I Do Not Know (a remixing poem – cento)


As a kid, I would count backwards
from ten and imagine at one,
patience and love agreed
to meet at a set time and place,
beneath the questions you
had never asked.

His voice in this room,
her eyes a closed book—
“I barely know you,” she says,
voice heavy with sleep.
“I don’t know,
no one truly knows,
who they are,” he sighs.

The glass bottle does
anything and everything,
always seeking.
Dawn turns to day —
it happens like this:

One day you meet someone,
and for some the answer is
“Yes, always yes! I cannot
deny you anything!

You — do you remember
our first day? The fog lifted
and all around us,
I  saw a dream.
We said hello at half past one.

It was one of those nights
that you are not altogether
sure, really. I did not know —
perhaps I never loved enough.
As the earth began spinning
faster and faster, we floated.

“Be careful about giving your
heart too quickly,” I was told.
“Love a girl who writes.”

There is a tide that rolls away,
like time suspended —
the path from you extending.
For all the time I’ve known you,
in a sea of strangers,
you were the one —

A midnight scribble
stretching out from here to then,
You were faultless.
Do you see?
You may not know.
You are the moment before
the sun sinks into the horizon.

The timing is irrelevant when
two people are meant for each other.
It’s your love I once surrendered.
Do you remember
what you once said to me?

“When two souls fall in love,
there is nothing else
but the yearning—
sorrow tells stories.”
I wonder if there will be a morning
when you’ll wake up missing.

Do you know that feeling—
when it’s like you’ve lost something?
“I don’t know what to say,” he said.
“There are people I will never know—
I am somebody else’s story.”


POETIC FORM: A Remixing Poem

To earn the First in Line badge, choose a published collection of poems by a single poet. Copy down the first line of each poem in the collection. Craft a poem using select lines from your list — you must keep the wording of the original lines intact, but may make alterations to elements like line breaks, punctuation and capitalization. The challenge with this form (often called a cento) is to use another poet’s lines to create a piece that sounds like it’s from YOUR voice.
For an example of a poem created using the first lines of other texts, check out Alex MacDonald’s “Free Verse Cento”:http://campus.poetryschool.com/free-verse-cento/
Credit your source collection and specific poems excerpted at the bottom of your post.
PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project
– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out pomosco.com.
A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson,  is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.
SOURCE TEXT: Lullabies by Lang Leav