Last month I posted some erasure poems I’ve done as a writing exercise. I thought I’d a share another done around the same time.
What makes erasure poems a fruitful exercise is that it demands you engage with a work more intimately than you usually would. You are at once looking to analyze as well as to pull out from it some hidden or even non-present aspect. You attempt to reveal and project at the same time.
As such, taking up the work of ex-poet Seth Abramson seems to fall perfectly into this mode. I say ‘ex-‘ because Abramson as essentially given up his poetic literary career in favor the quasi-journalism of political punditry. Abramson now lives on Twitter as a vehicle to denounce the 45th President of the United States. Many prominent outlets have called him unhinged, embarrassing, and a conspiracy theorist. It’s both unfair and justifiable to characterize his current persona in this way given the impropriety of Trumpism and how we’ve come to see just how kleptocractic it is.
Abramson is essentially a less savvy, less rigorous, and, thus less accurate and meaningful Sarah Kendzior. Yet he taps into that rage Trumpism elicits and in a way his work as a pundit is now more important than his poetry could have ever hoped to have been. It’s odd.
I’m actually hoping to review Abramson’s latest book Proof of Conspiracy in the next couple of months simply because I’m fascinated by faux-experimentalism bleeding into a different genre of the Fourth Estate.
But to my point, I took one of Abramson’s last published poems and worked it over to attempt to distill the urge leading to the persona he now presents. I think it works.