Adjusting: A Cento

the living carry on by being fluid

trying too hard is another way to confess
the blueblack uniform of service

if inside is let in and there places change

the general stance over here is based on the unshakeable belief

everything we do is against the crippling light
immigration is always editing

i know no love without teeth
& have the scars to remember

here I stumble
to approximate the durations of others, to appear
of the same time as though of space

wouldn’t I too
be godlike

Or else this dark could be our shelter in the time of long dominion.

And though we are not well suited to the perspectives it opens it is an awesome thing to see. Once you can see it.


(Source Texts: Jenny Xie, Jose Olivarez, Jehanne Dubrow, Gertrude Stein, Sawako Nakayasu, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Chiwan Choi, Aditi Machado, Mary-Kim Arnold, Rosmarie Waldrop)

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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