Step 1. Write word-centos of poetry by Tali
Cohen Shabtai, Megha Sood, Jendi Reiter
and Thelma T. Reyna. (In non-shpiggidity-
shpaggidity speak, a word-cento is basically
a rearrangement of the words of a poem how-
ever you see fit, but only using the words of
the poet, particularly the words in only one
poem of said saint.)
I NEED WORK WITHOUT SILENCE
FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK
(a word-cento of Tali Cohen Shabtai’s
Stars’ inhalation distinguishes an idea from God.
Cigarettes exhale the blessing to consume
Consumption is sacred language in Jerusalem,
and a phobia of numbers is profane.
Every holy business will consume sunset
and thirst for stars,
for the next day of work
Nevertheless, there is not enough fate
to emerge blessed with silence.
I don’t have enough sunset in me
* Original poem by Tali Cohen Shabtai
first published by Haaretz (in Hebrew).
January14, 2020. Reprinted in Punk
Noire Magazine (in English) translated
by Tali Cohen Shabtai. Nov. 19, 2020.
(a word-cento of Megha Sood’s
“On Listening to Jericho Brown” *)
Soft, speechless desire
the dream from my throat.
An empathy so surreal,
I am seething in truth,
a wail of unstoppable
* Original poem by Megha Sood
published in The Rising Phoenix
Review. Nov. 25, 2020.
PACKING A SEASON INTO
THE NEXT FORGOTTEN BOX
(a word-cento of Jendi Reiter’s
“Year of the Rat” *)
Born grey underground, gown government stars
scurry crimson swing reverent. Dead baby, delight,
imagine untidy presidents, pleasure ethics, emperors
blocked volcanoes across the waste wall. Cartoons
tunnel sons’ suffering stacks of crinkles, sharp
empty November’s rest with rats. Search for
complete sunrise, for volcanoes of corpses who
believed prizes and praise were happiness. Good
death-treat sneezes dead friends, red year and nibble
slowly monsoon-mélange of why, of anxious and
rotting paper, forgotten on wall of removed, of zig-
zag luck into holes: Come, books! Come box of
volcanoes! Come, dirt! Come with dirt-bright
placards, praise! Praise for fortune, memos to eat
forgotten, old men! Praise for underground
kindergarten-mapped postures, the sign under rain,
sweet rain and hunger’s cellared scroll on the
touchscreen of inwardly, packing a season into the
next forgotten box.
* Original poem by Jendi Reiter
published in Subnivean, Issue 1.
(a word-cento of Thelma T. Reyna’s
“Pope Francis” *)
Ancient kiss deformed earth with
Wear silk trash with open guilt.
Planets exploded awake.
You spin holy suns, knock man in sunder
God watching gods in the window.
God is a holy man,
dying in the ghettos.
We are emaciated
Politicians witness the
world breathing blackness.
Moons pilfered politicians
dying in the dust.
Sins send egoists to
heaven at the mercy of politicians.
Dust the holy from your
* Original poem by Thelma T. Reyna
from Rising, Falling, All of Us (Golden
Foothills Press, 2014).
Step 2. Type a meditative insert as spontaneous
prose thank-you notes to poet friends on Thanks-
giving, blessed by the serenity of the spheres and
the stars alignment in the fireplace, which runs
your heart wide-open with gratitude. (Send it to
them on Facebook Messenger, and share the love.)
For Clif Mason
With praise comes the fire within us that enters the
spirit of forgiveness, that eternal spark, that ember
of hopelessness is unburned by itself. It sits there,
dancing by its hue of shards—really, crystals
waiting to be unburied from within. But, if you dust
off the remnants, you might find yourself blazing
with resilience, with somber bliss: a double
meaning pensive penitence, but not a remorse for
the past nor a worrisome wince for a future fate to
befall and mask your brilliance in an empty picture
frame. No, it is the rust that grows our hearts into
the most loving and kindling peacemakers, carriers
of the crane cathedral, the Solar Sinai Synagogue,
sounds of some lovers realizing they don’t have to
think to beat their hearts. In fact, their—and our—
entire lives beat on their own, to the drum of skin
wearing not another layer of skin to be peeled like
an onion, but uncovered like the earth upon which
we walk and witness our growing, our flames flying
into the night sky, reuniting us through the hallowed
window of daylight, the beginning of a new halo we
recite with breath: our breath a universe of bravo,
another act in the play of becoming— becoming
someone other than the one who’s beneath us. We
are not our shadow, and we will not be below the
For Mike Sonksen
Thank you for all you do for me and for all those
you touch in so many ways. With the bliss and
generosity of a spirit never songless, always willing
to guide, to breathe and beam, and to breathe and
beam again, even when you think you can’t see the
color or witness the whisper of your breath, the
pursuit of pure sound, the loudest silence that ever
was, it is still audible, only as you cast your carryon
baggage into the wayside and paddle downstream
across the River of Breath, borne from your lungs of
everlasting insistence that you are sincere, and
sunfilled with the cheer of every first hoorah and
never the last, for this trail of your breath, this lunge
of waltzing into the world anew, a path of paved
pages of meadows consisting of gardens of air and
stars of personalities, true and truer beaming and
breathing personalities, realms of their own
resilience, which surround you like a halo of gunfire
love, not awakening a single shadow, except the one
that is present and necessary in order to balance
your eyes to breathe and beam what you’ve
[No Step 3 (combo) for Incentovise #14. The fire
in your heart is lit already. Listen to Joe Cocker,
“With A Little Help From My Friends” (Woodstock)
and you’ll realize it, too. Everything is
perfect. The whole world is perfect, just perfect.
And when you type these words, listen.
“Have A Little Faith.”
Joshua Corwin, a Los Angeles native, is a neurodiverse, 2-time Pushcart Prize-nominated, 1-time Best of the Net-nominated poet and Spillwords Press Publication of the Month winner. His debut poetry collection Becoming Vulnerable (2020) details his experience with autism, addiction, sobriety and spirituality. He has lectured at UCLA, performed at the 2020 National Beat Poetry Festival and Mystic Boxing Commission Festival of Sound and Vision, read with 2013 US Presidential Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, Michael C. Ford, S.A. Griffin, Ellyn Maybe, among others. His Beat poetry is to be anthologized alongside Ferlinghetti, Hirschman, Ford, Coleman and weiss late this year (Sparring Omnibus, Mystic Boxing Commission). He hosts the poetry podcast “Assiduous Dust,” writes the weekly Incentovise column for Oddball Magazine and teaches poetry to neurodiverse individuals and autistic addicts in recovery at The Miracle Project, an autism nonprofit. Corwin’s collaborative collection A Double Meaning, with David Dephy, is currently seeking publication. He also has forthcoming collaborative poetry projects with Ellyn Maybe including Ghosts Sing into the World’s Ear (Ghost Accordion series 1st Wave, Mystic Boxing Commission). Corwin is editing and compiling Assiduous Dust: Home of the OTSCP, Vol. 1 (forthcoming April 2021, TBD) featuring 36 award-winning poets, all demonstrating a new type of found poem (OTSCP) he invented.
I absolutely love and admire the utter brilliance of your creativity Joshua. You give a new meaning and life to our poems through your word centos. I’m really blown away by the meditative insert you did for Mike Sonksen and Clif Mason too. Thanks again for doing this and as always I’m blessed to call you my friend.
[…] Here is the link to the Incentovise #14: Have a Little Faith with my Friends […]