The vicious hiss of vicious words were amber and lithe, eagerly waiting another.
Beauty had her back to the mirror and left time at another century. Foreigner, to escape the mind, witness tranquility as a perfect stranger never to return.
It was about a year ago, almost to this very day that I stumbled upon this book. Battered and shoved between the crevices of a decaying wall, this book, along with two others, sat pinned between the cracks in the wall where no book belongs. So naturally, even though I was walking somewhere with friends, I stopped everything I was doing to rescue these lonesome orphaned books. It isn’t everyday you find books left for trash to bring home.
But once I had the book, I was not sure what to do with it. It sat on my shelf for months and every once and a while I would look at it from across the room; it always felt like it was calling me.
One day it hit me and I knew exactly why I had rescued these abandoned books; the answer was to give them new life. So I decided to repurpose the whole book by turning every single page into its own poem. I had heard in the past about blackout poetry, specifically the newspaper blackouts of Austin Kleon. Many years in the past I had admired his work and his motto that “creativity is subtraction” but never thought it was a poetry technique I could attempt myself. This book, Bandit Love, was my perfect chance to try.
So I began a journey, that in no way is finished yet, but it is well underway. I decided to turn this entire book into pages and pages of blackout poetry; each page is a new and separate story that I created by taking the words that the original author put on the page and then re-purposing the meaning by picking and choosing the specific words I desired to give each page an entirely new meaning beyond that the original author intended.
I will be trying to post a new page of the book every day when I can. So here is my blackout poetry project.
The dip and dive of the hummingbird
just protecting her young
never reached beyond the honeysuckles,
where she rested and never woke up.
There she lays, the dewdrop queen
quieted by butterfly kisses
that couldn’t calm the hum of her heart
even when the willow brush began to sway
like the funeral waltz of a damaged widow’s brigade.
This flower ringed beauty was bound by vine
to jealous to let her wings keep going
so they laid her low
leaving her babies up too high
even for heaven to bow down and embrace them.
Without their mother, how will they survive?
That’s it, 30 for 30. 30 poems in thirty days.
This tarnished silver
never sung the blues
like the willow weeping
on that late Sunday afternoon.
The backfire of an engine
is a jarring reality
of teeth that grind like
chainsaws pulled freshly to life
by the hands of one, desiring
to devour the life of another
with the same greedy eyes
of an orphaned child turned
from his origins, never to face
what he was or acknowledge his past
ever again. These hungry eyes
are never satisfied.
Sorry forgot again.
Cry Canary, cry, can’t you smell the fumes?
This cave was born to collapse
and bring you down too. So sing out
what will your heart song sound like?