This poem has been constructed with the “erasure” method; the original source material was a pamphlet from the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) about James Turrell. The words appear in the same order that they appear in the pamphlet, but as I deleted the majority of the text, most of the word combinations / lines sound completely different from the original text.
This poem is a response to an ongoing "Word Challenge" series at Eclectica in which poets must write a poem containing four pre-chosen words. The words for this challenge were: BORROW, PHONE, LOST, and NOTHING.
Doxorubicin, one of the chemo drugs I took for my cancer, is nicknamed "The Red Devil" because it is bright red and has horrific side effects. Obviously, we need a cure for cancer, but we also need less toxic drugs to treat cancer patients.
I wrote this poem (which is based on a true story) at I-Park in Connecticut, and here I am reading it at I-Park's Open Studios in June 2016. It was selected as Deep South Magazine's poem of the day on April 3, 2017.
The controlling image for this poem was inspired by a "poem-in-a-bottle" project I conducted at I-Park in June 2016. I wrote the poem in one sitting and it was published in One Sentence Poems on September 2, 2016.