Step 1. Write word-centos of Ruth Bader Ginsburg tribute
poems in Oddball 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.)

 

WORD-CENTO OF MEGHA SOOD’S RBG POEM

Trailblazing voice dissenter,
an epitome shimmering language,
a language notorious for making naysayers
engraved in trembles
rightly,
etched an absolute justice of dignity
carved in victory for truth.
My RBG speaks womanhood,
the pedestal for life.
My RBG is forever a metaphor
for determination.
My RBG is forever embroidered
her rise, a raging strength, marks recovery
from the pain of atrocity undefined,
from the war against equality,
a war of disgust,
men caging life force with anger,
men riddled by self and scars,
men who scratched skin to fit in,
refusing dignity, honor,
not meant to be great,
notorious,
my RBG.

 

WORD-CENTO OF JOSHUA CORWIN’S RBG POEM

Nothing claimed empty prison,
heaven blistered by thunder,
avalanche sand through my hands of blood,
celestial-oak stars whispering your bridge
through inkblot meadows,
but I am forced into freedom or the grave.

Justice never wasted a second.
I cannot justify your memory
upon heaven’s bright altar
and sigh at the chimneys, crimes,
sorrow, suffering,
wash my hands and blow out the perplexed candle,
ask mother for orchards of forgiveness
and grow blissful in the wind of perpetual denial
bandaging bondage
from my mind…

underneath perplexed star light
warping scabious heaven,
warning your ocean,
your ocean of tears
Home.

 

WORD-CENTO OF DAVID DEPHY’S RBG POEM

Tomorrow’s stars and stripes won’t wait for a miracle,
a needless dream
to finish
a war for fate’s dawn
to fall in love with a grudge
and fade away from your name
and fall into a world of loneliness,
and forget

Justice.

 

WORD-CENTO OF CHAD PARENTEAU’S RBG POEM

Cry out to matriarch
who mail last words
made by a legion of her daughters
who cry out
to family surrounded by shame,
who warn family
no mistakes can be made now.

 

WORD-CENTO OF RICK LUPERT’S RBG POEM

Thank you, naysayer heads
for talking politics to us
with a burning punch.

Life turned in a year.
Ruth, you stood for balance
in evil water
with colors of death.
Ruth, we look up to see you.

 

WORD-CENTO OF DORIE LARUE’S RBG POEM

Unburied history makes me cry
November, September, daylight night.

Unburied history kills the world today
smoking crazy minds on the corner, shitting life.

Unburied history stabs the true whole hollow.
In a flash fear kills itself with a spike.

 

WORD-CENTO OF JOHN STICKNEY’S RBG POEMS

Stars weep for over-turned angels of justice
who’d understand unrecognized shadow
alone in the sky memory walked for us all.

 

WORD-CENTO OF JACKIE OLDHAM’S RBG POEM

America birthed the Golem of Hate
on an escalator of inequality,
destroyed compassion, empathy, truth, humility;
and evil descended
on the Righteous Ones.

Emet alone, suffered cancer but conquered
frailties of human fingers, bone
passing the Hope gauntlet
once more.

Once more, vote!
Vote for compassion and empathy!
Vote for truth and humility and freedom!
with hard work, bid homage to a saint
who forbade justice from passing by our fingers,
who forbade homage to Beloved Freedom
and gnarled Inequality with
evil seeking sheep –

Make a double blessing now,
anointed by the moment, now,
in the hands of people,
not sheep,
but emet followers.

Now is the moment
to bring out Truth, save virtues:
to bring out Compassion, Truth, Freedom, Empathy, Bravery
with Hard work and Sacrifice –
to be the land of deathbeds no more,
to be America
birthed once more.

 

WORD-CENTO OF KAREN GREENBAUM-MAYA’S RBG POEM

Priggish Scalia opined divine
his will convinced
what founders thought
firmly, unconstitutional.

 

WORD-CENTO OF PATRICIA CARRAGON’S RBG POEM

Baruch Dayan Notorious Justice.
Like RBG, we become bitter herbs
mixed with honey.
L’Shana Kaddish.
We become the bitter honey.
We become herbs blessed with Ha’Tova,
with Notorious Justice.
Like RBG, we become bitter herbs
mixed with honey.
L’Shana Ha’Emet.
We become Notorious Justice.
We become RBG.

 

WORD-CENTO OF ROSEMERRY WAHTOLATROMMER’S RBG POEM

One step may inch
toward justice, be a bridge
toward forgiveness, edging change
toward clarity, the strength I find
when equity may feel slow,
though every step toward change
may feel leaden on step
after step after step
toward justice,
toward truth,
toward forgiveness,
though I find my feet slow,
stones every inch,
I respect the grace of edging
enough divisiveness
one step
as I go toward
the bridge
into another truth
toward right now,
with clarity
and take joy in every step
toward change.

 

Step 2. Kol Nidre is the day of atonement and forgiveness.
Listen to a live stream of Kol Nidre Services. Kindle the
flame—light a candle to memorialize those departed and
beloved, and listen. Let the words listen from within you.
Write the spirit from within and wherever your mind goes,
the pen and paper by your fingertips, write. Write. Write.
Write your meditative insert. Write the spirit of forgiveness
in solace, somber. Amen.

(NOTE FOR READERS: I’m omitting the meditative insert
here because this column would be way too long, it’s
already very long, and I’d like you groovy readers to enjoy
the aftermath, combo piece in Step 3.)

 

Step 3. Bang a gong and combine the meditative insert
and word-centos while listening to Jaco Pastorious &Ira Sullivan Qunintet, Ballye de Nina (1973) at “ThePlayboy Club;” Eddie Harris & Ira Sullivan – Live 1988Chicago Jazz Festival (Sept. 1, 1988); Thelonius Monklive in ’66: Lulu’s Back In Town; Horace Silver Quintent,“Song for My Father;” Eric Burdon & War, “TobaccoRoad (Live, 1970).” Usually, I make the word-cento the
base, or ground piece, and inject the meditative insert into
the word-cento; however, since I have multiple word-centos
and a long meditative insert, the meditative insert will be the
ground piece.

 

RBG + KOL NIDRE TRIBUTE (COMBO)
Special thanks to Megha Sood, Joshua Corwin,
David Dephy, Chad Parenteau, Rick Lupert,
Dorie LaRue, John Stickney, Jackie Oldham,
Karen Greenbaum-Maya, Patricia Carragon &
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.

The sacred portal of deep emotions
trailblazing voice dissenter,
an epitome shimmering language
I flame up a language notorious for making naysayers
and release promises engraved in trembles
heaven blistered by thunder
trembling rightly at the memory,
witnessing notorious avalanche sand through my hands
of blood commentary etched absolute justice, dignity,
humility, somber, solace, carved in victory for truth.

I confess my flaws, and find freedom
from the pain of atrocity undefined,
as I rediscover the dive of Being.
Being the drove of peace, I can be strong
in my repentance, a new human being.

My RBG is forever a metaphor
for determination.
My RBG is forever embroidered
her rise, a raging strength, marks recovery
from the war against equality,
a war of disgust,
men caging life force with anger,
men riddled by self and scars,
men who scratched skin to fit in,
refusing dignity, honor,
not meant to be great,

Nothing claimed empty prison,
celestial-oak stars whispering your bridge
through inkblot meadows,
and I am forced into either freedom or the grave.

Tomorrow’s stars and stripes won’t wait for a miracle,
a needless dream
to finish
a war for fate’s dawn
to fall in love with a grudge
and fade away from your name
and fall into a world of loneliness,
and forget

Justice.

Justice never wasted a second.
I cannot justify your memory
upon heaven’s bright altar
and sigh at the chimneys, crimes,
sorrow, suffering,
wash my hands and blow out the perplexed candle,
ask mother for orchards of forgiveness
and grow blissful in the wind of perpetual denial
bandaging bondage
from my mind…

And so, I tremble in gratitude, and enter the candle,
underneath perplexed star light
warping scabious heaven,
warning your ocean,
your ocean of tears
Home, the candle’s mind dwindling, flickering,
yet remaining ever bright with the sound of music
and the hum of humanity
words relished in a night of sadness
and blank glasses on my eyes. —

I am waiting.
Waiting for my reason, as I protest my own tears,
with shul-silence; – I want to forgive…
I want to forgive my fatigue, ardor-heaven grave.

Passionate equity. I want to know peace. And be still.

I want humanity to be at peace,
still and adored in sweet, serene silence.

I turn toward my heart and let oceans overflow
with “letting go” of past promises and doors unguarded,
unlocked by music, rhythm, harmony,
the hum of melancholia,
the stars of serenity shelter.

Why do you weep for me, O Angels in Heaven?
and here on Earth?
in the dust piles moaning?
Why do you weep for the women, men,
children, lives…
lives who have descended into suicide willingly…?

Unburied history makes me cry
November, September, daylight night.

Unburied history kills the world today
smoking crazy minds on the corner, shitting life.

Unburied history stabs the true whole hollow.
In a flash fear kills itself with a spike.

Am I willing to rise?
Willing to rise with each wind spread onto
the spur across time, beyond pre-eternal darkness,
past the guise that guides us into humanity.
Make a double blessing now,
anointed by the moment, now,
in the hands of people,
not sheep,
but emet followers.

I hear a soft voice, and listen to the music of time.
Stars weep for over-turned angels of justice
who’d understand unrecognized shadow
alone in the sky memory walked for us all.
“O, oceans, your resolve ever-guiding
with the strife of the merry and the plentiful?”—
“How do you walk into the silence of Being?”
—I ask the stars sighing in the sky, filled
with sunshine soliloquy,
as the choir speaks Hebraic melody
and ushers out gusts of wind, tyranny triumphs to
more and the melody cheerful fills me…

but I prefer the woe…
Why do I prefer the woe? The empty?
The tears of the forgotten?
Perhaps, perhaps you’re here and remember
who you are… —

You are the sand of all people
You are a spark, not a being borne
into a world of confusion.
You are the community of Divine.

So remember who you once were, and still are, –
for you have never descended
and you do not climb, but fly.

You are here with Me now,
with Saints of Suffrage.

Your oaths shall be outsung
by the Wind.

Your shivers, whispers, whimpers,
and trembles tumultuous
shall sine at last a light forever bright
in the brilliant darkness,
forever speaking secret Oneness,
One with ourselves, our soul, our
family, friends, Hashem,
and every Divine Name of Beauty,
the Beauty that outlives none but Eternity;
for it is Adonai Echad. —

Listen to the breath of Eternity…
Listen to the mountain moaning Your Name…
Listen to the Commandments and the inward
lightning of goodness, compassion,
and justice.

Turn inward to fulfill Your Strength.
Uk’shartam l’ot al yadecha.
Set these meanings aside and be the letters
O Spirit, Ruach Ha’Emet, be my Neshamah
Of forever Forgiveness:

New Sinai speaks
L’maan tizk’ru vaasitem
et-kol-mitzvotai,
viyetim kdosham Elochim…

Remember Anochi took us out of Egypt,
and though Egypt confronts us now,
We will be restored
to the mountaintop of our hearts
as evening descends upon us;
and hold our mitzvot and memory close
on the shelter of our heart,
and beat action mindfully
with all the Ruach of Ginsburg,
and all the Shechinah of Justice,
and be a light,
a beacon of hope in the dark nightsong upon us,
with strife and death, decay and ugliness.

God, I have shattered into slumber for far too long.
Let me awaken anew spark, and pick up the pieces,
ready to answer the call past infinite illness and war,
feed the hungry
with your heartsoul beat into my memory,
as you descend from heaven, and carry me safely
on wings of love —

for you are ki El Melech chanun v’rachum Ata,
O Sovereign of Compassion.
buried in the stillness on the child’s face,
my beloved heart
awaiting unveiling, revealed courage to stand,
and pledge allegiance to the Beauty. –

The Beauty that is Adonai:
s’fatai tiftach ufi
ufi yagid t’hilatecha. —

O, ocean, let me be.
The congregation asks me to pray in
silence.
And I peer deep into my own candleflame of
existence
as I write with blue pen mind,
and penchant repentance,
pen chant repentance,
in the peasant soul I am asking for holiness;
I now cry for You day by day.

Selah. Shalem. Wholeness. Gratitude roots waves
of thoughtless cries, shrikes of uncertainty,
but it starts with the sense of wholeness
in the forgiveness… I wake to lanterns,
open my heart with the Peace that is Yours
to give. Shalom rav al Yisrael am’cha
tasim l’olam –

I want to be Your gift to Israel this year,
when Kiddush seems empty,
and there is no Farbrengen to give;
and I want to devour my eyes,
so I can’t see this Darkness,

I ask You to breathe the Book of Life
and inscribe principles bold and mighty,
peaceful as the prophets,
and as honorable as the stillness of the night
in the midst of the chaos of it all.
Anachnu, v’chol am’cha beit Yisrael!
l’chayim tovim ul’shalom!

And be boxes kept in the covers revealed
as the candlelight still remains ever supernal,

I beat my chest and repent, —

We betray, we steal, we scorn and act
perversely.

And I am here to admit that I am in the
cloud of darkness.

Ashamnu, bagadnu, gazalnu, dibarnu dofi,
He’evinu, v’hirshanu, zadnu, chamasnu…

I weep for the pen that wanders eerily onto
the page of white,
and ask for beating to cease.
And I chant.
Baruch Dayan Notorious Justice.
Like RBG, we become bitter herbs
mixed with honey.
L’Shana Kaddish.
We become the bitter honey.
We become herbs blessed with Ha’Tova,
with Notorious Justice.
Like RBG, we become bitter herbs
mixed with honey.
L’Shana Ha’Emet.
We become Notorious Justice.
We become RBG.

I chant for goodness,
gladness and peace uniting us all,
despite all the failures and the malice,
secrets, poisons and points
that I poured into the ocean this year,
and locked my Samaritan in the closet of descension,
and forgot that I always held the key close to my heart.

And so I pause for the lost,
Spirit expand and encircle those suffering,
struggling to recover physically,
mentally, emotionally, spiritually,
and let the golden Ash be lamented
with the chant al Kaddish Ramah,
and prayer shall be the steeple upon which
I sing Mi Shebeirach, offer blessing through
actions of atonement
for my failure to walk, glide and glance
lovingly,
with all my heart and all my soul,
and forget to invoke actions of justice and peace,
for our mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.

America birthed the Golem of Hate
on an escalator of inequality,
destroyed compassion, empathy, truth, humility;
and evil descended
on the Righteous Ones.

Forgive me God, for my cruelty and summer stabs,
forgetting faith and breath of Your Spirit
as I read History, but
do not leave the naval vessel of Serenity
and Compassionate Righteousness
from the shore anon, with the captain, my Father,
but forgetting to wave back at
the Commander,
and I become overwhelmingly
unbalanced by my own faulty waves
and shadowy drought-malice and
to be careful to be afraid/friend upon
my own ship, my own heart,
and let go with all the Will of Wonder
and Persistent Being Bright-bliss Blended
into the ocean of stars and sober seals
unveiled to see the heart of forgiveness,
and let go! Let of your Sly Shy Ship’s
forgetful darkness and let pain and terror dry—
dry up in the earthly pit where brave
and bashful as well as fallacious figures
I resented I can cup with love,
in order to drink my own witness of Peace
and Forgiveness.
Avinu Malkanu, Kotveinu B’Sefer… …

the words fade away for a while,
as I am engulfed by the soul of love
and say Amen.

Now is the moment
to bring out Truth, save virtues:
to bring out Compassion, Truth, Freedom, Empathy, Bravery
with Hard work and Sacrifice –
to be the land of deathbeds no more,
to be America
birthed once more.

Take the world apart and let us stand.
Let us stand for that word we witness,
profound sense of embered entity,
empathy red blue black brown white,
it doesn’t matter our social status,
gender, economic status, or anything, –
We are the word we feel when
we breathe Adonai and be Ha’Emet,
and say Amen.

We must embody the essential ingredients
for leadership and model, practice
wisdom, forgiveness and set the bar
rather than bar our own hearts
and become the Teshuva makers
as we step by step, breathe feely
into the page-prayer of our existence
inscribed ethics breathe!
Bereisheit, B’shert. – Breathe the Melody of Momentous
Love with Compassion,
let us assail our assassins averting
our hearts from the sage’s truth,
the Tzadik Tzedek, and stitch the seams of hope
once again,
and be upright in the despair of Baseless Hatred
growing into our National Pandemic;
Let our beacon of joy and hope
be a child innocent,
anew,
and be the chromatic rainbow of song
and let our action’s take flight upon angel’s wind
and transcend our own sagging spirits
and trail the Spirit’s Sapphire dawn
and be founders of a new compassion
and justice for the small child
within our heart of hearts,
and be who we want to be
and make the choices that want to make
no longer for us—
Let us act, be breath and spark, speak
for the small child hidden in our hearts
and choose life;
so that the children in our hearts
may live
and outshine the darkness of darkness,
and beam the brilliant liberty longtime awaited!

And so, I ask the confines of my heart,
and speak, spark, directly to the Gaia-Child Sunshine
hidden in my heart
and ask, alight, my child what he desires,
what he wishes,
and remember that it is up to me,
and it is up to us,
to choose life,
to create the world we want
for ourselves and for everyone:
a world of beauty, compassion, grace, resilience,
listening and honoring the Oneness of Our Heart

lifnei Melech, malechi ham’lachim
HaKodosh baruch Hu,

and I speak these secret words with my child’s lips parsed
in pursuit of truth
V’neemar:
V’hayah Adonai l’Melech al kol ha’aretz
bayom hahu yihiyeh Adonai echad,
ush’mo echad.

And though the words may cross my heart
and cross out the stars, the music sighs I remember
these taken from me, loved ones,
and ask for their memory to be a blessing:

I stand with the Heart of Oneness,
and honor Earth,
Emet alone suffered cancer but conquered
frailties of human fingers, bone
passing the Hope gauntlet
once more.

Once more, vote!
Vote for compassion and empathy!
Vote for truth and humility and freedom!
with hard work, bid homage to a saint
who forbade justice from passing by our fingers,
who forbade homage to Beloved Freedom
and gnarled Inequality with
evil seeking sheep –

Priggish Scalia opined divine
his will convinced
what founders thought
firmly, unconstitutional. —
Thank you, naysayer heads
for talking politics to us
with a burning punch.

Life turned in a year.
Ruth, you stood for balance
in evil water
with colors of death.
Ruth, we look up to see you.

We cry out to matriarch
who mail last words
made by a legion of her daughters
who cry out
to family surrounded by shame,
who warn family
no mistakes can be made now.

Sing the Silence, embrace the Moment’s
Righteous—

One step may inch
toward justice, be a bridge
toward forgiveness, edging change
toward clarity, the strength I find
when equity may feel slow,
though every step toward change
may feel leaden on step
after step after step
toward justice,
toward truth,
toward forgiveness,
though I find my feet slow,
stones every inch,
I respect the grace of edging
enough divisiveness
one step
as I go toward
the bridge
into another truth
toward right now,
with clarity
and take joy in every step
toward change.

and serene selah overtakes
my being and I feel my child’s
tears with joyous laughter and loving kindness
be merry and of service to humanity,
even in the darkness without sight.

 

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).