Found text experiment

I’ve been experimenting recently with a particular kind of found-text poetry that I’ve heard called blackout poetry, cross-out poetry, and book page poetry. The idea is to take a page of text and to create a poem by crossing out all the words you don’t want to be in the poem.

Here’s an example using a page from a piece out of The Sun magazine (Oct. 2013, issue 454) called Already Falling:

 

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Soul on Fire

[The title for this poem was inspired by the Ferdinand Foch quote, “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire,” as quoted recently by The Better Man Project Blog (here). Everything else is my own.]

First, the recurring
Exposure. The residual
Re-experiencing of a scene
Witnessed. Directly.
Lived. Personally.

The correlating stress:
Reactive. Dissociative.
Persistent. Intrusive. A heightened
Arousal.

A diagnosis: internalized.
Acutely disordered. Insecure.
Inhibited. Restricted social
Engagement. Avoidant attachment.
Neglect(ed).

She is remembering her
Self. Her soul is
On fire and this
tumble
of words
can’t describe the inflammation
caused by the friction
of her
still burning
trauma.

IMG_6949

Slightly neurotic, easy going

2013-01-20 21.54.14

This is another found text poem along the same theme as the previous post, this time using only the first lines of women’s online dating profiles. Again, the line breaks are mine, otherwise the sentences are copied and pasted from the profiles.

 

Slightly neurotic, easy going.

 

Well, where to begin. Born

and raised in the center

of the universe. Interested,

I suppose. Slightly neurotic, easy going

girl..err, woman, with

too much charm

for the average person to handle. Rabbit

rescuer. By day, I’m a

mild-mannered

accountant. Once I was a pig

farmer in Italy. I am a transplant. I have all

my limbs. I have

a weakness

for tattoos and dimples, but neither

are necessary. When I was young

I wanted

to be a trapeze artist or

a taxi driver. Basically,

I spend 90% of my life feeling like I’ve got this adulthood thing

down

and the other 10%

eating nachos for dinner

three nights in a row. What is anyone

doing

with their lives?

Adult Male

The Washington Monument in Baltimore, MD

Monument to the “Father of our Country”

I’m a complex person, but
here goes
nothing.
I promise
I’m not a serial killer.
I’m an introspective social
chameleon. I love
the good life. The screeching roar
of jet engines makes me
indescribably
giddy. I’m happier
than I’ve ever been. I’m ravenous
for life and have razor-sharp teeth
pointed
at the plate. I am an open
book with sticky pages
and a good
read. I’m 99 pounds
of pure
dynamite. Adult
male.

This is a found text poem using the first lines from men’s online dating profiles. The line breaks are mine, the text is copied directly from the profiles.