Give Me Stories (an erasure poem)


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.


POETIC FORM: An Erasure Poem




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.

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

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.


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