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What Is Blackout Poetry?

January 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Recently I’ve gotten into the trend of “blackout poetry”.  Blackout poetry is the creative use of selected words on a printed page to form a kind of lyrical piece.  On a printed page – from a book or newspaper, for example – certain words or phrases are selected, and the remaining content is “blacked out” whether it be with marker, paint, or any other creative technique.  The remaining text is strung together as phrases or sentences, creating the finished piece.

It’s recommended that if attempt blackout poetry, you use printed materials that are disposable, such as books that are no longer readable, damaged, missing pages, what have you, or newspapers and magazines.  In my case, most of my recent attempts have been of the non-destructive variety.  The printed material is scanned and the words selected in Adobe Photoshop.  The remainder of the text is creatively blacked out by patterns or other scans.  I also use a kind of “flow chart” style, where the words are joined with bars in the order they should be read.  I find this especially helpful for when words don’t necessarily read right-to-left.

Below are some videos on the history of blackout poetry, a creative piece on its creation, and a tutorial on how to create it.  Lastly, another piece I had worked on recently.  If you’d like to see what extremely creative things are being done with the medium, click on this link to go to Instagram.  There’s a whole world of inspiration out there.  Til next time!

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Found Poetry: Travellers

July 28, 2013 1 comment

The fair and radiant seraph
glorious, golden, it did float and flow,
gentle winged wanderers.

Spirits moving in His glory
all with glowing and sparkling echoes
of their King.

In robes of dawn, round his glory
travellers now move fantastically
discordant no more.

(ref: The Haunted Palace by Edgar Allen Poe)

Found Poetry: Ill Angels

July 28, 2013 1 comment

Lonely angels
reached an ultimate space —
bottomless and boundless —
that drip into restless skies of fire.

Murmuring by the dismal spot
each melancholy shrouded form
sigh in agony.

The woes for the shadow
may not dare its mysteries.

The sad soul, obscure and lonely
haunted by ill angels
wandered home.

(ref: Dream-Land by Edgar Allen Poe)

Found Poem: Lost

July 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Desire can feel
obviously neurotic.
Emerging out of emptiness
we look for that void –
at least, temporarily.

Not so much for things,
you should arise
out of the way
to fear.

It is an energy drained away
by a deep, indulging
state of mind
nakedly exposed.

Deeper, truer, within yourself
by virtue of truly feeling lost.

(Ref: “Staying with Boredom” by Sangharakshita – Tricycle Magazine, Summer 2013, pg 16)

Found Poetry: Spellbound

June 10, 2013 Leave a comment

I am under the drug —
no longer a slave to these pages
why is it all the prisoners had little idea?

I knew nothing;
my solitude vast and dream-infested.

I should not hope in absolute silence
and a vast reach of black.
In its cloudless cruelty, I realised
through some portion unfathomable
graver things forged my dreams so wild…

Such visions!

In the glow I saw through my terror
realms of darkness in the sky
an abyss beyond the strange worship of the moon —
it did hold me spellbound.

In my delirium I knew nothing,
as a hopeless slave,
as a pure phantasm —
It shall not find me.

(Ref: “Dagon” by H.P. Lovecraft)

Found Poem: Heaven

June 7, 2013 Leave a comment

Childhood’s passions
have not taken my joy alone,
in the stormy depth of mystery,
its tint of gold sky pass’d me,
the thunderstorm of Heaven in view.

(Ref: “Alone” by Edgar Allen Poe)

Found Poetry: Remix

May 31, 2013 Leave a comment

Kids looking for illicit contemporary art.
Break a few rules, such as a school bus
of beautifully bizarre playas —
the constant in this land.

(Ref: National Geographic Traveler, May 2013, pg 14, “Tijuana, Remixed” by David Swanson)

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