Step 1. Listen to Ty Segall’s “Caesar” while doing a
word-cento of Samantha Kolber’s “They Told Us” inOddball Magazine. (In non-shpiggidity-shpaggidity
speak, a word-cento is basically a rearrangement of
the words of a poem however you see fit, but only
using the words of the poet, particularly the words
in only one poem of said saint.)



Wear panic hoax beautiful
beautiful gas chambers
beautiful numbers
beautiful, sick air.
Now make everything beautiful.
Now mask justice, buy buy buy.
Buy your nature with credit cards.
Wash your hands with nothing,
nothing but a mask.

Step 2. Try writing your meditative insert while listening
to Duane Allen and Boz Scagg’s “Loan Me A Dime” and
listening to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s video obituary (see
The Guardian). (This is kinda tough to explain. Really, it’s whatever
gets your grooviness going… but in a meditative way
and with a hard-on for poetry.)



Listen to wisdom…
But I don’t understand why I forget rhythm,
I know there are lies performing
all around the stream,
I was empowered by the blindsight fighters.
And wished for the ceramic guise
to allow these tears to flow
from heaven, liberty, love.
Restricting hope is a fallacy. —
I can’t begin to fathom future fears,
that shall issue upon splatter-paint stars,
I know life is filled with humor,
talent, beautiful, rhythm,
righteous chalice gripping the reason
for being here on earth,
When all the courts sank
the ship of fools,
you upheld the beat,
marched to the justice tune
that sought redemption for us all
and gave us all dimes
to flip coins in the air
and have pockets to exchange change
for real growth,
               truth, beauty,
my reason for being here.
So lend me some change.
Because I can’t face my own tears.
So, I wash dishes in a sink,
so I don’t sink with my hope.

But I can’t flail against the world much longer.
It’s time for a change.


Step 3. Combine the word-cento and meditative insert,
listening to Vanilla Fudge, “You Keep Me Hangin On.”


Listen to wisdom…
When all the courts sink,
Wear panic hoax beautiful
I know lies performing
beautiful gas chambers
all around the stream of
righteous-chalice-gripping reason
beautiful numbers—
I don’t understand why I forget rhythm, —
But I can’t flail against the world much longer.
Beautiful, sick air
restricting hope is fallacy. —
Now make everything beautiful.
I can’t begin to fathom future fears
that shall issue from splatter-paint stars.
Now mask justice, buy buy buy.
I know life is filled with humor,
From heaven, liberty, love.
Buy your nature with credit cards,
and wish for the ceramic guise.
Wash your hands with nothing,
nothing but a mask.
Flip coins in the air
seeking redemption for us all,
when the courts sink,
uphold the beat,
march to justice tune—
Listen to wisdom…ship of fools,
Pockets to exchange change
for real growth:
               truth, beauty, panic hoax,
               beautiful gas chambers,
               beautiful numbers,
               beautiful, sick air
to make everything beautiful.
Buy beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Justice.


Joshua Corwin, a Los Angeles native, is a neurodiverse, Pushcart Prize-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 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” 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).

Readers are encouraged to submit their own cento (complete with meditative insert) in the comment seciton of the Incentovise column.