Awakened, He Turns to the Wall (Cento)


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:


This last appeared here in February 2017.

18 thoughts on “Awakened, He Turns to the Wall (Cento)

    • Thanks, Cate. I’d love to assemble more, but have too many oars in the water as it is. But one of these days I’ll binge. After all, I have to put all of these books lying around gathering dust to work!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks very much. FYI, I just found your comment in my spam folder. I have no idea why it was there, but thought you should know. Thanks for the nomination, but I’ve elected to not participate in awards – they simply take up too much time, which always seems to be in short supply. But I truly appreciate the sentiment!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.