Writing/Editing Prompt: Vitiligo
Turns out, Michael Jackson really did have vitiligo. All this time, I’ve assumed—like so many others—that he was bleaching out his skin to look whiter. (Which belief now has me questioning myself pretty seriously. So I’m under the impression one of the richest black entertainers in the world was, when given the resources to fulfill his deepest yearnings, at the very core of his being he found that he wanted most of all to look like me? How’s that for arrogance.)
Anyway, as a kind of tribute to the guy, let’s subject some of our writing to a little vitiligo, shall we? Much like Mary Ruefle (oh, God. Mary Ruefle!) did with her book A Little White Shadow, take a printed page (or two, or three, or 60) and go at it with the white out. But use your own writing—not the writing of some other person. Infect your own work with vitiligo as a way of apologizing for never believing that Michael Jackson had vitiligo.
Remember: vitiligo spreads from a single point. It grow. Start at a single word and move around to surrounding words. Be deliberate, though, so some kind of meaning remains. (Note that I say some kind of meaning. Feel free to define that however you want. Feel free to consult this Poetry Foundation article by Ross Simonini.)
For ADVANCED students: spread your white spots without paying to what you are vanishing. Just make stuff go away. And then, as Michael Jackson did, go right ahead and perform some plastic surgery on what’s left over in order to find a new story in the wreckage of the old. Shaves some letters off the words. Add some letters to the words. Pull some letters from one word and give them to another. Make up some words and add them to the piece of writing. Take some words from the dictionary and add them to the piece in a place that makes the piece look nice. (That is, use the skeleton of the old work to write something new. Maybe keep the skeleton in place, though. You don’t want the body to fall into a heap.)