Winter storm warning outside. High winds, heavy snow, falling branches, covered path. School cancelled. So glad we have a treadmill. Although, if it weren’t so windy, I might have enjoyed running outside and hearing the satisfying squeaks and crunches of the heavy, water-logged snow. I’m not happy about this snow, but I also don’t really care. It will melt within a few days.
Ballad in A
BY CATHY PARK HONG
A Kansan plays cards, calls Marshall
a crawdad, that barb lands that rascal a slap;
that Kansan jackass scats,
camps back at caballada ranch.
Hangs kack, ax, and camp hat.
Kansan’s nag mad and rants can’t bask,
can’t bacchanal and garland a lass,
can’t at last brag can crack Law’s balls,
Kansan’s cantata rang at that ramada ranch,
Mañana, Kansan snarls, I’ll have an armada
and thwart Law’s brawn,
slam Law a damn mass war path.
Marshall’s a marksman, maps Kansan’s track,
calm as a shaman, sharp as a hawk,
Says: That dastard Kansan’s had
and gnaws lamb fatback.
At dawn, Marshall stalks that ranch,
packs a gat and blasts Kansan’s ass
and Kansan gasps, blasts back.
A flag flaps at half-mast.
What a poem! I love writing under constraint, although limiting all vowels to A seems extra hard. (here’s a guide to the poem.) This technique of eliminating all vowels but A is a OuLiPo technique. Here are some others I found on Wikipedia–I’ll have to try them out.
S+7, sometimes called N+7
Replace every noun in a text with the seventh noun after it in a dictionary. For example, “Call me Ishmael. Some years ago…” becomes “Call me islander. Some yeggs ago…”. Results will vary depending upon the dictionary used. This technique can also be performed on other lexical classes, such as verbs.
A poem in which each line is a single word, and each successive word is one letter longer.
Writing that excludes one or more letters. The previous sentence is a lipogram in B, F, J, K, Q, V, Y, and Z (it does not contain any of those letters).