Art is nothing without form

Art is nothing without Form ñ Flaubert

I enjoy playing with words in the same way a cat enjoys playing with a ball of twine.

One game I enjoy playing is writing a poem, but limiting the words I am allowed to use. There are a lot of different restrictions I can impose on this creativity. Liponyms are popular among a certain crowd. A liponym is where one intentionally omits all words containing a particular letter, or letters. (For example, omitting the letter ëeí can be difficult). If you eliminate all vowels except for one, this subset is called a Univocalic. (One-Vowel)

When a wax statue of Arafat appeared in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in New York City, a group of individuals demanded that it be removed. I wrote the following poem, trying to convey the humor of the situation:


Arafat Bad. Wax Bad.
Bad Bad Bad!
Ban Wax Arafats!
Ban All Arabs!
Ban Ban Ban!

Another restriction I enjoy is the Homoliteral ñ where every word shares at least one letter in common with the word prior and following. No word is completely forbidden in this form, as long as one can, as in a chess game, plan ahead.

Back in June 2001 I read a weird news story, and wrote the following homoliteral

United States

Some North Dakotans
think the “north”
sounds too cold
and want to alter their name
becoming ‘Dakota.”

However, when their neighbor
decides ‘South’ sounds too hot
then we’ll have
Dakota and Dakota.

Kids asked the capitol
won’t know which was meant.
Not necessarily bad, but still
somewhat confusing.

When North Carolina
And neighboring South
Join in and are
then soon followed
with Virgina’s western sister
we’ll have mass confusion.

Once again,
not necessarily bad,
and perhaps the ultimate end result —
fifty states all bearing the same name —
might help unite us

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