lysis is a white-out erasure of Heavenly Questions, by Gjertrud Schnackenberg. I made it as a gift for a friend of mine who loved that book.

Erasing poetry is a funny thing if you think of poetry as already being a form of erasure. Poems tend to come stripped of many "filler" words that are common in prose—words like the, is, or have—and that I happen to rely on heavily in my own writing. These words also make for good all-purpose syntactical glue. When they are scarce, an eraser has got to scavenge more deliberately to construct a coherent fragment.

In the text of Heavenly Questions, pronouns were especially hard to come by, most of all you. So I found the you and the I where I could, and built everything else around it.

Rory Ou

is a person who lives in Oakland.


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