Justin Hocking has spent more time reading Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal than any sane person reasonably should. Don’t worry, he’s not boning up for a run at a cabinet position, nor does he have dreams of one day bankrupting a casino. Instead, the author and professor has devoted quarantine to literally dissecting the president’s words. For 100 consecutive days, Hocking, who’s own bibliography includes The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld and PS: The Wolves, set himself the challenge of creating one “erasure poem” a day, cutting and splicing the text on each page of the book to form new, exaggerated turns of phrase. “It’s a way of redirecting some of his violent or exploitative use of language back at him,” he says. “And more than just making fun of the president, I’m generally seeking ways to subvert some of the logic and aesthetics of capitalism that produced a man like Trump in the first place.” What does that look like? Hocking provided us with some examples below.
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