I love, love, love this part of Mary Ruefle’s long conversation with Ron Charles when she talks about A Little White Shadow and how she makes her erasure poems. (Basically the White Out version of blackout poetry.)
Here’s how she says she gets started:
All the words rise up and they hover a quarter inch above the page. It’s like a field, and they’re hovering. I don’t actually read the page. I read the words, which is different. So I’m looking, and I see all the words. And I go in and I pick a phrase or a word that’s delicious that I really love.
On how much she loves doing them:
I find it meditative and I find it infuriating sometimes and challenging and I like the smell of the White Out — dreadfully toxic! Really toxic…. I love it. Oh, I love it so much. There is nothing like it on Earth. I’m crazy about it.
Despite the haters:
A lot of people hate them… I’ve talked to people who just, “Why do you waste your time doing that?” Because it’s fun and I love it. That’s why.
The whole interview is wonderful and worth watching. Love her: