Poem: Experiment

Experiment

I take you down to the crowded room for the experiment.
We join a dancing group of girls.
“It is our good fortune that we live in this age, in this city,” I say to you.
“All you have to do is choose.”

Earlier, you looked excited about the experiment.
Your eyes were bright, you twirled your hair.
You hurried along the nighttime street with me, impatient.
You strode up the steps to the door.

Now you seem as if you’d forgotten a word.
You look down, hunting in your mind.
You do not gaze at the girls, with their tattooed skin.
You do not remember to dance.

After writing this poem, I put it through the N+7 machine at the Spoonbill Generator. Based on an invention of Jean Lescure, one of the Oulipo poets, the machine replaces each noun with the next one in the dictionary – or the next but one, or the next but two, right up to N+15.

N+3: Expertise

I take you down to the crowded roost for the expertise.
We join a dancing grouse of girths.
“It is our good fossil that we live in this agent, in this civilisation,” I say to you.
“All you have to do is choose.”

Earlier, you looked excited about the expertise.
Your eyefuls were bright, you twirled your hairdo.
You hurried along the nighttime streetwalker with me, impatient.
You strode up the stepdaughters to the doorman.

Now you seem as if you’d forgotten a workday.
You look down, hunting in your minefield.
You do not gaze at the girths, with their tattooed skinhead.
You do not remember to dance.

N+7: Exploitation

I take you down to the crowded rosary for the exploitation.
We join a dancing grown-up of glances.
“It is our good founder that we live in this aggressor, in this clairvoyant,” I say to you.
“All you have to do is choose.”

Earlier, you looked excited about the exploitation.
Your eye-openers were bright, you twirled your hairpiece.
You hurried along the nighttime stretcher-bearer with me, impatient.
You strode up the stepparents to the doorway.

Now you seem as if you’d forgotten a workhouse.
You look down, hunting in your miniature.
You do not gaze at the glances, with their tattooed skirmish.
You do not remember to dance.

N+15: Exporter

I take you down to the crowded rotor for the exporter.
We join a dancing guarantor of glides.
“It is our good foxglove that we live in this aide-de-camp, in this clanger,” I say to you.
“All you have to do is choose.”

Earlier, you looked excited about the exporter.
Your fabrications were bright, you twirled your half-note.
You hurried along the nighttime stripling with me, impatient.
You strode up the sternums to the dosser.

Now you seem as if you’d forgotten a workshop.
You look down, hunting in your ministry.
You do not gaze at the glides, with their tattooed skunk.
You do not remember to dance.

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