Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 28, April 2013—Erasure Issue)

Truong Tran
Points on the process of self erasing

  1. I began erasing out of a distrust for language. I was unhappy with what poetry had become in my own life and in the world and the word.
  2. This is really not an erasure. It is a striking out of the language that came before.
  3. I want you to see evidence of the violence in the gesture.
  4. I want thick jagged black lines in place of words.
  5. Silence and a shout can happen simultaneously.
  6. I want the act of cutting open the book to feel like the reality of cutting into the body.
  7. I believe in a poetry that still matters.
  8. To the professor who insisted that I tell my story, this is my story.
  9. To the student who succumbed to the expectation of his being, who wrote the fictitious story of going home, memories of hunger and the banyan tree, I'm sorry. it was not my doing but I am as much to blame.
  10. Hidden in the folds are the indignations of a person of color who no longer desires to be seen.
  11. I took my ball from the sandbox and went home a long time ago.
  12. This is not a gimmick. This is real and it is hard. Oulipo schmoulipo.
  13. It is the process of trying to find my way back into the poem.
  14. Can a poem exist devoid of language?
  15. To read this book, you'll need a knife.
  16. There is nothing cryptic here. My name is Truong Tran. Its spelled G-N-O-U-R-T-N-A-R-T.
  17. In response to the question, this is exactly what I would say.
  18. It is entirely selfish but it matters to me.
  19. So please. Stop eating the sandwiches from vending machines unless they are certified organic.
  20. To that voice that whispers inside my ear, these are my words. I will do with them as I please. It is not open for debate.