When I told my friend Brenda (a brilliant horse-whisperer for skittish writer horses) about my sort-of-weekly erasure poems, she told me about predictive text apps. Like the kind that can write an entirely new chapter of Harry Potter from the nonexistent volume "Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash".
The tool used to produce it, Botnik, lets you play too! This was another exciting writing exercise to try, because like the erasure, it gives you a way into your creative mind without having to use the front door (aka, a blank page). The predictive functionality is based on a source text. They have a zillion, from deep to ridiculous, or you can upload your own. (Imagine uploading a long manuscript and seeing if the app could predict your own writing style for you.)
I picked a high/low combination of their source texts last week and came up with this:
morning came raging
with jewels she cried
on my lips your mercy under earth
my early son asunder sings
crawl up and spill over
on inquiry electric lighting ash
i would take my true king
Just now I tried using Blink 182 as the source text, just to see what would happen with about the least lyrical lexicon I could imagine. Clearly their style is deeply embedded in my mind because I basically just wrote a new verse to What's My Age Again:
I'm guessing it took a much more concerted effort to product those hilarious Harry Potter passages ... and I'll be back again to try my hand at being Shakespeare, Radiohead, and Whitney Houston — maybe all at the same time.