Mixing It Up

I really need to get to submissions this weekend. (Didn’t I say that last week? Groan.) I do get inspiration from a group of poets/writers on Facebook started by Laura E. Davis called Submission Bombers. We share market suggestions, “bomb” markets together, and celebrate when one of us gets a long-awaited acceptance.

This week, Laura started a string asking, “What’s the first line of the newest thing you’ve written?” As group members added lines, a few people said, “Someone should write a poem from all of these lines!” I took that as a challenge, and although it is not a pure cento (I added connective tissue, added simple words,  and truncated some lines), it is a collaborative work. It is very rough, but, like putting together a puzzle, certain pieces fit right away and a few are not set tight in their places. So, here is a rough draft with lines from the following poets/writers:

Laura E. Davis, Dakota Grilli, Jessica Trimbath, Damilola Michael Aderibigbe, Nicole Bartley, JoAnn Anglin, Kelly Egan, Robert Kendrick, Joseph Harker, Teresa Narey, Angele Ellis, Kelly Nittel, Kelly McQuain, Julia Bouwsma, Maryann Ullmann, Cathy Barber, & Gary Glauber

Preparing to Leave the Homestead
Noon on the sundial – the sun fills the room,
and I’ve been soaking my eyes, my coffee cold
in the cup. Next Spring will be seven years –
a breeze stirs the curtains, and my grandfather
in his wind chimes whispers You need to write
novels, not live them. I try to keep my promise,
living in his house, in his town, but will the dead
absolve my flesh? What is a house but a steepled
square of light? Time drips. What have I wrung
from it but unhappiness? I can’t be in this town
for one more menstrual cycle, and Clay says
he needs a new hood for his Nova. We smoke
before the old movies begin, mud on our shoes.
We dream of leaving and this need lingers. Give us
this day, we utter. We don’t have much, but here
we are, Adam and Eve, rutting like pigs in the dark.

4 thoughts on “Mixing It Up

    • Thanks, Laura and Kelly! It was really fun to do. I’m hoping more people will try it – I know at least two others have – and we can publish a little online chapbook of them. That would be fun!

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