For the month of April, I’ve been turning my running log entries into erasure poems. First I write an entry about my run. Then, after a few minutes, I reread the entry, looking for words or phrases that stand out to me and then I add in some html (<span class=”erased”>) to erase the words that I don’t want to use. Yesterday’s poem was unexpectedly dark, but revealed some of my ambivalent feelings about running alone in more isolated areas.
I don’t know that much about erasure poems, but I think that they are usually created out of found text written by someone else (a newspaper article or a page from a book, for example). I’m using my own text, but text that was created for a different purpose. It’s amazing to me how frequently these erasure poems reveal feelings, ideas, underlying themes of mine that I didn’t realize I was communicating. Pretty cool.
Hover over the log entry to reveal the erasure poem. For more on this poem, see An Unexpected Erasure.
mississippi river road path north
Ran in the rain. Didn’t mean to. Thought front had passed. It hadn’t. At the start, everything was just wet, still dripping from the heavy drizzle that had been going on all morning. Feeling the water on my nose, thought it was more dripping, then realized it had started to rain again. I don’t mind running in the rain, especially when I have on my favorite baseball cap and a jacket. Then I hardly notice it.
Not too far from the start of my run on the river road path, the walking/running path dips below the road, down to the ridge of the gorge. In the summer, when the leaves have returned to the trees, it’s a sea of green and nothing else. But from late October until mid-May, the trees are mostly bare. You can see how the earth steeply slopes down to a small bit of woods, with a floor of dirt and dead leaves and a worn path that leads to the river and a sandy beach. You can reach this path by walking down some stone steps that are closed during the winter. I remember the first time I finally noticed this section of the path. It was during early spring a few years ago, after the snow had melted but before anything had started to grow again. It was early morning and a fog was lingering on the tree branches. It was eerie and beautiful. A month or so later, my daughter discovered the steps, which had always been there, in plain sight, but I had ignored, and we hiked down them to the river. Now, it’s one of my favorite places. Today, there wasn’t fog there, just a soft, steady rain, but it was still beautiful. The grayish light made the colors of the early spring trees more intense: a rich brown mixed with vibrant shades of light green. It reminded me of some of the illustrations in one of my favorite books as a kid: Oh What a Busy Day! by Gyo Fujikawa.
Mundane things to note from the run: maybe due to the rain, my watch stopped tracking my run 1.26 miles in. My left leg started to feel heavy again, towards the end of the run. I probably should take at least two days off to let it rest. The wind was bad, about 17 or 18 mph. Running north, it was at my back. When I turned around, it swirled around me and then pushed the rain in my face.