OULIPOST POEM 29: Vincenzo Paxia

Today’s prompt from the Found Poetry Review’s Oulipost Project: Canada Dry!

“The name of this procedure is taken from the soft drink marketed as ‘the champagne of ginger ales.’ The drink may have bubbles, but it isn’t champagne. In the words of Paul Fournel, who coined the term, a Canada Dry text ‘has the taste and color of a restriction but does not follow a restriction.’ Be creative, and write a poem sourced from your newspaper that sounds like it’s been Oulipo-ed, but hasn’t.

I’ve noticed in the past 29 days that one of my favorite parts of the newspaper articles to use is the quotes.  I think because that’s where the personal stuff is.  That’s where the “I’s” are.  So, I played with that, bouncing back between quoted and non-quoted text.

I sourced everything from an article about a tailor who’s been running his business in Trenton, NJ for 30 years after emigrating from Sicily.  I figured I’d use his name as the title of the poem.

Vincenzo Paxia

“I love this man,”
Despite some surgeries.
“That’s the Italian way.”

“I’m not important.”
Despite the swirling violence.
“A human being.”

“I was on the boat nine days.”
Can’t remember precisely when.
“I still remember it.”

“I’m nobody.”
Constructed a stucco porch.
“But I am a nice guy.”

“I take life the way it comes.”
Hands are small and always in motion.
“I have a loving family here.”
“They are always over my house.”
“How much you pay me?”
“That was what I remember.”
All in matching shades of beige and brown.


Persico, Joyce J. “Beloved Sicilian tailor has fulfilled his American Dream for 3 decades in Trenton.” The Times of Trenton (via NJ.com). 29 Apr 2014. http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2014/04/beloved_sicilian_tailor_has_fulfilled_his_american_dream_for_3_decades_in_trenton.html

This entry was published on April 29, 2014 at 11:35 pm. It’s filed under Oulipost, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: