8.2.2011 “                                       please”

                                                                           I remember reading once  



                                                                                a kingdom

                                   where chimps
                                   pain                 t

                                                                                                                                                                                                   do not

                                                                                                                                                                                                   do   n’t 



                                                eat                    and do    not

                                   h              u          r         t      

These erasures are derived from one lengthy e-mail with my estranged father, the subject line of which is "skim this long one or delete unread, please." In this message, he wonders over—among other things—his discharge from the army for schizophrenia just before the Vietnam War, the power hierarchy of the Vatican, the methods of storing and safekeeping the Declaration of Independence, and senescence in old age. I have endeavored, in these erasures, to mine out new meaning in this source text.

Daniel Schonning’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Magazine, Orion Magazine, The Yale Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. His poem “Aleph with all, all with Aleph” was selected by judge Cyrus Cassells as winner of Crazyhorse's 2020 Lynda Hull Memorial Prize. He works and writes in Colorado.