always care for
I've had examples of erasure poems pasted into my notebook for years, but somehow the idea never grabbed hold of my imagination. Until this morning. And probably this inspiration came from skyping with Susan Schultz's Documentary Writing class yesterday (from Virginia to Hawai'i thanks to the magic of the internet!). Susan has long been one of my heroes; the publisher of TinFish Press and so many of the quite beautiful chapbooks in my collection. But she's also dear to my heart because of our mutual fascination with creating poetry (i.e., truth) out of the documents that pervade our lives.
Speaking with her students yesterday, digging deep for answers to their questions and questings, I thought again of all the letters and diary entries left behind by Father Junipero Serra, the man responsible for making the idea of California missionization happen. Bad Indians contains two "found" poems constructed from Serra's letters, but the layers of meaning in the word 'erasure' drove me to try something different this morning. Yes, I wanted to erase Serra from the San Diego landscape from which he writes. Yes, I am going to hell for this. Yes, I am looking forward to all the really awesome poets who will be waiting for me at the gates.