Saturday 20 April 2013

R is for ... RIME POUR L'OEIL

So today is the 20th of April, which must mean that it's the eighteenth day of the A to Z challenge.  I've decided to share my love of writing through this challenge, and hopefully introduce people to the world of Oulipo.  I first heard about Oulipo when I was at university, and I was fascinated by their approach to writing that I decided to delve deeper into the world of experimental writing.

In a nutshell, this group of writers likes to assign constraints to their work in order to push creative boundaries.  Not only is this fun to do (the process of writing something with a constraint really does open the mind), the results are brilliant.


R is for ... RIME POUR L'OEIL
"A rhyme that satisfies the eye but not the ear, like through, though, and rough." 
Oulipo Compendium ed. Harry Matthews & Alastiar Brotchie (London: Atlas Press, 2005) page 150.

Time Regime
I stare at the clock as the hands move from hour to hour
and without warning they stop dead on the four
I keep my eyes fixed but the time doesn't move
and I find myself drifting off on a lament of love
A man appears in the corner of the room, gesturing 'come'
and for once I forget the place I call home
The clock's hands spin and rest at one
and I glance at the man, but he has gone
I walk across the room to where he once stood
and feel a strange sensation, a change in mood
The sun sends forth its light and its heat
and as my heart pumps I begin to sweat
A voice whispers but I can't hear what it said
and although I know I should feel it, I'm not afraid
The voice whispers again and I follow its lead
and as I wander into the darkness I wonder if it's all in my head
I raise up my wrist and squint at my watch
but the numbers and my senses don't seem to match
The voice leads me through hallways into a tomb
and an alarm rings so loud it sounds like a bomb
A new clock appears, the hands near the five
and I wonder how much time I've got left to live
The voice tells me 'days' then 'hours' then 'minutes'
and my throat closes and my voice dies and I become mute
I scream 'help' in my head but my pleas are in vain
so I drop to my knees in order to make a bargain
I raise my hands and hold my breath and wait for death
to drag me to where I belong, down beneath
Time passes and I wait for Fate to choose
her punishment of bullet, poison, or noose
The voice returns to tell me what to do,
how to behave, what to think, and where to go
I've lost my freedom and I've lost my mind
My life disappears from view on a gust of wind
I look at the clock, and I've forgotten my past
as the hand hits the three, the compass point east
A flash, a light, the room turns blinding white
and I become one of the time master elite

Photo credit: sshingler / / CC BY-NC-SA


  1. Rime pour l'oeil - I learned something!

  2. Nicely done. Love the verse and your good, solid use of the language. You're entertaining and charming to boot.

    Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge. Cheers and thanks.

  3. You Inspire me through your writings. So I nominated you for the "Very Inspiring Blogger Award". :)

    -Check my blog for rules and details if you wish to accept it.

    1. Oh wow, thank you :D I will gladly accept the award. Thank you so much :D

  4. Rebeccah inspires us all through her posts
    And we don't have to worry about the costs
    They are free to read and share with loved ones
    On our computers, and through our phones

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

    1. Oh. My Goodness!! Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant :D