“Could you please go fetch–,” Mrs. Bautista coughed and paused her stirring. “–barb for me, please.”
“Uh, sure po,” I replied, returning her smile with a shaky one of my own. As I made a show of swiveling around, I stole a glance over her shoulder and spied a plate of chopped potatoes and carrots next to the stove. Ah, rhubarb! That was a vegetable, I reasoned as I made my way to the vegetable garden at the back of their house. But what did it look like?
It was late Saturday morning and the fifth time in the last hour that Mrs. Bautista had asked me to fetch something for her dish. The responsibility had been handed to me because Joseph, my best friend and her son, had left to pick up some shallots (whatever those were) from the convenience store. Heaven knew that only made me wish harder for his speedy return.
I came across some pieces on Pinterest today and, after doing some research, fell in love with the idea. Artist and writer Austin Kleon created the process and calls it
"poetry made by redacting the words in a text with a
permanent marker, leaving behind only a few choice
words to make a poem"
Box the words you want to keep – checking that their order makes sense – and blackout everything else. So creative, and still so simple. Naturally, I grabbed a few sheets of newspaper and a black marker and sat down to try my hand at blackout poetry: