Day 16 erasure/negation poem   PAD 2023

Affairs of the Heart Claims & Warnings

Gypsy Cat fortune teller (credit

The Academy of American Poets defines “Erasure poetry” as “a form of found poetry wherein a poet takes an existing text and erases, blacks out, or otherwise obscures a large portion of the text, creating a wholly new work from what remains.” (

It seems to me that erasure poem could be considered a form of “negation”–the challenge of today’s prompt explained by Maureeen at Napowrimo:  “Today’s prompt is a poem of negation – yes (or maybe, no), I challenge you to write a poem that involves describing something in terms of what it is not, or not like.”

To write this poem, I grabbed the text from a bottle of hand sanitizer and wrote not about hand sanitizer but about past love affairs. (Does that qualify as a negation poem?)

Affairs of the Heart Claims & Warnings

That love affair killed 99.99% of my

heart chakra. Based on a

comparative study, he succeeded

eradicating most of my heart strings.

For external use only, the warning reads!

Keep those affairs outside of yourself.

Keep out of the reach of your inner child.

Do not internalize narcissistic, cruel, or

indifferent behavior. If a severe

reaction occurs, stop & ask a

fortune teller if you should continue.

She may predict next time, with these

precautions, the affair will destroy

only 55.55% of your heart.

Jacquelyn Markham (4/16/2023)