Write Spontaneously – Erasure Poem #1

To write spontaneously does not

I was reading about Erasure Poetry earlier and while reading Postcard Poems as Peace Process by Paul Nelson, decided to take a paragraph and try it.

“Michael McClure said:

To write spontaneously does not mean to write carelessly or without thought and deep experience. In fact, there must be a vision and a poetics that are alive and conscious… I do not know of a more adventurous gesture than to write spontaneously… When the poem is finished I listen to it…and see that it has a deeper consciousness and brighter thoughts than I was aware of while writing (xv).”



I Am

I am the first daughter, born during a thunderstorm in the middle of the night.
I am the one walking to school whistling when the woman turns around and tells me “A whistling girl and a crowing hen always come to a no good end.”
I am one of the cousins squashed into the back seat singing on the way to and from our grandparents.
I am the six year old sick with pneumonia, upstairs in bed for months.
I’m the 12 year old elementary school graduate, out of school early and throwing snowballs with my friends.
I’m the double promoted 7th grader without friends who knows how many minutes left in each school day.
I’m the high school student longing for escape.
I’m the girl standing on the sidelines at Youth Fellowship dances.
I’m 19 and hopelessly in love for the first time.
I am 20 with a broken heart.
I’m the printmaker using found zinc scraps for my pieces.
I’m 23, alone and in labor with my first child, in a large dark house, waiting for Jim to get there.
I’m a woman, carrying, laboring, birthing and nursing.
I’m the city girl milking goats, chopping wood and plucking chickens.
I’m the 35 year old mother of 5 dancing around the kitchen with my young son.
I’m the 45 year old mother of 6 walking four fast miles around the lake, ignoring my aching achilles tendons.
I’m the granma with bad feet making my way around the track.
I’m the child and the woman moving from place to place.
I’m a woman who has been with this man forty eight years.
I’m a gardener without a garden, a water woman without water and a sewer who rarely sews.
I’m an artist and a writer and a teacher.
I’m a feeler trying to be invisible.
I’m the one the ancestors come through.