Category Archives: Creativity

Finding Meaning Between The Black Lines

Blackout poetry, or erasure poetry, is unique in that you are working with a predetermined set of words. You can blackout or erase as much or as little as you like. Form new words and phrases from what exists.

But what does it mean? A recent conversation with creative collaborators posed this question and one suggestion was that blackout poetry was a search for meaning. Firstly as individual; secondly for the audience. 

I compose firstly for myself, then for an audience. However the text also exists independent of me as creator. 

With that in mind, I took the initial post that sparked this discussion and made three erasure poems. Each time I looked for something different; another angle, a change of perspective. 

For these I copied the text into a document and used the highlighter tool. Hence some fragment spaces.

There were a couple of words or phrases I returned to, a focal point or locus for writing but I had to deliberately move away from them to forge something new.

Was I looking for something of myself in the poetry? I am not sure. Sometimes there is an identification with the text. At other times it is an enjoyment of the construction of language. While perhaps it is also a disquieting of the soul and heart when darker ideas and phrases emerge.

I don’t think there is a clear answer to the question. If anything, the new text raises more questions. Questions that may have an answer or questions that may provoke a dialogue.

I’ll leave the answers up to you.

#1 Traces of Light

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#2 Stillness and Shenanigans 

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#3 The Countless Hours

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Zentangle #17 and #18

In what has been a very brutal couple of months personally, it sucked the life out of me, particularly creatively. I am still working on a chapter for the collaborative novel with my creative partners Jodi and Rus. I am almost done. But with the busyness of this time of year I am not yet done. So close. Yet not done.

However while long form projects take longer to finish, short term, almost immediate creative projects, can be done. Zentangles have been a glorious creative focus.

These two were created for my creative co-conspirators and good friends, Jodi and Rus. (On a side note, Rus has a released a new collection of stories and essays for Christmas. Click HERE. And Jodi regularly sells poetry squares via her Etsy store. Click HERE.)

In the light of their recent releases, these zentangles were serendipitous. I was using the same book as all my zentangles (Through A Class Darkly by Jostein Gaardner) and found the words and images quite quickly. They are now winging their way to their respective homes in Brisbane, Australia and Towson, America.

It is a good feeling to compose a piece for a specific person. One that I know meets the creative and spiritual aspects of their personality and character.

Zentangle #17 – Theology

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THEOLOGY
the theology of nature
is to see imagination
playing in heaven

Zentangle #18 – Souls

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SOULS
try to describe
if you think
my soul
ought to keep silent

I have zentangle art for sale. Click on the link HERE.

If you are interested in a personalised commission, drop me a line in the comments and we can talk prices and ideas.

Zentangle #15 Two Ravens

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TWO RAVENS

I had
two ravens
one
to forget everything
remember
you become sad when
you 
let go

Handwritten Pages #15

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     She ties the dressing gown around her waist. Lines up her toes where the metal coping separates the hallway carpet from the bathroom tiles. A diver’s stance. Anticipation of the tiles’ coldness.
     She steps. Plummets. Side steps the bath mat. Plants her feet squarely. Small ripples quickly subside. The cold tiles prickle the soles of her feet until it stings. Tapers off to an equilibrium.
     Repeatedly she will lie on her back on the bathroom floor undressed. Lets the cold of the tiles fight with the heat of her body. She relents. Acquiesces. Adds a layer of permafrost to her heart against the fire of her mother’s tongue.

Zentangle #14 Answer

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ANSWER

A fragment of answer
crept
inside the door
stealing through
like little children

Zentangle #13 Notebook

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NOTEBOOK

the notebook was
a promise
to never tell lies

Zentangle #12 Decoration

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DECORATION

below ground
a decorated
little brother
the bedside table
a vase of flowers
a dustpan and brush