The Hoax of Contagion / The History of Constraint / The Horror of Continuity

I’m off to Asheville tomorrow morning for a conference on Oulipo and constrained poetry.  In the tradition of the fascicles of the Bibliotheque Oulipienne, I put together a chapbook, The Hoax of Contagion (Naissance, 2010), specifically for the event.  Click here to order the chapbook and to check out a sample poem.  

The title is a N + 7 deformation of the phrase “the history of constraint” (I took a section of the conference program and subjected it to this Oulipian method).  If you’re in a N + n mood and don’t feel like thumbing through your dictionary (which, of course, is preferable and more enjoyable), you can visit this generator which will provide 15 alternate versions of an entered text.  

I entered “the history of constraint” — and using the “small dictionary” setting — got the following results:


the hit of construction


the holder of consultant


the holding of consultation


the hole of consumer


the holiday of consumption


the holly of contact


the home of container


the honey of contemporary


the honour of contempt


the hook of content


the hope of contest


the horizon of context


the horn of continent


the horror of continuity


the horse of contract

~ by Michael Leong on November 18, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Hoax of Contagion / The History of Constraint / The Horror of Continuity”

  1. I really like the poem Michael!

  2. Thanks a lot, Greg! I’m really proud of this group of poems.

    They started out as modest, occasional pieces but they really took on a life of their own.

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