I’ve added a new page to my website; a collection of what is sometimes called erasure poetry. I think erasure messages is perhaps more accurate. I used to cut up junk mail, to reveal a new message hidden within the sales pitch. I would love to do more of them but have been so good at ticking ‘no’ boxes that I barely receive any junk mail any more.
The thing I liked best about it was that the signature is still there, presenting the idea of a person, perhaps real or perhaps invented by a marketing department, accidentally signing off on a new message. I reasoned that because they had given me their signature without me asking for it, any liberties I took with it were my right.
At around the same time and along similar lines, I had an idea of printing public Facebook posts and putting them on the small cards you sometimes get tucked into a sheet of clear plastic pockets in newsagents windows. Again, the interest was in whether I was taking liberties or whether there was implied consent in such public sharing. I didn’t ever get around to that idea, but I still like it.
Mostly, I find the Junk Poems collected on the page to be funny. Absurd. The earnest sign off with the work title underneath really helps with that. I made them before I was involved with writing but they cross quite easily between art and writing. Perhaps erasure poetry, being experimental and somehow fundamentally lacking in total controllability makes it a form of writing that slides more easily into an art practice. Or maybe it was for me the other way round – a gateway from visual art to writing.