Geist Erasure Poetry Contest

geist: cold comfort and a hot cup of tea

The winners of the 2nd Annual Geist Erasure Poetry contest were just released in the latest issue of this renowned North American literary magazine.  I did submit an entry for the first time, and though it wasn’t shortlisted, it was a terrific challenge – an exercise in new form, thought, and style.

The goal was to edit a block of supplied text, which was culled this year from author Sheila Heti’s creative non-fiction work, How Should a Person Be?  The process is: copy the text, then erase anything you like so that the leftover words and letters carve out your new poem.  Words from marble.  (Or is that marble from words?)  The only rule is you can’t change the order or words or letters.  Once I completed the first entry, I wanted to try my hand at some additional submissions but it was extremely difficult to conceptualize a new theme, to pick out new words and letters, once I had erase-written my first poem.

Here’s my entry:

of many parts

young people today
want to be free.
now, i do too.

come over.
never, now, non-stop,
we make the other
one feel.

i can’t help that i love.

i would never exist in a place
where there’s only one.

participate;
don’t change,
except to be
without heart -

(but not too much.)

carry an image
of me:
unchanging, magnetic.
know the details,
the no good details.

i should be
an illusion.
who am i
on this earth today –

the fucking
perfect woman?

it could be me:
should be:
for me.

The 9th Annual Geist Postcard contest is now accepting submissions until February 1st – for this one you find or create a postcard image, and write the accompanying text, 500 words or less.  I’d be really interested to collaborate with someone on this, so if you have an image that you’d like me to narrate in some form, please be in touch with me!

Writing is good for the brain, give it a try!

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