Blackout Poetry and a Silver Whale Tail

I know… I’ve lied. I’m not back in New York City yet, and I’m blogging. But what can I say? There I was, rewriting a story that found its setting (and some characters) rewritten at the last minute, when my mind decided it needed a slight change of pace before writing on… just a minute or thirty.

The slight change of pace… If we don’t interact on Facebook or Instagram, then you might not know that I’m writing Blackout Poetry… again. I blacked out a few poems, some months ago—after my occupational therapist suggested that it would be a good idea to do something of the sort with my hands. But I had to stop (the Muse and I felt unethical about blacking words out of Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts).

Then, the other day, my Mother-in-Law was going to donate one of her college books to the local library. The biding was lovely, the pages were lovely, and to birth poetry out of words in a book that might go out of circulation soon would be all kinds of awesome. Also, I love that the book had been put to use by someone I care about. I’ve been blacking out a poem every night before bed; great exercise for hand and mind.

“Speak Value”
Speak Value, by Magaly Guerrero
Speak Value,
or you’ll live exotic
to common-sense.
* from the intro page of Caring for Your Book, by Michael Dirda (1990)

The following trio comes from Music and the Classroom Teacher, by James L. Mursell (1951):

“Catch a Dirge”
Catch a Dirge, by Magaly Guerrero
Do catch me

a dirge,
a brightly colored jig
(lively music)–
a story.

Wonder, by Magaly Guerrero
Wonder much,

experience proof
and far-reaching possibilities;

be free.

“I saw music”
I Saw Music, by Magaly Guerrero
I saw music

(heads and bodies,
arms and hands)

I felt free
(gently and subtly)

So… there you have it, my Wicked Luvs… blacked out poetry by moi… an inundation of ellipses… and, of course, the promised Silver Whale Tail…
Whale Tail Sculpture