Switched-on Gutenberg Issue 16
The New American Poetry: Cento for Donald Allen
Assembled from poems in Donald Allen's anthology
New American Poets: one line from each poet.

what does not change / is the will to change
naked as a line of poetry in a war
to forget who I am, what has burned me
with the homeliest remembrances
of fixture, repeated form, the race renewal
the rubbers, poems and busted rosary beads
the dreams of joy is only lightning
a pleasure for the eye to go to
the grass stirs like an androgyne
the moon used to, but the moon is
when first she murmured adoring words her words did not appall
and the sudden eye will swell with the gift of sight
if you mistake despair for desire
over the river Gone
the poet like an acrobat
and 1 or 2 objects shine like buttons
between the poem and Godís yellow eye
the landís too flat ugly sullen and big
such as it is the moonís face is a flowering
I long for the luminous darkness of God
in which to discover what, having forgotten is remembered
in the crevice of a single thought
each a lonely article of blame
loveís multitudinous boneyard / of decay
all the accumulations of life that wear us out
nothing is a house never bought
for this drop of time upon my eyes
I am closer to you / than land and I am stranger than ocean
like a woman who just came to her window / and stands there filling it
can I appreciate the miracle that got me out of bed
once you dream this dream you will be inconsolable
for sentiment is always intruding on form
hands that are always writing things / on mirrors for people to see later
what we see of the world is the mindís / invention
the moonís a little arch
what is the word for / the language of eye
attentive to the real-world flesh & stone
to have them make her alive when she is alive
the tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction
let me lay it on you gently,  Mr. Gone
each / a recognition / a complete / utterance
pushed on by the incompletion / of what goes before me
to fill our days with beauty / from whatever faucets available
an overdose of beautiful words.

Duty Free
Copyright 2010, David Francis

Copyright 2010,  Grace Bauer

Grace Bauer's books include Retreats & RecognitionsBeholding Eye,  and The Women At The Well,  as well as three chapbooks.  She is also co-editor of the anthology Umpteen Ways of Looking at a Possum: Critical & Creative Responses to Everette Maddox.  She teaches at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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