This morning I was listening to Pandora and I started thinking about some of the song lyrics that resonate with me. I’d been thinking recently about constructing a cento so I decided to write one using song lyrics instead of lines from poetry. This is a photo of how I built the poem. It’s the first entry in my writing notebook for 2018. Yes, I use an ordinary spiral notebook – my only requirements are that it has to have an interior pocket and a pen loop. Actually, I researched journals and notebooks last week, thinking maybe I should get something fancier with better paper. I read “The Best Planners for 2018 , According to Productivity Experts and Stationary Lovers” and looked into several of them. Y’all, these journals are too precious for me. I could never cross out words and write ugly in them. Plus, I really just want a writing notebook, not a planner, so I’m staying with my favorite Mead notebook as seen above. I write with an ordinary bic pen, too. Works for me. Substance over style.
The thing I like about constructing a cento is that it’s a great writing exercise in addition to being a great tool for inspiration. I love music. There are so many lyrics with cool phrasing and innovative word choices. Put that together with a good guitar riff and you’ve got me.
So, here’s what I came up with.
I’m not perfect but
does that mean I can’t live?
I run like the breeze to catch
this life but sometimes
get a need til I bleed. I am
a spark of this machine, sneaking
out where the shivers won’t find you.
I can’t fix your cracked up dreams,
a path I’ll never tread. These
are the dreams I’ll dream, mine
are made to last. Deep in the struggle
I have found the beauty of me. I’ll keep
my cool but I’m fiendin’.
Dido, “I’m No Angel
Annie Lennox, “Why”
Neko Case, “Atomic”
St. Vincent, “Strange Mercy”
Missy Elliott, “Get Ur Freak On”
ZZ Ward, “365 Days”
Macy Gray, “I Try”
Macy Gray, “A Moment to Myself”