I have been writing a poem a day using a list of poetic forms from Writer’s Digest. Yesterday happened to be a black out poem. This is where you cross out all the words from an article that are not useful to you as you are creating a poem. With the recent protests and the soul searching about how white people need to be accountable for the systemic racism, perhaps there is a problem with the title of this poetic form. We use a black marker to delete the words we do not want, so we can emphasize the white words that stand out. Is there another way to make this poem? What is not being said with all the words that are deleted? The words we choose to ignore?
I don’t know what to do or what is right. Can we agree that the negating and the highlighting work together to make a unified message? That there isn’t color involved? Could we say that the black marker is the more powerful tool that determines the message? At this point, that is what needs to be said.
Please know that my intentions with this poem are to support the protestors and to promote systemic change. I created the poem yesterday and then today I found this picture of people kneeling in the Chicago Tribune.