Last night we spent some time with Max, a friend from church who is starting his Ph. D. efforts in Film Studies.

Things got a little crazy, intellectually speaking, and we got off onto constrained writing.   That is writing that has some artificial constraint invoked on its creation.  The best-known example is Gadsby, a book written without the letter E.

The conversation turned to constrained poetry and constrained film.  We had trouble getting our heads around constrained film: what would be left out?  There have been thousands of films without color, so that’s not a good possibility.

As we went back to constrained poetry, one of us mentioned Ozymandias

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

and how that would be written without the letter E.  I came up with

Look on my works, y’all Mighty, and bum out!

It’s sort of the Southern surfer version.  And while technically it may be constrained writing, I think of it as simply strained.