poetry by subtracting (and defacing)

i think i have a new morning ritual.


it was so fast and fun,
I think i could make this
an hourly ritual.)

the kindling comes from
a little something i picked up
while traipsing through the internet.
a fella who takes the NY Times
and does what he calls
newspaper blackout.

i was so intrigued,
i fetched a book right back out of
the trashcan,
let it fall open to a page,
quick as a blink,
i circled some words
that captured my
took my green sharpie
and colored over all the
other words,
distilling the page down
to what i’m calling
a poem.

the first one
calls page 71 home
and it sounds like this:
Much wisdom
Stories and tales

it was so much fun,
i skipped back to page 14
(my birthday is on the 14th
of one particular month)
and hatched this one:

he may have found
a revenue stream.
i’ve found a new way
to recycle books.


  1. juliejordanscott

    A friend of my friend's used to do this. I think he called it “concrete poetry” or something like that. Isn't it cool what books will call you to do? I am also creating art from old books now… it must be in the air!! Wonderful! Bountiful! gotta love those WORDS!

  2. Square-Peg Karen

    oh, Jeanne – love this! And now you might want to try altering those same books — fun, fun stuff you can do with found words like that!!

    Your poems rocked and so did the way you set the post up — a poem in itself — have missed being here (and am glad to be back here) — write on, lady!! Love your stuff!!!!

  3. Kathy

    Create or become soggy – LOVE IT! Very cool this new “writual” of yours – I'll never be able to toss the newspapers in the recycle bin again without seeing what catches my eye.

  4. AlanaSheeren

    Oh. Now I know what to do with those books that no one seems to want. Fun!

  5. mrsmediocrity

    I so love this idea…although I don't know if I could bring myself to ruin a book, I have had a long love affair with books…but I love the idea of pulling random words, a random poem that really isn't so random after all…and you are so, so on to me…

  6. Lollygagger

    What a cool way to look at something differently.

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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