a substance that remains after a process such as combustion or evaporation
These are the back and front covers of the notebook I carried around to make, record (see my calendar and checklist), and store all of my blackout poems. I used the back cover (above) to absorb all the marker bleed, and it still reeks from the fumes of hundreds of poems.
The front cover says, “If it isn’t play, what good is it?” and has a quote from Henri Cartier-Bresson:
…we deal in things that are continually vanishing…and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on Earth that can make them come back again…
For photography, this is true: if you don’t snap the shutter at the right time, the moment has vanished.
For blackouts, it’s similar—mark over the wrong word, and it’s gone forever—but also different: as for moments in life that have vanished, blackout poems are the “contrivance” that can make them come back again.
William Burroughs claimed that cut-ups were a form of time-travel, and it’s no coincidence that the second poem in my book is about instructions for a time machine.
I’ve spent the last six months dipping into the pensieve. Now it’s time to move forward, think about the future. Discover the the next project.
How do you fill the empty nest?