Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Tag: tell-tale heart erasures

My Headache (Erasure 5/5)

Tell-Tale Heart Erasure Poem 5/5

 

My Headache

I talk freely
I talk fluently
I talk to God
I swore, and the noise arose

I thought I was better
than those smiles,
this heart

///

–Erasure Poem made from Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” One poem per page from The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Barnes & Noble, 2004)

This is the final erasure poem from Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart.” It’s been an interesting experiment creating these. I chose the story because it was short, I knew I’d have time to do it, and I know the story well since it’s a freshman lit standard. I wanted to escape the story, but Poe’s deranged narrator made that difficult and so the poems came out appropriately dark.

Poe was also a tricky subject for his elevated use of language—them fifty dollar words, if you will. I made a semi-conscious effort to avoid some of that to get a more natural, modern sound to these.

I liked doing the actual erasures what with the physical manipulation of the materials. It really felt like I was making something. I typed them, though, because I would find such things annoying to read if I had to read very many of them and also, I would like them to be able to stand on their own as a series, if not singly.

I also need to give major props to Dave Bonta whose ongoing Pepys’ Diary erasure series inspired this. Speaking of Dave, be sure to check out his beautiful new chapbook Twelve Simple Songs.

A New Sound (Erasure 4/5)

Tell-Tale Heart Erasure 4/5

 

A New Sound

my hand upon
the heart was stone

you conceal
the night in silence

when four o’clock came
I entered the night aroused

to search for my own dream,
the wild beneath my ease

///

Erasure Poem made from Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” One poem per page from The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Barnes & Noble, 2004)

The Wind Crossing the Floor (Erasure 3/5)

Tell-Tale Heart Erasure Poem 3/5

 

The Wind Crossing the Floor

You, the spider
gazed upon a dull old man’s face

directed by instinct
my heart kept still

told me to refrain
(I thought)

///

Erasure Poem made from Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” One poem per page from The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Barnes & Noble, 2004)

A Ray Upon the Eye (Erasure 2/5)

Tell-Tale Heart Erasure 2/5

 

A Ray Upon the Eye

it was impossible to work
when day broke

you would have been mine
had I perhaps said:

lie down, listen–
night after night
the world’s a dreadful echo
of folk traditions
in the walls of old houses
tapping

///

Erasure Poem made from Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” One poem per page from The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Barnes & Noble, 2004)

Disease Sharpened in Hell (Erasure 1/5)

erasure-scan-heart1

 

Disease Sharpened in Hell

you entered my brain

love never wronged me
for I had no desire

a vulture fell upon me
take nothing with caution
I was never old

closed, closed, you laughed
so wise to conceal light

///

This is an erasure poem made from Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” I’m doing one per page from the 5 pages that comprise the story in the 2004 Barnes & Noble edition of The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. The idea was inspired by Dave Bonta’s erasure series based on Pepys’ Diary, and after doing one of my own from Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” I wanted to go a little deeper into Poe and erasure. I took the titles from the text and allowed myself to use some of the editorial footnotes.

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