I have experimented with erasure poetry before, and I'm in awe of poets who can make that work. In the past, I haven't created an erasure poem that I like, but the process has sometimes sparked a more traditional poem for me.
Until I saw the work of Sarah J. Sloat, I hadn't thought of combining erasure poems and collage. I loved her book Hotel Almighty, the erasure poems with collage that Sloat created from pages of Stephen King's Misery, and it made me want to do something similar. But this past summer hasn't been a great time to do that, what with getting ready to move, then moving, then having art supplies in various places.
And there's the issue of intentionally destroying a book. I don't have that many books I don't care about. I thought I might use John Naisbitt's Megatrends, once I glanced through it again to see if it had been correct about its predictions. But when I saw my notes from so many years ago, I just couldn't damage the book.
So, I made a photocopy of a page that had potential. I blocked out some words that seemed to go together. And then I clipped some pictures from a December copy of Oprah magazine. I arranged and glued:
I love that I was able to find an image of a fountain pen for a page that deals with information and how we distribute it. I love a beautiful pie for a page that talks about economy and how we sell things. And the watch symbolizes so many things--same for the glasses and the jewel.
The second day, I started the blacking out. I had thought about using different colors of markers, but in the end, I started with black ink, and I found it very soothing to keep using the marker. The two lane road around the margins I added last:
I also made a PDF by scanning the image, which I can't figure out how to include here. I still don't have the right camera for capturing my sketches and collages. Sigh.
Here are the words:
Megatrends: The Information Economy Is Real
Documenting is difficult.
part of a job
I will return to Megatrends again--I'm interested to see if I keep finding delight in erasing and collaging. Even if I don't end up with something as satisfying as this first creation from the book, the process is really satisfying.