Awakened, He Turns to the Wall (Cento)
Then, everything slept.
Where were you before the day?
You see here the influence of inference,
whereby things might be seen in another light,
as if the trees were not indifferent, as if
a hand had suddenly erased a huge
blackboard, only, I thought there was
something even if I call it nothing,
like the river stretching out on its
deathbed. No one jumps off.
* * *
A cento is composed of lines from poems by other poets. This originated from pieces by: Larry Levis, Jacques Roubaud, Lorine Niedecker, Gustaf Sobin, Denise Levertov, Elizabeth Spires, William Bronk, Vicente Huidobro, Ingebord Bachmann
For further information and examples of the form, you might peruse the Academy of American Poets site: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/poetic-form-cento