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:
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.