28. Erasure Poetry

Man, how long has it been since I last posted? I shan’t state it here, as it’s embarrassing; I’ll let you find out on your own. I’ve been feeling un-poetic lately, but since I’m doing National Novel Writing Month and in need of a means to procrastinate, let’s have a go at it for old time’s sake, shall we?

So. Erasure poetry. It’s a form similar to Found Poetry. In Found Poetry, if you’ll recall, the words we use to form the new poem are from other groups of text; in Erasure Poetry, rather than taking the words, we erase all the other words surrounding the ones we want. You can use any text for Erasure Poetry — a paragraph from your science textbook, text from a Pro-Life pamphlet, the Bible — you name it!

In my example, we’ll be using text from my work in progress called “The Life and Times of the Devil”:

He had traveled many miles, traversed many a millennia — and it had all brought him here. He rubbed his eyes with the coarse underside of his hands. Or claws. They were claws now, he’d forgotten . . .

The sight made him cringe. It made his heart (did he even have one?) drum in his chest. It wasn’t so much the hundred concrete buildings reduced to rubble in that one — did he dare think it? — brilliant flash of . . . of light. No. It wasn’t even the sunless skies, now a black backdrop of infinite emptiness. Not the cold breeze that enveloped his scaly hide, naked. It was that he was alone once again.

So, in the end, we have this:

He traveled many miles,
Traversed many millennia;
It had all brought him here.
He rubbed his eyes.
He’d forgotten…

The sight,
It made his heart drum in his chest—
Concrete buildings reduced to rubble;
Brilliant flash of light;
The sunless skies,
A black backdrop of infinite emptiness;
The cold breeze;
His scaly hide, naked.
He was alone once again.

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