Chris Green’s Erasure Poem

Construction of American Pipelines
Erasure poem by Chris Green

* * *

The United States, hereby retrofit.
With regard to all iron or steel borders, submit.

* * *

This ‘erasure poem’ is derived from the Presidential Memorandum regarding Construction of the American Pipelines.

It was written by Chris Green, a well-respected poet who frequents our local coffee shop. Poets like Chris are to coffee shops what humus is to homegrown cabbage and tomatoes.

For those who don’t know, that would be most of us, an erasure poem is constructed by snatching key words from a document, arranging them, and erasing the others. The result may intensify the intent of the original, or challenge it.

Read the memorandum here:

Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines


January 24, 2017

SUBJECT: Construction of American Pipelines

The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with all relevant executive departments and agencies, shall develop a plan under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law. The Secretary shall submit the plan to the President within 180 days of the date of this memorandum.

“Produced in the United States” shall mean:

(i) With regard to iron or steel products, that all manufacturing processes for such iron or steel products, from the initial melting stage through the application of coatings, occurred in the United States.

(ii) Steel or iron material or products manufactured abroad from semi-finished steel or iron from the United States are not “produced in the United States” for purposes of this memorandum.

(iii) Steel or iron material or products manufactured in the United States from semi-finished steel or iron of foreign origin are not “produced in the United States” for purposes of this memorandum.

The Secretary of Commerce is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


One Comment

  1. Pat Shiplett

    Thanks for posting your poem, Chris. I had never heard of erasure poetry until you shared this work with us.

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