Geneva Convention Erasure By Robbie Gamble


Forcible deportations of persons
from the territory of Power are a given
if security so demands.

 Such evacuations involve
the displacement of persons
outside the bounds of material reason. 

It is impossible
to avoid such displacement. 

Persons evacuated shall be
transferred back to their hostilities. 

To the greatest practicable extent,
satisfactory conditions of hygiene,
health, safety and nutrition
are separated and taken.

The Power shall protect
an area of security
imperative on its own population.

 

Source: Fourth Geneva Convention (1949), p. 185, Article 49: Deportations, Transfers, Evacuations.

Method: Erasure, keeping the existing word sequence intact. In the wake of the recent inauguration, with the new administration’s attempt to put in place a Muslim travel ban, I looked through the documents of the Geneva Convention to see what existing international law had to say about the treatment of refugees and the deportation of civilians. As I read through these texts I could sense words falling away, revealing a new intention. 

Bio: Robbie Gamble is a poet and a nurse practitioner who has cared for homeless and undocumented people for many years in Boston, Massachusetts. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Writers Resist, The American Journal of Poetry, and Poet Lore.