Blackout poetry. Here’s how you play.
1. Tear out a page from a book or magazine.
2. Circle words to make a poem.
3. Black out everything else with a sharpie.
Or, if you’re a true black-out genius, (not me) skip step 2 and just start marking out words with a sharpie. This is also fun when you have a friend around to throw out titles for you to work with.
First attempt: (in which I accidentally blacked out the word ‘just’ but still included it in the poem – because there really are no rules to this game.)
(here’s some punctuation and line breaks)
let me play-
many people show other things naturally
I’m clear – just evasive.
what could you say about that?
man, for years has been deluged directly.
I say proof is lacking.
we are attempting a better, fairer light.
Try #2, in which we bring Jesus into the game:
the forbidding place beyond
the answer came into sight
on the top of the hill.
dejected, in anguish:
“Oh, my god no!
thin, strong, secure…
And #3 with a title from a friend:
because of isolation
were roughly divided.
My favorite thing about black-out poetry is the contrast between the starting subject and the finished product. The first one was a page from The Te of Piglet; the second one was from a dark crime mystery (The Evening News by Arthur Hailey) and the third one was a page from a Popular Mechanics magazine.
It’s fun – you should try it!