IN(n)ATE – Erasure Poem



A child is the father
executed, the registrar
of the form, deed recorded, putative
added chapter, filed
genetic marker
and notoriously obligating
support, and, in
a (b)(r)(ief) absence,
kind letters.

(From New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law, Section 4-12.)


Here’s my attempt at an “erasure poem” for the dVerse Poets Pub prompt by Anna Montgomery.  This one, kind of quick, is based upon a section of the New York legal code. My sense is that this is not a copyright violation (though perhaps not the best poetry.)

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25 Comments on “IN(n)ATE – Erasure Poem”

  1. Mary Says:

    I like this, Karin! It is good that the legal code can be source material for poetry!! You did well with your erasing.

  2. Laurie Kolp Says:

    This worked really well… amazing what you can do with a legal document (which I think is symbolic).

  3. nico Says:

    Those first lines reminded me of Don Hall’s great poem, “My Son, My Executioner.” Great poem from an unlikely source! (Is this the kind of reading you do for fun, or what?!)

  4. brian miller Says:

    a child is the father executed…intriguing line that…i like how you got brief out of it as well…ha…and the title…in absence, i wonder when letters do not become enough for the child….

    hows your nano coming?

  5. Nice double word play on executed, and quite good poetry for what it is, and also rather symbolic of the scrambled logic that can happen at times in legalese, legal determinations, and the esoterica of the courts. I like it, k.

  6. janehewey Says:

    this reads poetically. from the child as registrar of the form to your closing with ‘kind letters’. It is the subject of many contemporary poems, I think. nice way to wrap your two worlds of work together.

  7. kkkkaty Says:

    this is amazing to me…would like to see more 😉

  8. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Argghhh, Mom, she wrote in my book! Mom!!

    Wow, making art of boredom!

    Just goes to shows, lawyers don’t read their books anyways.

  9. I really like how you enriched the original text, infused it with creative life and expressive possibility. It was shocking, a great use of the technique. I love the aesthetic of the process.

  10. This is really quite clever… to make poetry out of a legal document, indeed you’re a genius.

  11. I’m with Anna – amazing intelligence in your technique and your play with language. Your source yielded a poem in depth and forces the reader to ponder, consider and think. Always a good thing.

  12. very cool k… you know what i love about that prompt is also to see what kind of sourced people choose…the New York legal code….what else…ha..really like

  13. amazing Karin. To turn legalese into poetry is such a powerful testament to your creativity. Just love you chose something off the beaten path- I was actually going to use a dictionary, but I’m not sure yet, been struggling with this decision for a couple days now LOL

  14. sreeja Says:

    cool….from a legal document!….very interesting and intellectual!

  15. Mark Potter Says:

    Nice! 🙂

  16. How many people could create poetry from legalese? I know one!

  17. vidyatiru Says:

    cool! i am going to look for a legal document now:) you inspired me.. though not sure of the results that i will get..

  18. jasmine calyx Says:

    “A child
    is the father executed”

    I love this. How tragic a thought that a child could be such a thing. On the other hand, there is beauty in the fact that a parent must die in a sense, leaving behind his original personhood, when filling his heart with another human. Really, I’m just thinking of the way my identity fell off when I became a mother, in good and bad ways of course. But there is a certain beauty to be found in learning to be truly selfless for the love of a child.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I really mean “executed” in the sense of carried out or signed and not necessarily put to death. I know that meaning is also there but my primary sense was the more positive one–

      I appreciate your exegesis though. K.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      You know, I was at work responding to your comment so couldn’t really spend very much time. Thanks – you are absolutely right that there are these tugging forces going on between parent and child; I think perhaps even more between father and son than mother and child–each person having to be a center of sorts. k.

  19. Kim Nelson Says:

    You have proven that poetry exists everywhere. Well done!

  20. marvelous ! Very impressive ! Blessings ~Deborah

  21. beckykilsby Says:

    Very rich erasing to form an intriguing whole.

  22. Green Speck Says:

    This is lovely, quite innovative !!!

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