A Found Poem for Poetry Friday
Poem: Provincetown August 16, 2018

Poem: March 2020


March 2020

from Bartleby & Co., by Enrique-Vila Matas; translated from the Spanish by Jonathan Dunne (New Directions 2007)


Full of doubts at home

I must change something

Stammering life, a voice over flow

I let that word 

the impossibility of it 

out of the blue.


@Susan Thomsen, 2021

For other poems and poetic talk, check the Poetry Friday roundup at the blog Reflections on the Teche.


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The thought that something must change resonates with me. I love how you've designed this black out poem, so colorful and eye catching!

Thanks for reading, Margaret! What a time that was last year, right? It's just now that I've gotten back to writing more.

Susan, your zentangle poem has a very appealing look to it. You captured an interesting poem within the reading's lines. All the colored lines converge as your voice pops out. Change is on the horizon!

Susan, I am always in awe of people who can write black out poetry. Your is just superb. That something must change line is so clever.

How clever you are - with your poetry, and your artwork. Loving that first line and the faltering to success in the closing lines. Lovely.

"I must change something" reminds me of "Archaic Torso of Apollo" by Rainer Maria Rilke. Thank you for the beautiful presentation, too!

Susan, that is a gorgeous zentangle poem, full of color and some tangles that come with life. My favorite phrase is "Stammering life."

Carol, thanks! I doodle when I listen to podcasts and over the last year I listened to a LOT of them. I wore out my colored pencils...

Thanks so much, Sally. I've been a big fan of blackout poetry ever since I read about it on Austin Kleon's blog years ago.

Faltering to success. That is a really accurate way to describe it, Kathryn. Thank you!

Irene, I just love this aspect of Poetry Friday: going to read a poem someone mentions. Can't wait to find the Rilke. Merci for the recommendation, and for reading!

Denise, yes, so many tangles in the last year. Last week, my first back at Poetry Friday in years, I read about zentangles on some of the other blogs and was completely intrigued. I appreciate your reading. I am looking forward to catching up with today's entries.

Susan, your black out poem pops even though it is surrounded by such colour. Your word choice highlights the need for change and possibly a new direction. This is an emotional state we have all visited at some point, so it is most relatable.

Our lives have definitely been (maybe still are?) stammering. But maybe we're getting to the point where we all (like the word) can escape the blue(s).

I'm in love with your full color tangle-on tangle design. I've only done black and white with pops of color for the words so far. Time to try something new!

Alan, hi. Yes, that need for change was so strong last year, and yet it took me a while to figure out how to cope with the pandemic lock-down. Thanks for reading.

Mary Lee! Yep, still stammering, but still here! What a year. I have a ton of index cards doodled like this, and am trying to figure out how I'm going to put them all together. I'm glad you stopped by!

What a beautiful way to document this period of time. I loved it--"Stammering life" held so much meaning for me. Great word choice!

Thanks, Marilyn! I was lucky that the "stammering life" showed up. I haven't yet read the book that I took the poem from, but given that the book is about Bartelby the Scrivener (at least somewhat), it's amazing to me that a loneliness/isolation theme came through, even with blocking out words. That's a tribute to Vila-Matas and Dunne, his translator!

It was indeed a doubting year, and yet impossibilities are coming, "out of the blue." Lovely, moving art in your zentangle, thanks Susan!

Susan, it's so nice to be back at Chicken Spaghetti. :)

I love this poem, especially "Stammering life" — spot on.

It's been a long pandemic — "the impossibility of it" —but we've stammered on.

Thank for sharing such a beautiful poem. That open line is so powerful. Your found poetry has resonated powerfully with me.

Karen, thanks for stopping by! We have indeed stammered on. It really is nice to "see" everyone again here online.

Thank you so much, Jonathan. I was just listening to a podcast yesterday in which a writer spoke of writing everything out in a draft (in her case it was a memoir) and then removing the scaffolding. I think blackout and zentangle poetry do that in a big way.

What a great example of a Zentangle poem! I love "stammering life."

Thank you so much, Molly. I really did enjoy putting this together. I didn't even know how it would turn out until I fiddled with it a bit. Writing contains all kinds of surprises, doesn't it?

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