Friday, October 3, 2014

beautiful, and nothing hurt

Just a quick update. An online ebook has published a poem of mine, "beautiful, and nothing hurt"

The outfit is called Caffeine Presse, they were formerly Wednesday Night Writes, and I am really happy with their treatment of the poem. It looks really nice on the page.

Here is the link to the e-book.

My poem is on page 8.

This was one of those poems that was a long time in taking the shape it needed to take. It was originally a two page monstrosity, overly didactic, and kind of a download of only quarter formulated thoughts and unconsidered emotions. I had to get a lot of distance from it, and sometimes the best way to get distance from something is to hack it to pieces and build it back up.

The contrast between start to finish is pretty dramatic. I am happy with the end result and embarrassed by the beginning.

The title, incidentally, comes from the epitaph in Kurt Vonnegut's book Slaughterhouse Five:
"Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt."

Ironically, enough, also about getting some distance.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

moonlight, the serious moonlight

Amongst the rush of classes starting, I had another poem published.

I called it "moonlight, the serious moonlight" and, unsurprisingly, it was published in an online magazine called The Moon Magazine. I wrote the poem a few months ago, and there it sat. Moon had a call for poems and writing on "the shadow knows/facing the dark side" and about dealing with your own shadow.

The poem seemed to fit, so I sent it in.  Here is my poem. I was listening to a lot of David Bowie:

Also, check out the whole special issue, a lot of nice, dark writing. They also have a lot of older themed issues as well.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Everybody needs an editor

Not much new on the writing front. I am working on my novel.
The poetry is there, just waiting. I recently submitted and got accepted a poem at Three Line Poetry, which, ironically enough, publishes only three line poems. The poem was originally 6 lines, which is pretty short for me, but I condensed it down to its essence, and the result was pretty good, if I say so. I originally had a title for it, but with three lines, you don’t get a title. The title was “but gin is not like love.”

You can see it here (It’s in free issue 27):

I also just finished an essay for the undergrad English class I am taking, that had a two page limit. I have honestly never though of myself as being especially wordy- I usually struggle to fill the time, but in getting things to fit, it was amazing how much of the first draft could be cut or streamlined without losing the gist.  I was reminded of my oulipost experience earlier this year.
I sent something to Three Line Poetry a year or so ago, and it got turned down. Looking at those three lines now, I could have said what I wanted to say in one of those lines.

I’m not about to cancel my cable and go live in the woods. But at least in terms of writing, I still have a way to go in getting rid of useless clutter.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Summer of My Content: Random Thoughts on Happiness and Creativity

It’s been a while since I have put anything on my blog. That reflects, in part, some recovery from the month of Oulipost as well as the vagaries of the summer cycle of work and play. I have had a large clump of revise-and-resubmit requests on my academic work; and my better half and I have been traveling and just spending more time together. My running is getting more consistent, and I am just all-around busy. But that’s not the only reason the writing has taken a back seat. To be honest, I have gone through patches of far more productive writing when I have been far busier in real life.  And far more stressed.

 The novel is in stasis. The story in my head hasn’t moved forward from where it is, several chapters ahead of where it is on paper. Poems are coming out roughly once every three weeks.

 A friend asked me if I write love poems. The answer is in general no; certainly not poems that anybody would call love poems. I can only speak for myself, but it’s tough to write happy poems that aren’t incredibly embarrassing. I don’t think I am alone here. I recently read a journal that was a collection of poems about parenthood (NOT the surprisingly good fatherhood anthology). What struck me about the poems was how many were just awful. Page after page of what boiled down to “My child is a precious gift”, “I love my child” and/or, at best, “being  a parent is a lot of responsibility.” They were all like having a conversation on the elevator with an excessively friendly stranger. There’s probably something original that could be written on those themes, but I can’t think of what it might be.  So love poems? Not so much. It’s not just that I have been relatively lucky in that department; it’s that I’ve been really blessed and most of my regrets involve things I’ve done, not done to me. Guilt-riddled writing seems even more depressing than love-struck writing.  I don’t do either well, and I suspect most people don’t either. Love poems often seem like things best kept to oneself.

That seems to be true of “happy” poems more generally. When I look back at what I wrote as a teenager, the really embarrassing stuff that wasn’t all just angst plopped onto the page, was all various odes to love. A few were angsty odes to love, which may be worse.

I originally started writing seriously as a way of working through some bad things that had happened. Once I could get past the initial output of self-pity, some of the things that came out were things I could be proud of. Even now, the stuff I write that I feel the best about are all about dealing with some fundamental and ultimately sad and/or disappointing facts of life. Other people can do whimsical or humorous and God bless them, but that is not me. My recent experiences with Oulipost loosened things up a little bit in that direction, but “lighthearted” is a difficult thing to force if it’s not coming. It happens, and I’m glad when it does, but I can’t count on that (and probably shouldn’t).

All of this is a long way of saying things are pretty good these days, and that may not be great for my writing. These things also come in cycles, and I am about to embark on some anxiety producing projects that are likely to bring me back down to my not-so-happy place.  In the meantime, I’m carving out time to write and hoping for something like the best.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A day late, and a dollar. My exit Oulipost interview

In which I revisit the initial Oulipost questions, and put them into the past tense with my own spin.

What was the most exciting part about Oulipost?

It was really fun to play around with different forms and be a little less structured in the content I produced. While being more structured in specific things that needed to be done each day. Given that I only moved to Houston in the last year, obsessively scanning the local paper was a pretty good way to get a feel for my new home.

Now that I have had time to read other people’s work, I am really impressed by what other people did with the prompts and the different ways they responded. Oulipost is completely new to me, and it kind of freed me up. I have been playing around a bit with applying some of the forms to other texts, and it’s really cool, what comes out.

What was the LEAST exciting part of Oulipost?

I am new to this approach, and while I think it was good for me, there were lots of “Crap! What do I do with THIS?” moments. Scary is different than exciting, for me.

Even less exciting was the commitment in terms of time. April was a bad month in terms of free time. I suspect any month would have been just as bad. The only good month to do something is the month you don’t have to.

What did you learn about writing experimental or found poetry?

I wasn’t aware of how many constraints were possible! It was challenging many days, but what was surprising was that the constraints produce far more in the way of creativity than I ever thought. I was really impressed by what other people could do.

The other thing I learned, more generally, is something I probably should have always known, but that it’s easy to forget. You get out what you put in. When I didn’t have much time to work on things, there was never a poem I was really proud of. Inspiration seems to work best in the context of either a lot of excess time, or a lot of hard work, or both.

FPR: What did you learn about source  material?

I did best when I could sit in the coffee shop, pen in hand, and mess around with the actual physical, literal Houston Chronicle. I can understand why the morning paper was such a ritual for so many people for so long, and I do think a lot gets lost in the translation to digital, at least in terms of the sense experience.

I tried to focus on the local sections of the newspaper, or the sections with the most regional inflections, like sports. This felt a little more general. There were some national stories I couldn’t resist, but I was worried that too many of these would make things generic.

FPR: Who is your- ?

I’m still going with Burt Reynolds, or perhaps Sterling Archer.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

after addam: agenda

after addam: agenda

story: bear born,
rabbits made hush/
dead/away. happy,
tomorrow’s agenda:
one happy touch


It appears that I have the found poetry bug, although I also have the “not doing anything productive with creative writing every day” bug. It’s a competition between my better and worse instincts. It’s probably fitting that I used Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam novel as the source for this found poetry exercise. I kept it short and simple.  I decided not to add any additional words.

Take the closest book to you. Open it to page 56 paragraph 1, line 4 and pick three random words.
Then open the book to page 107 paragraph 3 line 2 and pick three random words.
Now flip to a random page and find some dialogue. Find one word used to convey what a character is saying. It CANNOT be the word "said".
Invert the number of that page (321=123), and find an adjective and a subject

Now go to the last page and pick one word from each paragraph, line 3. One of them must be a verb.

Now write something with it. A six word story. A poem. Short story. A novel.

You have the option of just using those words or adding others with them.
BUT, you must use all of the words you found during this exercise in some capacity. It can be the plural or a different tense of the world, but it must have the original root.

Share what you wrote with us on our twitter @dzancbooks

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

thirty is the loneliest number

thirty is the loneliest number
food is clearly part of the reason, Pam,
cause resentful displeasure (you you know):
f-bomb. Except it’s not my club;
mandibles, calm as amylase, self-
cleaning (parents);
                              hard as balls,
recyclable, an arid, Nordic
colander: a default couple, near
sense: yolk, considered hoarding.
red phase: and she has content, not
skin. Justin Bieber, moon. Perfect,
our normal.
                    smudged, your mercy,
not our business. Ursula Le Guin
vaunteth not herself. Australian
mariachi-rap. we’re electronic


The last post of the month, a compliation of the earlier poems. I wasn’t sure what constraint to put on myself here, but I decided to sample my poems for the month in order, picking favorite phrases, words, lines, or punctuation.

Here is the prompt I was responding to:
Conclude the project by writing a poem that incorporates words and lines from all of your past 29 poems.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

huh, Canada Dry

huh, macs
the biography here is attempting to criminalize
epitaxy. integrate: we’re electronic, with
a more appropriate vacuum of hundreds of
victims, charges and accounting practices

Houston is approximate to swindling a false
space that described itself as a victim;
question ethical standards for all firm and
inaccurate innovations if the allegations are true
Wermund, Benjamin. 2 UH Professors Accused of Scam. Houston Chronicle. 29 Apr. 2014. A1, A11B3.

The goal was to produce an oulipost that looked like an oulipost, but wasn’t. Fortunately, this article had a lot of great words I scrambled around at random. I am still not 100% clear on what epitaxy is, but I’m glad it exists.
Here is the prompt I was responding to:
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.” (A musical example is Andrew Bird’s “Fake Palindromes.”)  Be creative, and write a poem sourced from your newspaper that sounds like it’s been Oulipo-ed, but hasn’t.

Monday, April 28, 2014

a melting snowball oulipost


any given
Horswell, Cindy. Festival Gets Off to a ‘Good’ Start. Houston Chronicle. 28 Apr. 2014. B1, B3.

This may or may not be cheating, but I was really happy with the result. Not just because it looks like an ice-cream cone. The photo in the original article drew me in, and the progression turned out to be a really nice mélange.
Here is the prompt I was responding to:
Melting Snowball: A text in which each word has one letter less than the preceding one, and the last word only one letter. From your newspaper, select a starting word, and then continue adding words of decreasing length from the same source article or passage. Challenge yourself further by only using words in order as you encounter them in the text.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

rational lapdance: a sonnet

rational dance: a sonnet
birthday has been charged with a felony
according to the documents she
refutes in a substantive way
she vaunteth not herself
you baby happy birthday
long and is kind charity
property but only temporarily
drugs though prison officials say
the rich are actually doing well
and the other students yelled
it’s difficult to hire and retain guards
mere mention of unequal
hoarding disorder like this fall
dance according to court records

Lezon, Dale. Lap Dance Lands Teacher in Hot Seats. Houston Chronicle. 27 Apr. 2014. B3
Editorial. Feeling the Heat. Houston Chronicle. 27 Apr. 2014. B6
Bible Verse. 1 Corinthians 13:4. Houston Chronicle. 27 Apr. 2014. B6
Krugman, Paul. Economist Exposes U.S. Myth of Meritocracy. Houston Chronicle. 27 Apr. 2014. B7
Szymanski, Jeff, Frost, Randy, & Steketee, Anti-Hoarding Ordinance Stigmatizes Mentally Ill. Houston Chronicle. 27 Apr. 2014. B7

I limited myself to the B section of the newspaper, as that’s where all the fun is, and when I am on a limited time budget, it’s the best place to find stuff. I like how it came together. I did some minor jiggering to make it fit (tenses, genders, and the like).  
Here is the prompt I was responding to:
Create a 14-line sonnet sourced from lines from your newspaper that is divided according to the first five digits of the irrational number pi – that is, into stanzas of 3, 1, 4, 1 and 5 lines. As with the preceding sonnet assignment (see April 14) you may interpret “sonnet” as formally or as loosely as you wish.

puppy love, belle absente

Puppy love
You, Jacqui and him’d celebrate with KFC, and then go up (this was before zinc oxide, UVA)
and quick lay out and wish. Me: it was extra-agonizing to be July and five
in June, experiencing the frequent micronized TV, the block/body shows.
Zap, be extra smart, you’d say, your priceless heirloom just as quick to fade or giveaway,
to explain Ursula LeGuin and randomized just-worlds to one who’s five and frequent
and whose hospitalizations (infliximab) and even fingernails just say anti-quarterback


Hoffman, Ken. Chick-Fil-A Pushes Ahead of KFC in Sales. Houston Chronicle. 26 Apr. 2014. E2
Roizen, Michael, & Oz, Mehmet. Accelerated Treatments for Crohn’s Show Results. Houston Chronicle. 26 Apr. 2014. E2

This was an instance where getting closer to the instructions actually helped. I started with the name “Spanky” who is the “Pethouse Pet of the Week” (I don’t fully understand why Spanky has an opinion about KFC, but that’s okay). Originally, I thought I was to build words from the entire newspaper, but that led to the paralysis that comes with too much freedom. I then understood that I was to get all my words from the article, but that was too little freedom, as Spanky was absolutely missing a few letters. So I compromised and took the article directly below, which as kind fate would have it was a medical column full of all those difficult to find letters. I didn’t start out with the narrative that emerged, but found that there were certain words that I really wanted to include and they set the narrative for me.
Here is the prompt I was responding to:
Beautiful Outlaw- Belle Absente: The outlaw in question is the name of the person (or subject) to whom the poem is addressed. Each line of the poem includes all the letters of the alphabet except for the letter appearing in the dedicated name at the position corresponding to that of the line: when writing a poem to Eva, the first line will contain all letters except E, the second all letters except V, and the third all letters except A.

Choose someone mentioned in your newspaper to whom to address your poem. Compose a beautiful outlaw poem following the procedure outlined above and using words sourced from your newspaper text.

Friday, April 25, 2014

not affirmative authority, a larded psalm

not affirmative authority, a psalm
there are no more fires in the
restroom true I continue to
be very confident in our position
in the litigation the data just isn’t
there you do have your critics
out there the earth is full of
your mercy not our business
our kids are not commodities
finally let the people decide
I wasn’t so sure about that very
modest there’s one side of me
that says to go ahead the people
should decide teach me your
laws I’ve noticed that they’re
exiting kids as quickly as they

accept them all it really did was
allow them the right to proceed
the halls are no longer like a party

Falkenberg, Lisa. Not Sold On Abbott’s School Takeover Plan. Houston Chronicle. 25 Apr. 2014. B1, B7
Collier, Kish. Sports Authority Debt Lawsuit is Back On. Houston Chronicle. 25 Apr. 2014. B2.
Bible Verse. Psalm 119: 64. Houston Chronicle. 25 Apr. 2014. B8
Krauthammer, Charles. Court Makes Right Call on Affirmative Action. Houston Chronicle. 25 Apr. 2014. B9
I enjoyed this a lot. Given the relatively free range I had, I decided to limit myself to one section of the newspaper, the B section, which is usually where local news, opinions, and (I only just discovered this) a bible verse all reside. Two news items, an opinion piece, and the aforementioned bible verse gave me all I needed. There were no erasures, but I did play a little loose with the definition of sentence. In some cases what appeared to be two separate closures were separated by a colon, which I treated like a period. My starting two-sentence piece was “there are no more fires in the restrooms. The halls are no longer ‘like a party.’” Then, I just inserted the most promising of my building blocks between them, and so on and so on. I finished up by making the lines roughly the same length and organizing them in a way that I liked.
Here is the prompt I was responding to:
Larding aka “line stretching.” From your newspaper text, pick two sentences. Add a new sentence between the first two; then two sentences in the new intervals that have become available; and continue to add sentences until the passage has attained the length desired. The supplementary sentences must either enrich the existing narrative or create a new narrative continuity.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

stop both are right, a homosyntaxism

stop both are right
stalling, they entice sadly
smudged, she hobnobs, almost
knows, I moved, just
entertaining, you see critically
entertaining, she signs just
smudged, you love almost
knowing, they click critically
stalling I list sadly
know?  they ask critically,
stall, she will be almost
smudged, I host, just
entertain, you buy sadly.
Hoffman, Ken. Food and Reading Fans Will Love This Event. Houston Chronicle. 24 Apr. 2014. E1, E2.
I saw a lot of different ways of approaching this exercise. I started with my favorite sentence in the article: “stop, both are right.” This, as near as I can figure, parses as “verb intransitive, pronoun, verb transitive, adverb.” I decided to limit myself to other words found in the article that fit into one of these four categories. There were four each of intransitive verbs that I could find (and some are debatable), four pronouns, four adverbs, and a crap-ton of transitive verbs. I figured I would see how close to exhausting my list of transitive verbs I could come by shifting around the other sets of four. I am pretty happy with the result, although it’s far more repetitive than exhaustive. I may have said this already, but I like repetition.
Here is the prompt I was responding to:
Homosyntaxism is a method of translation that preserves only the syntactic order of the original words. To give a rudimentary example, if N=noun, V=verb and A=adjective, the outline NVA could yield solutions such as “The day turned cold,” “Violets are blue,” “An Oulipian! Be wary!”)

Option 1: Choose a sentence from your newspaper source text and write as many homosyntaxisms as possible based on that same variation.

Option 2: Complete a homosyntaxism of an entire paragraph or article found in your text.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

couple's inventory, in order, unless (after Dear Abby)

couple’s inventory, in order, unless
pronouns, personal, ascending:
I, we, me, we,
you, you,
he, it, him, it,
nouns and substantives:
man, years, marriage, goal, dilemma, husband, track, time,
sex, times, year,
sex, times, life, couple,
sex, times, year, mind, business, days,

have been, may be, ‘d had, married, is, is
keeps, have, has, informed, was,
do, think,
married, having, is, keeps, travels, is
negations, descending:
not, not
to, for, of, in, that, only, that,
for, about, for, in, that, in, that,
for, about
conjunctions and junctions and miscellany:
a, but, this, a, a, and, and, a, a, what, also
numerals, no particular:
100, 30, 2013, 76, 30-plus, 76, 60, a
adjectives, ascending:
quite upset, sex, your, every, my, my, adequate, sex, normal, quite good, wonderful,
personal, perfect, our, normal
Dear Abby. Couple’s Sex Life Is All About the Numbers. Houston Chronicle. 23 Apr. 2014. E5.

I didn’t have a lot of time, so was in the market for something short. As fate would have it, there was a disturbing, albeit relatively succinct question asked of Dear Abby today. The poem, as well as the question (and Abby’s unrecorded answer), is all about couples and relationships. Or rather, a particular approach to above.
Here is the prompt I was responding to:
Inventory is a method of analysis and classification that consists of isolating and listing the vocabulary of a pre-existing work according to parts of speech. Choose a newspaper article or passage from a newspaper article and “inventory” the nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, articles, etc. Bonus points for creative presentation of your final lists.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

wellness departs from beneficient infinity: an antonymy

wellness departs from beneficent infinity
Ford periphery
will be nude
against an aberrant
regular-season snuggy
or emptied apart from
common division of
ease: moon-night, day.
Feigen, Jonathan. Issues Return at Bad Time. Houston Chronicle. 22 Apr. 2014. C1, C5.

This was another fun one. The starting sentence was: “Toyota Center was dressed for the occasion, adorned with the usual playoff t-shirts and filled with rare levels of  electricity Sunday night.”
There are some words that don’t lend themselves well to opposites. For the title, I did the same thing. I wasn’t sure what the opposite of time was, but I think the title went in the direction of particular instance (“time”), which meant the opposite seemed to be “infinity.” “Ford” seemed like the opposite of “Toyota”, but your mileage may vary (see also “snuggy” as the opposite of “t-shirt”). Some words gave me plenty of options and I had fun playing around with different ones.
Here is the prompt I was responding to: 

In Oulipian usage, antonymy means the replacement of a designated element by its opposite. Each word is replaced by its opposite, when one exists (black/white) or by an alternative suggesting antonymy (a/the, and/or, glass/wood).
Original: To be or not to be, that is the question.
Antonymy: To not be and to be: this was an answer.
Select a passage from your newspaper source text to complete this exercise.

Monday, April 21, 2014

women, dust, life's detours: a confabulation

women, dust, life’s detours
I let shame run rampant (justin
bieber hasn’t got a chance) no
one knew I had a child (a judge
in florida) more a rumor than a
fact (excuse me, judge) I didn’t
have my baby (for may fifteenth)
the time of facebook (driving
while intoxicated) I released her
from her shame (that’s cinco
de mayo) thirty five years is
too long (roll over) we don’t
operate in forgiveness (I’m not
doing this again) they’re more
than enough (to get flat)
Cowen, Diane. Jakes Helps Women Navigate Life’s Detours. Houston Chronicle. 21 Apr. 2014. D1, D2.
Dustin. Houston Chronicle. 21 Apr. D8.
Garfield. Houston Chronicle. 21 Apr. D7

This is an intermingling of quotes from hes and shes. All the quotes from women are taken from the same article. The male quotes are taken from two comic strips from the same section of the newspaper. I did some erasures to smooth out and the conversation spilled from line to line. I quite enjoyed this process.

Here is the prompt I was responding to:
Craft a conversation poem using “he said/she said” quotes that you find in newspaper articles.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

role plays a race

role plays a race
…wish those treatment would
explain how exactly the men
of the race would differ if
president were indeed mix of
the part what them would make
misbehavior say ok color is
definitely about this. of content
not skin. of I because from where
behavior sit which of the Obama
toward behavior would
need white…
Pitts, Leonard. Race Continues to Play a Role in American Politics. Houston Chronicle. 20 Apr. 2014. B10

It was tough to find text that wasn’t so littered with non-nouns that it was remotely interesting. I picked this article, and a section about halfway through that seemed somewhat more promising than anything else I read this Sunday. The title was another lescurean permutation on the relevant portion of the title of the article.
Here is the prompt I was responding to:
Select a newspaper article or passage from a newspaper article as your source text. Switch the first noun with the second noun, the third noun with the fourth noun, and so on until you’ve reached the end of your text.

and she has, a sestina

and she has
ask for some help if you need it
and she has
an invitation will come forward that you’ll yes to
i started to hear the walls creak and i said lets go
what are you crying about
a different maker’s generic doesn’t work at all
it’s not about me at all
garcia could not get a hand on it
that’s what sound science is all about
and she has
an honor to get to go
perhaps schedule a massage or two
he can still get a lot better because he wants to
we sail a bit sometimes not at all
and i said lets go
keep putting forth effort and working at it
and she has
that’s what sound science is all about
what are you crying about
there will be happiness but a somber moment too
and she has
its not about me at all
he told her to keep it
it’s an honor to get to go
we’re ready to stop talking and just go
that’s what sound science is about
ask for some help if you need it
there will be a somber moment too
but sometimes not at all
and she has

and she has
to get to go
not at all
crying about
he wants to
need it
MacInnis, Roberta. Runners Go Extra Mile for Boston. Houston Chronicle. 19 Apr. 2014. A1, A12
Minge, John. Gulf Recovery Efforts are Making Progress. Houston Chronicle. 19 Apr. 2014. B7.
Kaderka, Susan. Damage to Wildlife Remains Significant. Houston Chronicle. 19 Apr. 2014. B7
Creech, Jenny Dial. Happy With His Game. Houston Chronicle. 19 Apr. 2014. C1, C2
Harvey, Randy. Howard’s Postseason Attitude? It’s Super. Houston Chronicle 19 Apr. 2014. C1, C2.
Verdejo, Angel. Lee’s Magic Run Ends With Semifinal Loss. Houston Chronicle 19 Apr. 2014. C6
Duarte, Joseph. Thomas, House Obtain Conditional Releases. Houston Chronicle 19 Apr. 2014. C1, C8.
Bigar, Jacqueline. Horoscope. Houston Chronicle. 19 Apr. 2014. E7.
MacInnis, Roberta. Charter In The Caribbean. Houston Chronicle 19 Apr. 2014. L1, L3
Graedon, Joe and Theresa. E-Cigarettes May Not Help Smokers Quit the Habit. Houston Chronicle 19 Apr.                                                                                                                                                    

Wow, that was tough. Here is my raggedy sestina. I found myself getting attached to certain phrases and with a limited amount of time. So there are multiple repeats here, especially of the title line. I worked with a small set of sentences, and mainly did erasures.

Here is the prompt I was responding to:

This will be one of your most challenging Oulipost prompts! A sestina is a poetic form of six six-line stanzas. The end-words of the lines of each stanza repeat those of the first, but in a differing order that in each successive stanza follows the permutation: 615243. The entire sequence of end words is thus: 123456; 615243; 364125; 532614; 451362; 246531. All words and phrases must be sourced from your newspaper text..