This mask –
once a god’s,
dripping – ah! –
down through
eternity’s lead wall.
Oceans boiling away,
scented with destruction –
just an echoing stone,
the song a passing curio.


I’ve been admiring other people’s erasure poems and vaguely waiting for the right poem to come along so that I can play with it myself. I read Brendan’s piece here, and some words just popped out at me, so I decided to go with it. I would describe Brendan as a “big” poet – his poems are not just physically big, they have big themes, big references, big resonances. I hope I’ve managed to keep some of that “bigness” in this very small poem. 


Going past – NaPoWriMo 19

Up past the owls
down past the trees
and on to the end.

Sharp stop.
L  O  N  G    S  T  R  E  T  C  H.
Nar/row – cut in half.

Join the river, along the river,
here between you and the water

turn again, past the light

the waste.

For NaPoWriMo day 19, where the prompt is this: 

Our (optional) prompt for the day takes it cue from Brady’s suggestion that erasure/word banks can allow for compelling repetitive effects. Today we challenge you to write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even gives directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem.

I wrote a paragraph about my drive to work. I think I’ve kept the sense of a journey in this poem. It was tricky to write a paragraph knowing that I would be pulling words from it, (and tempting to put in words that would be useful in a poem), but I tried to keep it very factual and to the point. There are owls there, we often see them. I feel no guilt about putting them in.