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The Cento for September 3, 2013

The cento is a verse form composed entirely of lines from poems by other poets. According to Wikipedia, the cento originated in the third or fourth century. It has become a tradition at First Tuesdays readings for me to compose, on-the-fly, a cento made up of one line from each of the open mic readers. I did not have the presence of mind last season to try to write them down, but I plan to do so this year. So here is the first cento of the 2013-2014 season. It’s divided into two sections, one that came before Audrey Dimola, our featured reader, and one that came after, and it is made up of lines, in order, from the following readers: Safiel Vonay, Kenny Medrano, James McMenaman, John F. Gomez, Norka Del Rios, Steve Rafalsky, Herb Rubenstein, Norman Stock, Denis Gray, Jack Feldstein, Jeff La Greca, Keron, Naomi, Peter Marra, and Allison Schondler:

Be shameless
or keep living in a dark hole.”
Her eyes were filled
with murky puddles of want.
“History is always written that way,
concave and convex,
a perfect harmony
in the valley of the shadow of death
that may be enough for some.

To take advantage of the world’s impartiality.
Isn’t that what retirement is all about?

The blues woman’s hips
cracked like the tail of a wind.
The beauty of a dancing woman often
releases an important memory:
Drunk chicks doing bad things to Santa,
Ron Jeremy, Rego Park’s finest,
slowly erased by your diligent hand.

I know I’m being very negative when I say this.


If you’re in the New York area, and you haven’t been to a First Tuesdays reading, I hope you’ll consider coming down. On September 29th–I know; that’s a Sunday, but this is a special event–I will be hosting a book launch for Archipelago Books. Announcements about the event will go out shortly. And if you can’t make it on the 29th, please come down to share your work at one of our regular meetings. We meet on the first Tuesday of the month, September through June.

Up next First Tuesdays Presents Deborah Fried-Rubin First Tuesdays Presents Audrey Dimola
Latest posts The Cento for October 1, 2019 David Siller at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Julia Scudiero at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Liz Gray at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Norman Stock at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Lydia Chang at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Shams A Momin at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Dan Fleshler at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Basia Winograd at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Henry Sussman at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 Peter Marra at the First Tuesdays open mic - Oct 1 2019 First Tuesdays Presents Abeer Hoque The Cento for September 3, 2019 Peter Marra, featured reader at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Malcolm Chang at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 David Siller at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Valerie G. Keane at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Patricia Carragon at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Norman Stock at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Marty Levine at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Lydia Chang at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Herb Rubenstein at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Henry Sussman at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 Faizan Sayed at First Tuesdays, Sept 3 First Tuesday Joins PEN’s Break Out Initiative First Tuesdays Presents Peter Marra First Tuesdays Announces Its 2019-2020 Season First Tuesdays Presents Miranda Beverly-Whittemore First Tuesdays Presents Valerie G. Keane First Tuesdays Will Be at the Queens Literary Festival on Sunday, August 2nd First Tuesdays Will be at The New York City Poetry Festival on July 25th