An Unexpected Erasure

This morning I wrote a log entry about running on the river road path during the rain. The tone of the entry was reverent and joyful as I reflected on the beauty of one of my favorite places by the river. Going back to examine the words and create an erasure poem, I was surprised to find myself crafting a dark account of discovering a dead body.

When I write these poems, I slowly read through my prose, waiting for words and phrases to appear to me. A few days ago, I found myself seeing “eat crow” in the words threat and crowded. Yesterday, I had a fixation on critters: crow, eel, ant, ass (as in donkey), roach. I don’t think too much about the words and phrases I see, I just use them to create new poems.

After my initial surprise and reservations about creating such a dark poem, I realized that the¬†words were revealing a truth about the river road path and the Mississippi River Gorge Regional Park that resides below: I’m a bit scared of it and what might lurk in those woods. Coyotes, foxes, feral dogs, drunk or deranged humans. Nothing bad has ever happened to me in or near the gorge, but I’m cautious and I’ve read, or heard, too many accounts of women runners being sexually assaulted or attacked by wild animals to not feel uneasy when I run on the parts of the path that diverge from the biking path and the road. It’s fascinating to see how my uneasiness appeared in the log entry without me expecting it.

To read the erasure poem within the entry, click here.

A Dark Discovery

the thing was still wet, dripping
my mind running
I notice it
too far down to see all of it
I walk close
first I notice the ears
later, the laces
swirled around a face