Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Yeah Write #95: Life, Struck ( #amwriting #flashfiction )


An Erasure Poem — Excerpt from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson:  The Black Spot

Life, Struck



Plainly hunched,



My life, a dreadful-looking figure.



I hear a voice.

“Will you give me your hand,

my friend?”

My hand, gripped like a vice.

I struggled to withdraw;

I dare not cry out.



A voice so cruel, and cold, and ugly

cowed me at once,

holding me in one iron fist,

leaning more weight than I could carry.

This I thought would have made me faint.

I was so utterly terrified.



The words ordered

a terror of mortal sickness.

I can hear a finger stirring.


I stood motionless.

I hear tap-tap-tapping into the distance.



I gather senses;

I reeled, hand to throat,

swaying for a moment,

and then fell

face to the floor,

calling to my mother.

But all in vain.


Video capture of the erasure:


2 comments on “Yeah Write #95: Life, Struck ( #amwriting #flashfiction )

  1. Laura
    February 1, 2018

    I can really feel the fear, particularly the last paragraph – well-deserved overwhelming terror. I love the ‘tap-tap-tapping’. Chilling.

    Also – great book choice.


  2. innatejames
    February 1, 2018

    Even your poetry has a strong plot, Tara! I interpreted this poem as the regrets the narrator’s had in his life coming back to haunt him. Or to kill him? My small nitpick is that the tone of your poem doesn’t seem that different from the tone of the original text. It felt a little more like editing than creating a brand new piece. Perhaps that’s because whole parts of sentences were kept in, rather than just enough to convey emotion.


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