For days unmentioned
I dreamt the speaking guitar.
Darkness poured forth
the physical radiation
of solemn hours,
the wild air, the last waltz,
the compass of words,
the utter simplicity
–Erasure poem made from Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”
This is inspired by Dave Bonta’s erasure project based on Pepys’ Diary. He’s been at it for a while coming up with some interesting stuff, and so I figured I’d give it a go after rereading his post about his working method. I grabbed a Poe collection that was nearby, flipped to a page from “Usher,” made a copy and started working. I used a highlighter to find the words, typed the poem, played with line breaks, cut some things out and then crossed out everything that wasn’t used.
Later I tried this with one of my creative writing classes, and they really enjoyed it. It was the kind of thing that inspired a lot of gripes, complaints, and this is too hards, but by the end of the period most of them were surprised to have enjoyed it and more importantly surprised by what they found lurking in the pages of their books.
For my part, I enjoyed working within the rules and how it pulled me a bit away from my own head, words and thoughts. This might get addictive. Stay tuned.