A writer friend of mine recently posted an interesting photograph on Instagram. (Who said social media can't have a positive impact on your brain?) She called it, "Blackout Poetry."
And by that, she quite literally, took a black marker to the page of a classic novel -- in this case, one of my favorites, 'The Great Gatsby.' Yes, she defamed the page of a book, in the name of creative writing. I thought it was pretty genius.
F. Scott Fitzgerald might have been fascinated. Or offended. Or both. Didn't know him personally, but I cannot imagine that any writer would not be flattered on some level, as another attempted to breathe new life into their cherished work.
As a journalist, who dabbles in creative non-fiction writing, I was hooked by her unconventional approach. I wanted to try it myself.
So, here is my first attempt at Blackout Poetry, torn from the pages of Truman Capote's, "In Cold Blood." Why I've chosen this book is completely random. Just grabbed the first paperback I saw sticking out of the overflowing shelf, and flipped to an arbitrary page, forty-five.
The poem has nothing to do with the novel, but everything to do with how the words called to me, from the page itself.
My poem is titled: Odyssey of the Lost Man.
to exist without responsibility
in the solitary, comfortless course of his recent driftings,
He did give a damn.
No one else
had ever recognized his worth.
He saw himself-- exceptional, rare, artistic
He knew what he must do.
The journey's aftermath was up to fate.
Special Thanks to writer Jen Maidenberg for inspiring this post.
Award-winning broadcast TV/radio news producer for more than 15 years, with a real passion for print.
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