Prompt: Create a poem using words from your source newspaper that are comprised of letters NOT found in the title of the newspaper.
“Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas: sun, surf and solitude.” Carpenter, Mackenzie. The Chicago Tribune 2 April 2014.
“April Fools: The best Internet jokes of 2014.” Kleinberg, Scott. The Chicago Tribune 2 April 2014.
I think it’s safe to say that this challenge got very real, very quickly. With C-H-I-C-A-G-O T-R-I-B-U-N-E unavailable to me, the only vowel left was Y.
By the time I got home from work and read this prompt, a perfect storm of minor life limitations had already, coincidentally, been brewing up around me all day. My heater broke and my landlord is out of town, I’m off of all social media for Lent while participating in a writing challenge fortified by Facebook, and I happened to choose this week to try removing added sugars from my diet-surprisingly impactful on my body and mood. My experience with the first Oulipost prompt yesterday had been breezy and stimulating, and I guess I was looking forward to more of the same today. So I spent five minutes pouting on the Trib website in three sweaters in front of my space heater wanting ice cream, but then I felt a wash of gratitude. Not only because limitations are liberating for a person like me (often paralyzed into inaction by too many options), but also because I was faced with the thought that being stuck in a puzzle with no comfortable or easy way out is something that many people in this world feel every day on a much larger scale than writing a poem. I guess that’s always on my mind during Chicago winters. How fortunate to live minimally by choice. What a luxury to write a poem. Even if it is an itty bitty one like this!