Hidden Pictures

 

Hidden Pictures

At Jennifer’s First Birthday, 1975

birthday0001

In this big picture, find the locket, the John Lennon spectacles, blue eyeshadow, bangs trimmed straight, August, yellow #5, a red balloon (not to be confused with The Red Balloon), a tray wiped clean, a downward glance, an elephant, love, another elephant, motherhood, hints of a Bubbi in a baby’s breath, a candle blown, “she looks like you Mom,” uncertainty, a glassy iris, love, the end of an exhale, one year, 26, 11 in between days, a hidden picture, gingham.

In this big picture, find

 

 

* * * * **
Happy birthday, Mom.
Hidden Pictures is a trademark of Highlights Kids magazine
.

 

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What appeals to me about found poetry

One of the reasons why I love to experiment with “found poetry” is that it allows me to make an artful experience last longer.

I just finished reading Milan Kundera’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” for instance, and was struck often throughout by meaningful gems I wish I could spend more time contemplating.

In the absence of a classroom full of fellow philosophers or a literature professor, I turn to found poetry, otherwise known as “erasure poetry” or “blackout poetry.”

There is no correct way of digging in, but this is how I’ve been doing it with books. (You can also find poetry in songs or in newspaper articles. Why not?)

Instructions for finding poetry:

1. Xerox copy the page of the book or the document that stopped you in your tracks.

kundera metaphors are dangerous

2. Read it over a few times. Perhaps, out loud.

3. Listen.

4. Circle with pencil the words calling out to you.

When you’re certain (or certain enough) you’ve dug out something new or relevant or useful from the beauty or wisdom already expressed by the author, smudge out the words around those in paint or black ink or, like Mary Ruefle, with white out.

5. There. You’ve found something. A poem, perhaps, or an idea or a pathway.

Something.

Like most creative writing, a first draft of a found poem might only be a writing prompt for something more significant.

At the very least, you got to spend more time with beauty or wisdom … and upcycled it into your own life.

 

 

When all else fails, shave your legs

<FOUND POETRY>

Ultra Sensitive
Ultra Sensible
Contents under pressure.

You don’t have to sacrifice
comfort or
closeness.

We recommend       shave gel
like my dad on Saturday
over wet skin
like Bernie at Atlas Paints

You don’t have to sacrifice
comfort or
closeness.

We recommend       shave gel
like the neck of a hairy bear
almost man
who promises the Blair Witch Project
isn’t real

Do not place near
sources of            puncture.

like my husband on Saturday

Keep out of reach

like a chilled river running over a boulder
and I am that boulder with my head bowed down
and 

Glide.

 

 

When there is beauty inside bad news

<FOUND POETRY>

“Parking lots have sprouted
outside each kibbutz;
as reservists mass
for entry into
Gaza, their hatchbacks
with toddler seats
gather
the dust of days.”

— Jodi Rudoren in
The New York Times
Tunnels Lead Right to Heart of Israeli Fear
July 28, 2014