The Cento for October 1, 2019

During every First Tuesdays open mic, we communally compose a cento using language taken from each open-mic reader’s offering. On October 1, those readers were: Jay Chollick (who couldn’t make it, but sent a poem which was read by Rich Newman), David Siller, Peter Marra, Henry Sussman, Basia Winograd, Shams A. Momin, Dan Fleshler, Lydia Chang, Norman Stock, Liz Gray, Ronit Malekan, and Julia Scudiero.

Cento: There Is No Requiem

Is that our son,
dead quiet in the language room?
The last time I visited, I
was invited to self-pleasure.
She pleasured herself as an act of revolution.

Birds shadow the airplane,
colonizing the sky. The immensity
of the effort
is evidence of the act’s
fundamental immorality.

Tossing aside the desire for separation,
an absurd stab at significance,
I needed attention from no one but myself.
I wasn’t just delighted; I was whole.

It should be hollow
so it can contain things.
None of this
means a goddam fucking thing.
Everyone, sober or drunk,
is a seeker of the friend.

Not enough, not enough, not enough.
Just in time to save us.

And here is a video of me reciting the cento at the end of the open mic. I did not think of dividing the poem into the above sections until I typed it out for this post:


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