Write word-centos of poetry by T. S. Elliott and
John Gould Fletcher. A word-cento is one of my invented
forms of poetry. It is a rearrangement of the words of a
poem by a single author. I try to exhaust every single
word of the poem (though lately I’ve only been doing
some). I lose the structure of the original poem, do not
position any two unique words next to each other, and
the resulting poem is a response to or a continuation of
the original poem.)


(a word-cento of John Gould Fletcher’s
“Irradiations” and “The Windmills” *)


Valley groaning tepid smile,
death, a steel sword,
entered you solemnly
at the stroke of

sunflowers, gadflies,
streets green and blue,
straggling clouds, windmills of war,

sun blisters great, bells
willing this cumbersome cold
beating a song
we ride through crimson sky
and cower with man.


Star shriek in heavy night-wind,
Crawl beneath a silent, strange smile
that sweeps over the scoured spurs.

Something cuts the desert flowers
and tosses heavens in the dried wind,
settling silver swaying jungles,
gold shadows heat your dull downwards surrender
glittering savage earth,

a wave of graves, my wavering heart,
lacquered mountains purple,
moments balancing moments,
jade clouds, rain and sun
surprisingly unreal and lazy.


Let me go over roof-tops!
Let me storm whirlpools
rustling men.
I see millions of ants
quivering with the shadows
bodiless army mid air
choking alone in the cracks.


Arrested above clouds,
golden horses charge at life,
the metallic doorway infinitely vast
and strange.
Again, my rusty thoughts defeat Death,
His face thrown to the wind,
smoking ecstasy,
mingled up with meditative dust,
God double-roofed the afternoon still,

yellow and curious
as the forever pale stare
at the orange sky after sunset,
with purple armor proudly far off
in a smile no man has seen before.

* Original poem by John Gould Fletcher
from Imagist Poetry: An Anthology,
edited by Bob Blaisdell, pp. 37-39.

NOTE: I didn’t realize until it was too late
I was working with two poems. Technically,
a word-cento is only of one poem, not two.
Also, I used “double-roofed” instead of



(a word-cento of T. S. Elliott’s
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” *)

Evening drains etherised sky,
muttering faces murder the question,
legs mounting streets,
a tongue upon the window-pane and
on your plate you meet
insidious oysters half-deserted
with visions for your time,
chimneys beside you and I
dying in a formulated phrase,
a shawl through silent streets,
narrow and ragged claws, cakes,
so peacefully dying, already sprawling
in the lamplight of dusk,
meticulous dooryards I presume,
pinned, downed my days
toward the window,
wriggling fingers force
a porcelain prayer,
the moment bitten and squeezed old
by a pillow,
and with a magic smile,
eyes flicker against coffee spoons
on the floor.

A question patterns the beach, —
sing to me:

Sea chambers wake us
above sunset’s smile
after smoke,
smoothed trousers,
smoothed days
from all known.

* Original poem by T. S. Elliott from
101 Great American Poems, edited by
The American Poetry & Literacy Project,
pp. 66-70.

NOTE: I used “oysters” instead of “oyster”
and “prayer” in place of “prayed.”


Joshua Corwin, a Los Angeles native, is a neurodiverse, 2-time Pushcart Prize-nominated, 1-time Best of the Net-nominated poet and 2021 Spillwords Press Award for Poetic Publication of Year 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.