Black Out Poetry

What is Black Out Poetry? Simply put – borrowed words and recycled art. It is the process where you use somebody else’s words to construct a series of phrases, or even a sentence by random word-arrangement found in a magazine, newspaper and as in my case, a book. As a book lover, it is a nightmare. Because there is nothing more sacrilegious than destroying the pages of a book. Ironically enough, my inspiration came from reading about a character in a book who enjoyed desecrating his mother’s psycho-babble, self-help novels. I decided to try it out. I found myself with black markers, a book I didn’t exactly like, and plenty of inspiration.

After destroying a few pages of the unfortunate book, I decided I could no longer do it.

So then I turned to electronic black out poetry. I turned to my iPad. I realize it would be more guilt-free than actually using a physical copy of a book. All you need to do is take a screenshot of any random page from your iBooks, download a paint app, and use a stylus pen to black out the words. The result was a few pieces that I decided I would like to frame one day.


He is the first thing you think of when you doubt yourself.

This was inspired by the person who continues to believe in me (my husband). Who tells me that if writers give up after one rejection, then the libraries and bookstores all over the world would be empty.


Love is tumbling beyond the edge of forever, and standing in the shallows of a miracle. 

Sometimes, love can feel like an impossible dream for most people. And sometimes, you don’t know that you’re deep into it until someone points it out for yourself. But when you do, it will leave you short of breathless – like witnessing a miracle.


Poets explore the beast which destroys him.

Writers, poets, artists. We’re gluttons for punishments, aren’t we? It’s our nature. We poke and prod old wounds until they’re fresh anew.

Black Out Poetry is so easy to do if you’re inspired. The words will simply jump out at you and will direct you where to go. It is  a two-step process that requires creativity and emotion. But like everything about art, inspiration is very fickle and sometimes fleeting. Truth be told, I haven’t held a marker or my stylus pen in the last two years. Thankfully, I managed to bank over a hundred pieces in those manic days.

The last piece I posted may not be grammatically correct. Sometimes, you just have to go with it. You also have to make sure the result of your blacked out words makes sense to you and your audience. Otherwise, all meaning will be lost.

If you’re interested in seeing more, leave me a note on the comment and I’ll definitely share some more from time to time. And heck, if this post inspires you to try it out, give me a holla. I’d love to see them, too!


7 thoughts on “Black Out Poetry

  1. I love the sound of this! I have seen poetry like this and always wanted to try it, but have been pretty nervous about destroying books and their pages, like you said. I never knew it was just as easy as doing it online! I think I am so going to try doing that because like you said – less guilt and it would be fun to try!

    Liked by 1 person

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