Blackout Poetry Series: Poem 2

Blackout poetry is an intriguing form of expression which feels a lot like word search puzzles but seems a more complex and rewarding exercise, fit for a quiet hour at home.

Earlier this month, I picked up a random book, ‘word searched’ my first blackout poem, and found it to be something I’d love to do again. I’ve continued here with a second poem, from the next page of the [same book’s] introduction, which I used for my first blackout poetry series post. Like I said then, it seems interesting to use the same book—page after page.

While the first redacted page revealed a theme of categorization, today’s page called out crime, and the poem revealed something of an analogous conundrum:

Crime . . . moral insanity?

call crime moral insanity
automatically; by coincidence
we shook hands in hell—we
became business partners of
enormous talent and ability

blackout poetry sample

Relevant Factoid: “moral insanity” is an archaic psychiatric term, since replaced by updated definitions and terminology.


I was inspired by Molly Shea’s Hen House, whose blog I follow, to try blackout poetry (aka erasure poetry).

*Mobile users: Thanks for your patience with scrolling the image: to decrease its size would have made the text nearly impossible to read.