a cancerous moon


none we see
o, come as one
as reams on war concern us
crimson raw

come, o come as caucus names
secure a man
as sermons answer
none unseen

once our arms were raw
nerves owes sense in sex

iron nooses carve as vises
as severance weaves
a scorn in wine
a scarecrow’s sneeze

seven women cross us
wise in vice
scream a “never sin”

a son ensues as no one never ever
exercises “no”
we swoon in azure suns
o cancerous moon


Doing oulipo can be a lot of fun.. this is done using a prisoner’s constraint where all the letters extending below (g,y, j etc. ) or above (b, d, k,…).

22 responses to “a cancerous moon

  1. you did much better than I with avoiding ascenders and descenders. I looked online for a list of words that would fit the constraint, but couldn’t find one…not sure how long it would take to weed through a dictionary to find suitable words. Hard…but fun challenge!

  2. No one ever exercises ‘no.’ Yes, this seems to be the way it is these days. Excellent technique here, Bjorn. I’m impressed with the varied responses you have made to this challenge.

  3. ha. def makes for some wild lines…the seven women crossing…screaming never sin…what a haunting image…
    the iron nooses line as well…

  4. This is an excellent piece of work and a wonderful response to the prompt. No ascenders or descenders are hard. Amazing our inspirations…I run to ts eliot or Emily Dickinson…. the “o come” adds a bit of chant to this as well as antiquity.

  5. oh wow… good job… i think i couldn’t do it
    loved esp. the lines…a scarecrow’s sneeze…and
    seven women cross us… there’s a nice magic in this

    • I think we have a year’s worth of ideas.. plus I have a few I have tried.. On thing I have tried is to combine nouns and adjectives that really are surprising.. for instance a crazy door .. or loquacious walls.. take 2-3 such combinations and the poem writes itself almost.

  6. Very interesting – and once again sent me googling away. This time to “oulipo”. I don’t think I could be that disciplined in my writing – though I admire your daring and am genuinely impressed at your finesse in deftly avoiding those tenacious ascenders and descenders.

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