Sunday, April 5, 2009

Erasure poetry

At my reading on April 1, I read a poem that came out of one of those erasure exercises the kids are all doing these days. An astute audience member (the lovely Kristie Kachler) asked me what the source text was and I could not remember at the time. I said I would look it up when I got home, and so I have. It was "Pointed Roofs" by Dorthy Miller Richardson. I got it from the Wave poetry site, which offers 20 different texts for slicing and dicing. Or, really, erasing, on a computer. It is perhaps more authentic, and more fun, to instead do this in a really old book that doesn't belong to you.

You can see the erasure poem I did as it existed on the screen Jan. 25, 2009 and, also, once I strong armed it into some lines on March 31, 2009.

The bright sweep of faces—
girls scattered here
collectors of nervous music.
The first: a duet running in
swollen lines. Subsequent pieces
left fingers weak, wrists
dreadful and resented,
nothing but touch and blue tiles.
Two to three forgotten girls
almost unrecognizable.
Limbs and eyes
slurred soundlessly musical
by winter, so easily rid of her
and her and her.

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