A Cento to See You

Thanks to Frequency Writers, I’m creating poetry with a more academic, experimental approach. Here’s my first time writing a Cento.

Here are my source materials:

1 “My Life by Water” by Lorine Niedecher

2 “Unicorn Believers Don’t Declare Fatwas” by Nada Gordon

3 “A Thousand Virgins Shout Fuck Off” by Elizabeth Treadwell

4 “Some Pink in Your Color” by Amy King

5 “Fragment 1: Sea-ward, white gleaming thro’ the busy scud” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

6 “To the Swimmer” by Countee Cullen

7 “Clotilde” by Guillame Apollinaire, translated by Donald Revell

8 “Repose of Rivers” by Hart Crane

9 “They Come” by Cathy Park Hong

10 “Latero Story” by Tato Laviera

“A Cento to See You” – July 2015

 Rabbits –  1

Linseed-eyed and broad of face, 9

3 We douse ourselves with flame retardant 9

4 And douse the town to flame – 9

5 a tarred prehistoric castle. 9

6 Heaven why? 3

My life, 1

My heart, goes out to you of dauntless courage and spirit indomitable 6

9 Into my heart, grown each day more tranquil and peaceful, comes a 6

10 struggling, 6

11 gnawing, 1

12 fierce longing 6

13 my hands shelving themselves… 10

14 is squandered by night. 7

15 Salivating on my index finger, 10

16 a balloon of such gravity I ache for stars in a jar, 4

17 congested with putrid residues, 10

18 pointed toward 1

19 wasps, whose love reminds me of fireflies tonight. 7

20 Several times a day I touch evil rituals… 10

21 of the soft 1

22 and serious – 1

23 seaward, white gleaming thro’ the busy scud 5

24 Rise up and ride in 9

25 my shore, 1

26 raided. 1

27 Now as I watch you, strong of arm and endurance, battling and 6

28 Along each town we pass 9

29 How much I would have bartered! The black gorge, 8

30 A craving for shadows 7

31 As we eye from afar, 9

32 we rave and rove and gore 9

33 where gloom has lain 7

34 Between love and disdain. 7

35 Road’s a batter of blood and dust 9

36 So many soldiers on the brink of their lives returning! 4

37 And willows could not hold more steady sound… 8

38 Our shadows meet 7

39 with an outward stroke of power intense your mighty arm goes forth – 6

40 We hear other deaths in flames. 9

41 And finally, in that memory all things nurse; 8

42 I have read a guide to success – 10

43 Opened in gardens 7

44 Giving 1

45 to wild green 1

46 Tyranny; they drove me into hades almost… 7

47 So worry about something more important 2

48 what to encounter… 10

49 like getting hit in a collision between 2

50 Dry blood infectious diseases 10

51 of a cancerous cell… 10

52 Indigestions somewhere down the line… 10

53 The cherry blossoms of August… 4

54 I can’t imagine the heart anymore 4

55 Oddly enough, there is a 2

56 Hold, I say. 9

57 Did you know I’m in this hospital bed? 4

58 Whose pulse is worn down with an IV to the head. 4

59 Someday I might become experienced enough 10

60 I’m not. I’m in the same light you stand in, 4

61 Till age had brought me to the sea. 8

62 After the city that I finally passed, 8

63 Passed too fast, nearly in the flash of Rose 9

64 Guts – 3

65 Now that it presses my ribs apart, 4

66 From my territories 10

67 To make it big 10

68 But I cannot use rubber gloves… 10

69 Where cypresses shared the noon’s 8

70 Posts on, as bent on speed, now passaging 5

71 Spring’s 1

72 Flags, weeds. And remembrance of steep alcoves 8

73 A town of shacks painted kiwi green 9

74 Ride into a town of tires stacked 9

75 To offer “technical assistance.” 10

76 Stamp the earth rind down. 9

77 Shuck our boots and nap on. 10

78 We are all Snow Birds atop 4

79 Moonlighting at night as a latero 10

80 Moonlighting until dawn by digging 10

81 that in order to get rich 10

82 “I have to sacrifice myself” 10

83 (Are you writing your name?) 3

84 The pond I entered once and quickly fled – 8

85 Now floats upon the air, and sends from afar 

86 Are we still talking to the same god? 

87 We are from the world above, 

88 We can never rest. 9

89 And now you must follow: 7

90 I am thinking of publishing 10

91 A wildly-wailing Note – 

92 Arts and letters… 1

93 Slimy grease blood hazardous waste materials… 10 

94 Such heartbreaking “I love you O My God” 4

95 And though my lips would speak, my spirit forbids me to ask, 6

96 “Are you here from the world above?” 9

97 Two – 1

98 Are you here from the world above? 9

99 Are you here from the world above? 9

100 Is your heart as true as your arm? 6

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