The Disappearing Poem – Writing Assignment #23

~ Walking by Inner Vision Journal –

The Disappearing Poem

Writing Assignment #23

June 20, 2015

Photo: Hotel Balcony by Lynda McKinney Lambert.

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to write a  poem. I think you will enjoy it, too. In this poem, we make words DISAPPEAR to create  NEW meanings. Voila’ just like MAGIC – It’s so much FUN! will begin this poem by selecting some documents, such as a newspaper, birth certificate, letters, restaurant menu, junk mail, advertisement, phone book, dictionary, etc.

Let us begin this poem by selecting some documents, such as a newspaper article, E-mail advertisement, birth certificate, letters, restaurant menu, junk mail, advertisement, phone book, dictionary, etc.

If you select a document that is an original and you don’t want to destroy it, then make a copy of it and use your copy to create the poem. (Put the special document safely away so it does not get mixed up with the copy.)

I chose to use an em-al advertisement I received this week, from Travelocity.

Follow my guidelines to create your own poem.

1._Take your document and begin to erase or remove words – in whatever way you decide to do it. I like to scribble over the word until it is obliterated. You can take words away and you can add any words you like.  I copied and pasted my E0mail advertisement. Then, I went through it and used the strikeout function to mark the words I wanted to delete from the poem I would be writing.

2._ Type up the document using only the remaining words you did not strike out.  You can rearrange the formatting. You can delete punctuation, capitalization, etc. I chose to remove the words and punctuation from the original, but I kept the capitalization which gives the poem a different kind of feeling and voice as it is read aloud. It gives a sense of movement and a bit of instability because unusual patterns of punctuation are unexpected.

3._Arrange your new “poem” on the page in any way that makes sense to you.


Poem Title:   “Terms and Conditions”

My source:  Travelocity:  E-mail to me on June 17, 2014.

Here is the quote  I will use as “raw material” to do a “Disappearing Poem.” You can see how I used the strike-through function on unwanted words.  Quote from advertisement follows:


  • Special offers are only available at participating hotels. Percentage discount calculations are based on the full rate, as determined and supplied by the hotel. Sample prices are for the stated travel period and are subject to availability based upon Travelocity’s hotel rates. Prices are per night based on double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Deals may change or be discontinued without notice. Minimum stay may be required. Additional restrictions and blackout dates may apply. Hotel-specific conditions may apply and are notified prior to booking.


Ok, now you can see what I did with the advertisement from Travelocity.

I went through it, line by line, and crossed out words.

The deletion of words  brings new meaning to the advertisement.  After I deleted the words, I began re-writing the poem. As I wrote the poem, I again, deleted some words to push the meaning even further away from the meaning in the advertisement.

Below is the completed Disappearing Poem:

Terms and Conditions

by Lynda McKinney Lambert


calculations determined

by hotel travel

subject  to hotel rates.

prices are based on taxes

deals may change without notice

change without notice

minimum restriction blackouts

conditions may  change without notice

change without notice

prior to booking


Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Lynda is currently working on her second book of poetry – Eclipse: Hands Folded in Prayer.  She is the author of *Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage* – published by Kota Press. Available through the publisher, or on  If you want an autographed copy, contact the author directly – there is a very limited supply of this book.

Lynda’s newest  book “Kaleidoscope: Collecting Patterns of Light and Dreams” will be forthcoming later this year.  It is a collection of essays/memoirs on art, writing, and faith.

Lynda’s art is exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide; included in public and private collections. and museum permanent collections. The US Department of State chose Lynda’s artwork for the  “Art in Embassies” program. She has received over 100 awards for her art work and her work has appeared in over  300 exhibitions in national and international venues.

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