April is National Poetry Month! I forget this every year but this year it’s so fitting because at the beginning of the month I wrote my first poem in over seven months. Apparently my muse pays better attention to the calendar than I do.
I went into my local library last week and saw a display of "blackout" poetry. (If you do a search for this you'll find some incredibly creative ones. Mine is pretty straightforward.) They encouraged patrons to take a sheet of text (pages cut from books that were damaged or taken out of circulation) and use a marker to circle the words that were wanted and black out those that were unwanted. The end result being a unique poem built from someone else’s prose.
Here’s a photo of my final result:
Here’s the copied text:
You look fine, satisfied, pleased
here in this room.
Just don’t leave. Okay?
Shaking her head, she hadn’t answered.
promise you won’t leave.
All right. I promise.
He called, listened for her
Couldn’t stand it.
His request a slight tremor spoken.
Funeral Friday afternoon
another ready scheduled Wednesday evening.
Over and over.
If only I had seen that monster.
Wish the fault was the monster
but the words…
out of his mouth.
I did the back side of the page as well, though I didn’t take a picture because - like a dummy - I didn’t realize how badly my marker would bleed through.
Here’s the text:
Too quickly, pulled out his shield
Just watch Justice.
To be the first one to know if anything broke.
a part of this hunt,
looked to murder,
locking up choice.
This was a fun exercise. If you’re feeling dull on one of these spring days when the weather seems to want to be contrary to your mood, try it out. You can use a magazine or newspaper page. I think it’d be a great one for finding new inspiration or relieving writer’s block. Sometimes being forced to work with words you might not have chosen can be like finding a brand new color in your crayon box.
Happy Poetry Month!