White-Out, Black-Out, Erase

A brief affair

Light on details

we’re obliged to ask

questions, talk about

nothing much.


Against this fictional utopia,

hope is a slow burn.

In the dark, tales

are engineered.


- Drew Myron


Every writer has a special trick to get the mind stirrin' and words flowin'. My go-to is the erasure poem. Out of words and inspiration? Just pick up any print material and start scratching. By mining words that are not my own, new combinations appear and fresh ideas follow. For me, the erasure poem is a way to kick my head and hands into the writing groove. Some are keepers, most are not. But the process is always fun.

For great erasure inspiration, see:

Mary Ruefle (white-out erasure books)

Austin Kleon (newspaper black-out poems)

Lawrence Sutin (text and collage erasure books)

What's your trick? Have you tried an erasure poem? How do you kickstart your writing mind?