Mark Young

from THE POUND CENTOS

 

CENTO III

The hooves, moving in
heavy air, clink & slick
on the cobbles. Palace in

smoky light. Hard night, &
parting at morning. Not a ray,
not a slivver, not a spare disc

of sunlight. Thin husks I had
known as men, weaving an
endless sentence, propped

between chairs & table. &
then went down to the
ship, mad for a little slave

money, winds stretching out,
seas pulling to eastward.

CENTO VII

Cast on a natal paper, set with
an exegesis, told, our pact
stands firm, from half-dark

to half-dark. Goat bells tinkled
all night. Beaten from flesh
into light, dark shoulders have

stirred the lightning. The air
was full of women, flitting
& fading at will. Honey at the

start & then acorns, passion
to breed a form of things, of
men, in shimmer of rain-blur.

Been to hell in a boat yet? The
words woven in wind-wrack.

CENTO XI

He took it up to Manhattan, to
the big company, & they said:
“The answer to that is they’re

solid bone. You can amputate
from just above the medulla.”
He never could get it to work.

The slick guy, decked all in green,
with sleeves of yellow silk &
holding his golden wand, looked

out of the window. He knew me
& spoke first. “They came & cut
holes in rock for sacrifice, heap-

ing the pyre with goods. Sparse
chimneys smoke in the cross light.”

 


Source & Method: All four poems are shaped from phrases & sentences taken from Ezra Pound’s Cantos. The first couple I did fell out as 14-liners, so I have kept that form throughout.

Mark Young‘s most recent book is les échiquiers effrontés, a collection of surrealist visual poems laid out on chessboard grids, recently published by Luna Bisonte Prods.

Genevieve Betts

A QUESTION OF WHOLENESS

Paths forked off and forked off
some more. I followed the monk
through a maze of cloisters.
We came to a quiet place, a grave.
The milky turquoise vow of silence
hung white in the twilight.
I passed through a great doorway
and stood in a network of tunnels.
The music of dulcimers lit the path.
Holy Mountain, I feel like I’ve
climbed out of a dark box and into quasars.
There are so many
cities in every single city sometimes
language can’t even read
the music of meaning, the me
that lives in me. I’m this person,
I’m that person, I’m that person too—
tiny life-form of star compost
full of the sun and the moon.

 


Source & Method:  Lines taken from David Mitchell’s novel Ghostwritten. After my book of poems came out in 2015, I was looking for a new way to write, a new language. While reading novels, I began underlining lines that stood out to me, usually due to their standout language or strange wording. I decided to use these lines to generate centos and found pleasure in puzzling them together to form poems. I was surprised to discover that although I was speaking through the words of others, it was my voice rising to the surface of each poem.

Genevieve Betts is the author of the poetry collection An Unwalled City (Prolific Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in The Tishman Review, New Mexico Review, Hotel Amerika, The Literary Review, and in other journals and anthologies. She teaches creative writing for Arcadia University’s low-residency MFA program and lives in Santa Fe.

Jane Attanucci

OVERDUE

if I were writing this
into daylight
freedom’s plow
carry the one

how her spirit got out
hot milk
the flashboat
mysticism for beginners

the rest of life
shoes at the door
stargazer’s sister
hurt into beauty

 


Source & Method: Titles of books on my desk and a sense of narrative inspired this poem. Authors in order of appearance: Robert Creeley, Jeffrey Harrison, Carol Anshaw, Krysten Hill, Deborah Levy, Jane Cooper, Adam Zagajewski, Mary Gordon, Michael Downing, Carrie Brown, Paul Hostovsky.

Jane Attanucci’s poems have appeared in The Aurorean, Bird’s Thumb, Off the Coast, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing and Third Wednesday among others. Her chapbook, First Mud, was released by Finishing Line Press (2015). She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sarah J. Sloat

EVE

Text from “The Accidental” by Ali Smith.

Sarah J. Sloat splits her time between Frankfurt and Barcelona, where she works in news. Her poems and prose have appeared in The Offing, Hayden’s Ferry Review and Sixth Finch, among other journals.  Follow her on Instagram at @sjane30.

 

Andy Fogle

Schoolhouse Syllabics, Hancock

an / i / mos / i / ty
a / pos / tol / ic / al
cu / ri / os / i / ty

em / blem / at / ic / al
met / a / phor / ic / al
Fus / tian

 

Method:  This came out of a weeklong National Endowment for the Humanities seminar I participated in 2 summers ago about the Shakers here in east-central New York and western Massachusetts. It came directly from material I saw handwritten in Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts.  I haven’t changed it a bit.

Andy Fogle has five chapbooks of poetry, with poems, translations, memoir, interviews, criticism, and educational research in Image, Mid-American Review, Blackbird, Gargoyle, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, English Journal, and elsewhere. He lives in upstate NY, teaching high school and working on a Ph.D. in Education.

Alisa Golden Instability & Displacements

INSTABILITY

 

DISPLACEMENTS

 

Method: Looking for a dry source in my house, I happened upon a fluid dynamics textbook, Introduction to Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Physical and Numerical Aspects. Benoit Cushman-Roisin, Jean-Marie Beckers. 2nd Edition.
All photos are my own: INSTABILITY:  Black Lives Matter demonstration in Macy’s, NYC; statues and casts at The Parthenon, Nashville, TN; candle at The Cloisters, NYC; tire tracks, Berkeley, CA
DISPLACEMENTS: chairs at the curb, Berkeley, CA; airplane, JFK airport; house construction, Santa Monica, CA; red railing & graffiti, NYC

 

Alisa Golden writes and makes art under the imprint, never mind the press. She is the editor of Star 82 Review.