Cento I

I slept in Circe’s ingle. Unburied, unwept,
unwrapped in sepulchre. These many
crowded about me, with shouting. & in

the water, the almond-white swimmers.
Dawn, to our waking, drifts in the green
cool light. The sunlight glitters, glitters

atop forked branch-tips, flaming as if
with lotus, the bride awaiting the god’s
touch. & beneath the jazz a cortex, a

stiffness or stillness. The angle almost
imperceptible, the calm field, the
grass quiet. The house a shade too solid,

a dryness calling for death, knocking at
empty rooms, seeking for buried beauty.


Mark Young, 2018

Remixed work:

The Cantos, by Ezra Pound

Lack of Color



The word colorlessness?

In America?

In white tyrant states?

Whence this passion
towards woven strands
of colorlessness?

Whence this conformity
to the many parts
of being invisible?

Color is.

Diversity is.

Think of what
would happen,

to end by
not a color
but the

Mike Ferguson, 2018

Remixed work:

The Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison

Desolate Angels

Everything crackled from fire. We knew it was dangerous, but people wouldn’t listen to us. I often see them in dreams now. A black heap of them. Birds have pecked their faces, their hands. It’s better not to look at the faces. I think this might be the future, with lice and filth and the smell of blood. The sky throbs, the ground throbs. Even the trees are crippled. Horses, the clayey colors of earth, fall down dead. Wind stirs their manes.


Doctors in white coats attached electrodes to our heads and told us to sleep, but I couldn’t go back, I just couldn’t. I saw Orion the Hunter shivering above a mutilated landscape of abandoned shopping malls. Out-of- office messages appeared from cracks in the asphalt. Assault rifles, too. I went to the funerals. I went to the homes where they were sitting shiva. I went to the vigils. The scariest part was the silence. Then the silence erupted, and angels were flying about, and even the angels didn’t know what to do.


I had lost two fingers. They were completely gone. The crunching noise, I guess, was teeth scraping against my skull. Painkillers didn’t help. We were getting older, and it was hard work. People had stopped leaving their homes. Many were just skeletons. Floors overflowed with injured and blood. I couldn’t come up with an innocent explanation for this. Although still early, shopkeepers were pulling down the shutters of their shops. I stood there, trying to see in. A scruffy brown dog, come from who knows where, lay down on the sidewalk, just to feel the warmth from the sun.

Howie Good, 2018

Remixed work:

The Unwomanly Face of War, by Svetlana Alexievich

The Halves

Many there.
There were ma.
Many did tha.
Many undid tha.

The undone is.
They are speaking.

There were many who,
meanwhile were many.

Do you manage?
If so why i?

Ordinarily men
seeking wedgies the.
They this.

And that was all a bet
unto the jousting which was.

In Lon just.
In Lon just no

When they and Lon
the bat backer be.

In the backing th
under a cleft
gannets no.

That was a lot
come down th
and lack of
under the store th.
Me like methink i.

The barn.
The big sto.
Gravel on the la
yes that and festoon o

why the
and we’ll never
not two states ev

and no more store no mo
they fly by and take

just make sure to.

Jacquelyn Shah, 2018

Remixed work:

The Haves, by John Ashbery

The Ordinary Course of Things


All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea, that spacious wound,
is never full,

just as thirst rarely answers
the simplest star: blue flame
projecting distance, a bell
of darkness, known.

How small the creation!
Hurried through many changes naked,
finally compelled to crawl,
it does not wake,

I wish–I cannot think—
a sort of vague feeling comes over me,
glimpse of lamp burning low—
that I have asked all this before.


The mind is its own place,
a far-off hazy multitudinous assemblage
of bells, and wheels, and flowers
at a high pitch of velocity;
little craters all burning, lava flowing uphill;
gigantic ruins and the strange bright constellations;
shadows of clouds feeding on each other—
a moving curtain of the earth and sky
that has been already in the ages before us—
Was it person? Was it thing?
was it touch or whispering?

It comes without meaning
a knot on a piece of string,
minute in its distinctness,
beautiful in its time,
as it threads the darkness.


When thunder and lightning were first found
to be due to secondary causes,
some regretted to give up the idea
that each flash was caused by
the direct hand of God,
their regal gold-inwoven tatters,
the shadow passed from between us
through the dark Areal Hall,
a double consciousness,
that crooked tree, its roots full of caves
that had grown as the world grew
in the changing light of heaven and of eyes.
Let it glide where it will,
like wings of flaws and holes:
time will do wonders.

Claire Bateman, 2018

Remixed works:

Various writings by Charles Darwin
The works of George Eliot
The Book of Ecclesiastes
Paradise Lost, by John Milton
The Water Babies, by Charles Kingsley

The Country I’m From

This is the country of the future – houses abandoned,
streets with holes, power lines hanging down. And it
really ought to get to stay here rather than be turned

into coffee tables and electric guitars. I’ve never been
in a war zone but I’m pretty sure this is what it feels like.
These kids freezing in the tents could easily be my children.

I’m not a journalist, not a secret agent, I don’t need to know
everything about everyone. It all comes down to wording.
The orange splotches have been added to suggest wind.

Howie Good, 2018

Remixed works:
Scientists: Long-Buried Ice Age Forest Offers Climate Change Clues, by Debbie Elliott
Brief Encounters, Enduring Portraits of the Displaced, by Jori Finkel