No Voice of Her Own: A Cento Collection (Excerpt)


Because the story of our life
becomes our life
I expected full sentences
drawn in thick dark ink;
something evoked
from childhood mythology.
I’d wanted to retrofit theory to text
to make sense of what it means
to be alive in various stages
of array and disarray.
I’d wanted to see the limits of sight;
splinter syntax to mimic the sound
trees make when the wind stops;
to mimic explosion!
The future is here.
There is nothing here
but words,
plainspeak bereft of poetry;
turned into years.
I must make something of myself,
something more than this stockpile
of words and throaty vocals:
a poem-sword; a word weapon.
I must be tireless as rust,
because the story of our life becomes our life.


Lines by, Lisel Mueller, Paul Hostovsky, Kathleen Ossip, Benjamin S. Grossberg, Ron Silliman, Stephen Dunn, Howard Nemerov, William Carlos, Rita Dove, Rachel Jamison Webster, Diane Seuss, Jessica Fisher, Eleanor Wilner, Jill Bialosky, and Dan Beachy-Quick.


The cento is a poetic form that dates back to Homer–the word itself has a Latin origin meaning, “patchwork”. The intention is to create a new work entirely of lines from other poems. Some modern poets utilize the cento to showcase irony and humor, that is not the intention here. No Voice of Her Own introduces a woman, a reader, a lover of poetry who remains in the shadows of those who possess the ability to speak, to evoke, to shatter. She keeps to the shadows, reveling in the words that invent and reinvent her life. She is a poet the world won’t meet.

Get a copy of No Voice of Her Own here. Poems in this collection have been rejected by some of the finest and most obscure magazines around the world. Too bad, they just want to be read. Please leave a review on Amazon. Your time and words are very appreciated!

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