Sketch 4: Self-Destruction


Her skin


I could feel

her whisper

at the funeral.





“I hate


Black-out poetry is difficult the many times I’ve attempted it. The most difficult part is just trying to find the proper words to circle, while still maintaining a message. There is also the difficulty in deciding to either continue with the original author’s message or just go the opposite route. This was one such question I had to constantly ask myself throughout this assignment. I was tempted to go down a happy route, but I couldn’t find the words to make it happen. I have no doubt the tools were there, but I just couldn’t find it.

I decided to go down the path of keeping the same general tone, and I ended up making a somewhat sad message. The art is sloppy; I realized that halfway through me attempting this that I didn’t know how to draw blood drawing from skin, so I did as I imagined.

I have the constant struggle of imagining something HUGE in my head, and then my artistic ability just simply doesn’t allow for it. So I don’t really know how to handle this conflict. Hopefully, as I continue to exercise my creative mind more and more each week, I will be able to come to terms with this issue.

and I was not ashamed.

I couldn’t stop my fantasies,

I loved a terrible thing,

and I was not ashamed.

Sketch 4

As expected, I found this assignment very strange to begin with. The idea of taking words out of a cohesive sentence to create a completely new meaning was really hard for me. I also read the entire original page to begin with, and I think this made the task harder because it was more difficult to isolate the individual words once I had a story associated with them.

I finally decided on the words that I did because they form a twisted, but comprehensible sentence. Although there was a lot of space to be creative, I was also limited by the layout of the page. For example, some of my original plans did not work because the words jumped all over the page and it was impossible to follow. Although my poem is quite basic, I find it quite powerful, and logical to follow.

After deciding on my words, I also found it hard to come up with a picture that complemented the meaning of my new poem. In the end, I decided to focus my picture on the final line of the poem “I will not be ashamed.” and tried to capture someone standing tall and proud. I used watercolor paint to create the visual. I haven’t really worked with any paints before, so this was a new skill for me, but I really liked it.  I can’t explain why I chose the colors that I did, or why I chose to splatter the paint. it just looked bare until I added more color, and so I just kept experimenting until I was happy.

Overall, this was a challenging, but enjoyable task.

This Book Was Stolen

IMG_7033morning kept isolated,

the sunlight was heavy

and carried

between her sweater and coat.

Following the only other living thing: the bitter wind

visible, immeasurably glad.

There was time, couple of hours, a few minutes to feed her.

I used a page from the short story “Lie Down with Lions”. I used lead pencils to create a blackout poem and then I went over it with a set of childrens’ Crayola brush pens from CVS and water to get a soft watercolor-like effect. I then created a collage with famous stolen paintings and the old illustrations from the book itself.

In looking at the words I saw singular images and word combinations that I liked and I started to pair them together. “morning kept isolated” was one of my favorites that jumped out at me immediately. The next one was the idea of carrying sunlight underneath a coat, and the ending image of someone eating time and letting the minutes and hours feed her. I didn’t set out to write this poem based on personal experience, but by letting the words on the page jump out at me in no particular sequence I think I captured a mood that feels familiar. The final product is something that emerged out of a little homesickness, and the fact that I was missing Lake Michigan and the feeling of eating lunch on the beach in the middle of January with friends. Everything looks dead in Chicago in the winter, the only thing that makes the whole scene come alive is the movement of frigid January air.  Surreal or abstract art always evokes a feeling in me more than it does a complex message, but it has the potential to be equally powerful.

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