chronicle [I can reach non-hefty parts, such as horoscope, and comics] So, I’ve mashed them. Part of the conversation comes from a WSJ article and part of it comes from five comics in the SFC.

The poem:


Okay, so what was that all about?

I don’t understand —
everybody’s in a panic.

Best guess?

It hit a nerve.

I’m shocked at how many people…

I’m not doing anything out there.

So tell me more about your idea.
I don’t quite get it yet.

Well my research tells me
that people like stories
but they don’t like words.


I have no idea what that means.

So what’s the plan?

Get out of here.


The sources:

Conley, Darby. ‘Get Fuzzy’ The San Francisco Chronicle 21 April 2014
Connors, Will. ‘Will Shortage Of Pussy Willows Put A Damper On Dyngus Day’. The Wall Street Journal 21 April 2014
Duffy, J.C. ‘The Fusco Brothers’ The San Francisco Chronicle 21 April 2014
Evans Greg. ‘Luann’ The San Francisco Chronicle 21 April 2014
Miller, Wiley. ‘Non Sequitur’ The San Francisco Chronicle 21 April 2014
Schulz, Charles. ‘Peanuts’ The San Francisco Chronicle 21 April 2014


Posted by on 21/04/2014 in exercises, oulipost, poems, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , , ,

14 responses to “Oulipoem 21: April 21 — Confabulation: He Said, She Said

  1. Misky

    21/04/2014 at 3:48 pm

    So cute to use the comics for an oulipost. Mine is here, if anyone wants to read it.

    • margo roby

      21/04/2014 at 3:50 pm

      I hope someone reads it, but I have already decided that in May I shall have showcases.

  2. whimsygizmo

    21/04/2014 at 7:23 pm

    Yours came together better than mine, Margo. I think it’s funny that I totally enjoyed the Ouli-Sestina, but am not having much luck, otherwise. I don’t read the paper, so I’m perusing online…I think I need a more poetical source. 😉

    • margo roby

      21/04/2014 at 9:24 pm

      The good news, de, is that you can alter your constraint. Choose a more poetical source and keep on truckin; 🙂

  3. whimsygizmo

    21/04/2014 at 7:24 pm

    Oops. Link:

    (And thanks again for letting me follow you over to Ouli like a pup, and piddle my offerings here.) 😉

    • margo roby

      21/04/2014 at 9:29 pm

      Listen, I am so thrilled to have a couple of you doing this with me I could whoop. I’m going to have some kind of showcase in May for ya’ll’s poems.

      The reason I am always using the comics and horoscope and other weird bits of newspaper, is that I cannot use the regular news. I’m no good with it. I would love to work with other sources.

      • whimsygizmo

        21/04/2014 at 9:38 pm

        I’m so tech-inept that I can’t FIND the comics or the horoscopes in my source. 😉
        Happy to be along for the ride, ma’am.

  4. Elizabeth Evans

    22/04/2014 at 1:51 am

    Made me grin.

  5. Nancy Chen Long

    22/04/2014 at 11:40 am

    I love that you combined the WSJ with comics! So creative, Margo. The resulting conversation-poem is so fun to read!

    • margo roby

      22/04/2014 at 12:06 pm

      Doing everything I can to stay out of hefty articles, Nancy!

  6. sonjajohanson10

    22/04/2014 at 3:08 pm

    Margo, breaking rules – look how far you have come in three weeks! (I have trouble breaking rules myself, but fatigue is going a long way toward loosening me up). I like the confusion between the speakers at the end.

    • margo roby

      22/04/2014 at 3:42 pm

      Sonja — right? If for nothing else, I like these exercises for that. Today, with tiredness, I felt positively reckless, although the prompt didn’t lend itself to going wild with rulebreaking.

  7. nwian

    25/04/2014 at 7:06 pm


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