The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

We've talked about constrained writing and the phantasmagoric literary movement known as Oulipo, and we are pleased that examples of the oeuvre continue to be published to amaze and delight us. Christian Bök, of Toronto fame, has spent seven years on his latest book, Eunoia, which - as any Oulipoid should know - is the shortest word in the English language consisting of all five vowels, and which means 'beautiful thought.' In this book, he has clever, punchy, terse and often gorgeous wordplay, internal rhymes: pieces in which only one vowel is used, and in which he tries to incorporate as many different words as possible. His efforts with 'a' and 'e' are neat, but the amazing section is that with verse consisting of the vowel 'u'. Here's how one piece starts:
Dutch smut churns up blushful succubus lusts; thus
buff hunks plus hung studs must fuck lustful sluts:
Ruth plus Lulu. Ubu struts. Ubu snuffs up drugs.
We'd like to continue but it gets increasingly raunchy and clever and we don't want to violate the man's copyright.

After the description of the porn flick, Bök, sympathetically, wants to show that Ubu enjoys his meals. All that bonking does tend to drain the buff hunk:
Ubu gulps up brunch: duck, hummus, nuts, fugu,
bulgur, buns (crusts plus crumbs), blutwurst, brüh-
wurst, spuds, curds, plums; munch, munch. Ubu sups.
Once that is done, Ubu likes nothing better than to observe nature. He is a bucolic man, Ubu is:
Gulls churr: ululu, ululu. Ducks cluck. Bulls plus
bucks run thru buckbush; thus dun burrs clutch
fur tufts. Ursus cubs plus Lupus pups hunt skunks.
Curs skulk (such mutts lurk: ruff, ruff).
There is much more, but all we shall say at this point is: read the book. It is available online here.


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