Write word-centos of poetry by Clif Mason, Ermira
Mitre Kokomani, David Dephy and Danae Spyrou.
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 Clif Mason’s
“[She lay down in a long lagoon of hours]” *)

Silent nights iced sizzling fires of light.
Love beat a sad sun
into an emerald lake,
dissolved desolate heads
across the water,
welcoming smoke
running from the earth,
the clack & clatter
of living delusion:
invisible days
falling overhead
into death’s jaws
whispered light
less dark
than love,
deep fissures—
seized by a faint,
willing wings calling a long,
forgotten world
behind crypts of darkness
in stunning summer shorelines
she lay.

* Original poem by Clif Mason published
in By&By Poetry, Issue 5, October 2015
under the title “Selfie in Which I Do Not
Appear.” Reprinted in Self-Portraits in
Which I Do Not Appear,
Finishing Line
Press 2020.

NOTE: I added the word “from.”



(a word-cento of Ermira Mitre Kokomani’s
“Winter Tempers Our Souls” *)

Earth rebirths equality,
peace within peace.
Snowflakes dance away,
disappear in the water of jazz.
Pearly cheeks of purity
and pine-needle eyelashes
equally disappear in dirt.
Ice melts our naked souls
in rivers, seas, creeks.
Branches balance the softness
of the self in our hearts.

* Original poem by Ermira Mitre Kokomani
published in Jerry Jazz Musician. Feb. 2021.



(a word-cento of David Dephy’s
“Ghosts all Around” *)

We learned future from past,
shades of razor blades
trusting empty winds,
left heroes’ spirit
for a deep twilight.
Trusting empty winds,
hungry for hopes to fly
to the moon,
and we drank our spirit of blood
from nothing but changes
trusting empty winds.

* Original poem by David Dephy published
in Amethyst Review. February 2021.



(a word-cento of Danae Spyrou’s
“Unbelonging” *)

Circle this naked war of illusions
around my mountains mumbling
a tornado of knives.
My bloodstream rivers rhythm,
carnivorous teeth
of night around a new-born.

* Original poem by Danae Spyrou published
in Spillwords Press. March 2021.

NOTE: I changed “knifes” to “knives.”


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.