Raving Mad (an erasure poem)

cutitoutpoem

I suppose
I’m mad.
I haven’t
been
yet.

You’ll see
me
vanish.

Queer
things happen
while
I just turn
and

vanish
again.

After
a minute
or two
before
will be much

the most
interesting
and raving
mad–

at least
it was
as again
I wish.

appearing
and vanishing
so suddenly
make one
quite
giddy.

Beginning
with the end
and ending
some time
after.

clock (2)

 

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POETIC FORM: An Erasure Poem

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PROMPT:

CutItOut

To earn the “Cut It Out” badge, start with an X ACTO knife, box cutter or other cutting device. Find a text you don’t mind cutting up — or make a photocopy of the text if necessary — and physically cut out the unused portions to create an erasure poem. Watch James W. Moore’s video, “Making Heaven,” which captures his process of creating poems using this approach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FAxSv1sZOs&list=UUMgTlLB9YpdkRZHiX3zOo3g&feature=share&index=2 Scan your completed work — or take a picture of it — and upload it to the site. Cite your source text at the bottom of your post.

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PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

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SOURCE TEXT: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Kiss the Words (an erasure poem)

WorldsGreatestLoverPoem (2)

My dearest
I wrote you
like one out of reason

at night when
my passion gets
entirely impossible,
I fear you think me
a little mad.

I have never known
any happiness as ours–
Will you write me
and intoxicate me–

Write the softest words
kiss them that I may
touch my lips
where yours have been.

-Pen Connor 2015

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POETIC FORM: An Erasure Poem

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PROMPT:

PictureIt

To earn the “Picture It” badge, take your inspiration from Tom Phillips’ A Humument (http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/humument/slideshow/1-50) and create a poem that’s part erasure, part art. Instead of simply marking out the text you don’t need, use markers, crayons, paint and other materials to turn it into a picture. Not a strong artist? Experiment with collage, using cutouts from magazines and other sources to obscure your un-used text. Scan your completed work — or take a picture of it — and upload it to the site. Cite your source text at the bottom of your post.
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PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

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SOURCE TEXT: TheWorld’s Greatest Love Letters compiled by Michael Kelahan, page 196

Dusk to Twilight (an erasure poem)

NightCircusFireflies

You
stand in the fading light,
waiting for the sunset.

The clock ticks by

passing minutes,

The sun disappears beyond the horizon,
luminosity shifts dusk to twilight.
you are restless waiting,

when it happens…

small lights begin to flicker,
fireflies.

you gasp
with glee at the sight.

-Pen Connor 2015

firefliesjar

 

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POETIC FORM: An Erasure Poem

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PROMPT:

ClickTrick

To earn the “Click Trick” badge, start by gaining access to Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Acrobat. Free 30-day trials of both software programs can be downloaded at adobe.com/downloads. You’ll also need a digital copy of your source text in an image or PDF format.

If you are using Adobe Photoshop: Open your source text in Photoshop — when you do so, it automatically opens the image in its own layer. Add a new layer on top of your source text. Select the brush tool and choose a color swatch of your choice. You can use the eyedropper tool to select the color of your page background (for a true erasure look), or select another color of your choice. Paint over your source text, obscuring lines until only the words of your erasure poem remain.  For a video tutorial, watch Jenni B. Baker’s 8-minute demonstration of how she creates erasure poems for her Erasing Infinite project. Save your completed work as an image file (JPG or PNG preferred) and upload it to the site.

If you are using Adobe Acrobat: Open your source PDF text in Acrobat. Navigate to the “Tools” then “Protection” Toolbar. Click “Mark for Redaction” and then drag your cursor over the sections of the text you wish to remove. Click “Apply Redaction” to remove that section permanently. By default, Adobe places a black bar over any redacted text; however, you can change this color (to white, for instance) under “Redaction Properties.” For a video tutorial, watch How Tech.Office’s demonstration, “How to Redact in Adobe Acrobat.”

Save your completed work as either an image file (JPG or PNG) or a PDF, and upload it to the site. Regardless of which format you choose, be sure to cite your source text at the bottom of your post.

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PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

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SOURCE TEXT: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, page 4

A Thousand Times

(after Sting)

galaxiesinhand

I close my eyes, and see you in my head —
eyes and lips, fingers, shoulders, hips.
My mind spins and stutters, beyond my control
with these insistent questions and their answers.

Today, the knowing and the journey that is you
are the breaths between the ticking of my clock
— “a thousand times the mysteries
unfold themselves like galaxies in my head.”

Gazing inward, I wonder — unsettled and unsure.
Which words are meant for telling you
the things I long to say? Which of these
vast silences are filled with unexplored truth?

I gaze outward — watching, memorizing you:
your tells, sudden shifts, fluid movements.
I find more mystery, than understanding,
more turbulent galaxies, folding and unfolding.

You are like a great window flung open on
the universe, I stand staring out, peering in.
Just as I discover something to grasp —
spinning in your dazzling light — you close.

I slide downward, sit beside your wall
wondering — what have I seen? What part
of you can I take from this close encounter?
Silent and over-thinking — with galaxies in my hands.

 

POEM INFORMATION:

Poem inspired by A Thousand Years, written and performed by Gordon Sumner (Sting), on the album Brand New Day, released by A&M Records on 24 September 1999. (lyrics linked above)

ADDITIONAL CITATION INFORMATION:

He Did (an erasure poem)

He Did (a redacted poem)

It is a Friday,
three days after I go straight–
and I don’t know who will
walk up the street to
see the poets these days.

I go on, and he
doesn’t even look up.
I get a little ink,
but I don’t go to sleep.

I just stroll into the lane
and ask where
I came from,
in the heat.

I am sweating
and thinking of
leaning on John,
while he whispered.

He stopped.

-Pen Connor 2015

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POETIC FORM: An Erasure Poem

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PROMPT:

Redacted

To earn the “Redacted” badge, visit http://www.erasures.org and follow the directions to drag the blackout icon to your tool bar. From there, navigate to a website or other source text. Click on the blackout icon to activate the tool, then use your mouse to highlight words on the screen. As you highlight sections and release your mouse, you will see a black bar appear over them, digitally blacking them out. Leave only the words that comprise your poem exposed. Take a screenshot(s) of your finished product and post it to the site. To learn how to take a screenshot based on your operating system, visithttp://www.take-a-screenshot.org/. Credit your source text at the bottom of your post.
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PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

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SOURCE TEXT:

The Poetry Foundation (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171368)
Frank O’Hara, “The Day Lady Died” from Lunch Poems. Copyright © 1964 by Frank O’Hara. Reprinted (on the Poetry Foundation site) with the permission of City Lights Books.
Source: The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara (1995)

Umbrella (an erasure poem)

whiteoutpoem

He is surrounded by clouds.
Sheets of rain pouring down
and he dances in the wind,
shimmering and wet.

Out from the shadows,
her umbrella open
against the rain,
her gown is quickly soaked.
She is hidden.

-Pen Connor 2015

GirlUmbrellaRain

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POETIC FORM: An Erasure Poem

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PROMPT:

WhiteOut

To earn the White Out badge, first get your hands on a bottle of white out, a white-out pen or white paint. Find a text you don’t mind marking up — or make a photocopy of the text if necessary — and progressively cover up lines of text with white out until only the words composing your erasure poem remain visible. Scan your completed erasure as an image — or take a picture of it — and post it to the site. Note: You must complete this erasure process by hand — no digital tools allowed (you’ll do that for another badge). To see a sample white-out poem, view excerpts from Mary Ruefle’s A Little White Shadow on the Poetry Foundation’s website: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178610. Scan or take a picture of your poem and upload it to the site. Credit your source text at the bottom of your post.
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PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

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SOURCE TEXT:  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, page 154

Give Me Stories (an erasure poem)

womanbook

Tonight I walked to dinner.
I found a book of short poems
called “stories”.
What did it feel like?

Why this night everything?
I can recall each face,
mouth, hand groping
for a wallet.

I feel sentimental I flounder
in my own pleasure.
It’s something private, inside-out
–not mine any longer.

It’s as close as every detail–
the grain of the bread,
the tall clear bottle.
Locate the muscle throb.

What beat makes love,
carries us into the center?
A narrator tears up the page–
smoldering moments banging
in his bones. What is asked?

You lose everything writing.
We will die best, used up.
Are you willing to give–
to surrender– drop that old
yellow coat and give me stories.

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POETIC FORM: An Erasure Poem

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PROMPT:

OpenBook

To earn the Open Book badge, choose a book or magazine as your source text. Select a two-page spread, and scan through the text, copying down any interesting words and phrases in the order you encounter them on the page. When you’ve finished, write a poem using only these words and phrases without changing their order. No non-found words may be included in your poem. Poems should be presented in type, similar to a standard poem, and not contain additional visual elements or emphasis (you’ll do that for other badges). Credit your source text at the bottom of your post.
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PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

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SOURCE TEXT: Old Friend from Far Away – The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg

Hunted

girlindarkwoods

Your growl tells me
you’re predator
and my tripping pulse
must be the siren
song of prey.

Alone in these dark
woods, in spite of
the moonlight, I can’t
tell from the shadows.

You breathe as if
to taste the air.
I hear your tongue
rasp against your teeth.

Though my trembling
hands twist in my skirts,
my thoughts chase
each other headlong
down the path
of wild fantasy.

Wandering, wondering:
is your hunger carnal
or sanguine; Are you
warm-blooded or cold–
werewolf or vampire–
hunting me?

The Storm (a remixing poem)

we in the rain

He touched her –rain perfume
–her flesh white, enveloping,
a soothing rhythm about her,
hair disheveled, drowsy.

Touching his passion she stood;
he remembered nothing–
an entrance made arms,
mouth– steaming her throat.

His heart she clasped.
His hand stroked, playing–
firm bosom, like time in rain,
her hair back, sensuous.

And she — stiflingly defenselessness
the mystery he had lost,
broken by quiet that threatened,
eyes — still white lightning.

Passionate creature, open
her desire flame red —
would retreating seem a passing
cloud or a cyclone, breathless?

Dazed he dared look away
nervously flung himself before her
obscuring the view, did not heed
eyes so inviting, without guile.

Crashing torrents, mysterious, at
the borderland of ecstasy, inviting.
If she hands hope, in quivering lips–
now he looked — liquid blue eyes.

Releasing him and herself to
her birthright, he kissed–
The thunder was his, and she–
his! A storm, encircled.

Infatuation and desire aroused!
The distant rain filled all,
kissed her, He tasted
laugh of delight, upon her lips:
revelation– knowing her!

-Pen Connor 2015

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POETIC FORM: A Remixing Poem

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PROMPT:
Blender

To earn the Blender badge, choose either a source text that already exists in digital form, or a printed text that you’re willing to type out. Next, navigate to The Text-Mixing Desk at The Lazarus Corporation (http://www.lazaruscorporation.co.uk/cutup/text-mixing-desk), paste your text, adjust the controls and click “Start the Mix!”
Copy down the result exactly as it comes out of the Text Mixing Desk. Repeat the mixing process with additional sections of text if you want a longer language bank to work with.
Craft your poem from the results using words IN THE ORDER they appear in the original. You may delete words but not reorder them.
Credit your source text at the bottom of your post.

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PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

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SOURCE TEXT: The Storm – a short story by Kate Chopin

(a remixing poem – haiku)

windowwasher

in the endless sky
the window washer
leaves a cleaner planet

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POETIC FORM: A Remixing Poem (haiku)

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PROMPT:

HaikuAnew
To earn the Haiku Anew badge, start by selecting a haiku (or a few) written by another poet. Visit the Haiku Discomobulator at http://www.languageisavirus.com/haiku-discombobulater.html, enter your source haiku, and click “Discombobulate!”

Craft a new haiku (or series of haiku) from the resulting text, using the results in any order you choose.

Note: you may need to intervene in the resulting text to create a poem that fits the haiku structure while still making sense.

Literary journals like Frogpond (http://www.hsa-haiku.org/frogpond/), Acorn (http://acornhaiku.com/) and Bones (http://www.bonesjournal.com/index.html) publish haiku — start there if you’re having trouble finding your starting “source” haiku.

Credit your source haiku at the bottom of your post.

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PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson, is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.

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SOURCE TEXT: Bones (http://www.bonesjournal.com/index.html)