Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Erasing Eraserhead

For Day 20 of NaPoWriMo, The site organisers suggest we attempt an erasure poem. To do this, we take an existing piece of text- possibly another poem, although it could be any piece of writing- and delete certain words to alter the meaning.

The year before last I used the lyrics to an Erasure tune and erased some of the words to create a strange poem. This year, I used the plot to the David Lynch film, Eraserhead. 

I found this synopsis on Wikipedia. It's a surreal movie to begin with- as are all Lynch movies- so I only had to cut a few conjunctions and pronouns, then format.

Man in the Planet moving levers floating in the sky.
A spermatozoon-like creature emerges
from Spencer's mouth, floating into the void.
an industrial cityscape, Spencer walks home filled with
piles of dirt and dead vegetation.

carve a chicken
the bird moves and writhes on the plate and gushes blood.
tries to kiss him.
X has had his child
X, however, is not sure if what she bore is a child.
caring for the child—a swaddled bundle
with an inhuman, snakelike face,
resembling the spermatozoon
infant refuses all food, crying incessantly, intolerably.

sound drives X hysterical, she leaves Spencer and the child.
Spencer attempts to care for the child, it struggles to breathe,
has developed painful sores.
Spencer experiencing visions, again seeing the Man in the Planet,
the Lady in the Radiator sings to him as
she stomps upon miniature replicas of Spencer's child.
a sexual encounter with the Beautiful Girl Across the Hall,
Spencer has another vision,
seeing him get decapitated,
a stump underneath resembles the child's face.
Spencer's head sinks into a pool of blood, falls from the sky,
landing on a street below.
A boy finds it, bringing it to a pencil factory to be turned into erasers.

seek out the Beautiful Girl Across the Hall,
she has begun taking other men home.
Crushed, Spencer returns to his room,
child crying.
a pair of scissors: for the first time removes the child's swaddling.
the child has no skin; the bandages held its internal organs together,
they spill apart. The child gasps in pain,
Spencer cuts its organs with the scissors.
The wounds gush a thick liquid, covering the child.
power in the room overloads, lights flicker;
child grows to huge proportions.
the lights burn out completely,
the child's head replaced by the planet.
Spencer, in his normal form, billowing cloud of eraser shavings.
side of planet bursts apart, inside,
Man in the Planet struggles with levers, now emitting sparks.
Spencer embraced warmly by the Lady in the Radiator,
both white light and white noise crescendo
screen turns black and silent.

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