amongst books

amongst books

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Oulipost # 26: Beautiful Outlaw (la Belle Absente)


R          the land of love that has no equal; good luck and a happy love life, he explained
Juliet's bust is showing signs: messages on the walls of the Piazza

O         the New Zealanders and Belgians camping in the queue in the archway
experience the alive Juliet Capulet as canned-fruit and bakeries

M        as a Verona experience, Juliet's bronze b cup can be equally  fondled
in the background of the world

E          touching to bring good luck below; manhandling has taken its toll
an invitation: box a: simply quit your piazza job

O         and after in the light a city belly dancing with Juliet
parties with cakes in chambers quite a relevant experience in the Piazza


The outlaw in question is the name of the person (or subject) to whom the poem is addressed. Each line of the poem includes all the letters of the alphabet except for the letter appearing in the dedicated name at the position corresponding to that of the line: when writing a poem to Eva, the first line will contain all letters except E, the second all letters except V, and the third all letters except A.

Choose someone mentioned in your newspaper to whom to address your poem. Compose a beautiful outlaw poem following the procedure outlined above and using words sourced from your newspaper text.


Pilley, Kevin. POSTMEDIA NEWS. “Juliet’s Verona.” the Ottawa Citizen. 26 April 2014. J1.


I needed all the tools in  my arsenal for this. I used Doug Luman’s wonderful Belle Absente spreadsheet (pictured above), coupled with & Control F, the find feature of my Chrome browser.

the lines were so long, I made couplets. i added my own connecting transitions, but i'm pretty sure i could find such in the newspaper somewhere.

For great examples of Beautiful Outlaws, please visit the Found Poetry Review.

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