Love, Scattered (Cento)

Love, Scattered (Cento)

I cull and offer this and this,
and these last definite whorls

or later star or flower, such
rare dark in another world,

outdistancing us, madness
upon madness, the crest

and hollow, the lift and fall,
ah drift, so soft, so light,

where rollers shot with blue
cut under deeper blue as the

tide slackens when the roar of
a dropped wave breaks into it,

and under and under, this
is clear—soft kisses like bright

flowers— why do you dart and
pulse till all the dark is home?

I am scattered in its whirl.

This cento is composed exclusively of lines taken from fifteen pages in the Collected Poems of H.D., 6th printing, 1945. Hilda Doolittle is a fascinating figure in 20th century American poetry. You might look at the Poetry Foundation’s biography for further information:


Self-Portrait with Shadow


Self-Portrait with Shadow

Sometimes light reveals our thoughts.
Separate and unequal, we blend.

The predominant sibilant in English,
its pronunciation varies.

Sciaphobia is the fear of shadows. Last
winter the wellhead froze and we

chain-sawed our way to warmth,
synchronized in the fading light.

And which decides the other’s fate?
In the flame I detect new life, a hissing

in the cast iron box. Though ranked only 8th
in frequency of use, more words in English

begin with S, leaving additional questions.
Is hiss the opposite of shh?

The umbra is the darkest part
of the shadow, where light is completely

blocked. Not the serpent, but the bow
and a misperception. Shadows grow

in proportion to the distance
between the object blocking the light

and the projection surface. Resembling
infinity, yet missing the link. Two facets

of one darkness. A faint suggestion. Amphiscians
cast shadows in two directions. Or not at all.

Another version of this appeared in Otoliths in fall of 2013, but it appears that I’m not quite done with it. I’d been exploring our alphabet, tracing letters’ origins from hieroglyphs to present form, and attempting to merge some of those findings with disparate details. One of these days I’ll get back to it…

More successful examples of what I was trying to achieve can be found at Prime Number Magazine:


Congratulations Robert

Thanks, Matt and 4Ties!

Four Ties Lit Review

We are excited to announce that 4Ties poet Robert Okaji has a new chapbook. If Your Matter Could Reform is published by Dink Press. The poem, Rain Forest Bridge seen in Issue 3 of Four Ties Lit Review is included in the chapbook. Hear Robert read his poem, and read our interview with him. You can also check out the GoodReads review of If Your Matter Could Reform.

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Another Review of My Chapbook, IF YOUR MATTER COULD REFORM, and the print version has been released.


Another review of If Your Matter Could Reform is up on GoodReads, as well as on the reviewer’s blog:

And of course the print version has now been released:

With shipping, to U.S. addresses, the total should be $6.00. The shipping to international addresses will, I’d imagine, vary.


Don't Say That jar, collecting coins for bad words


What greater doubt
than if

preceding only,
or hope cascading through the withheld
unspoken phrase?

Or the conditional, as it slows to place
an obstacle in its very own
path. If only I could

I would deny its existence,
but the conjunctive

bears blame as well,
though nothing’s put before

the preposition (which one
would certainly never end with).




Leigh Ward-Smith has been kind enough to post a review of my chapbook on her site, Leigh’s Wordsmithery: