Sunday, August 26, 2007


Here's the winning Cento from the the Cento Bingo game played on 8/24 in my Theft and the Individual Talent class at Bread Loaf. The winner/writer was Lindsay Bernal. I have taken some liberties with the punctuation:


Is life without an atmosphere? I look.
The world is weary of the past,
Of her sick waters and infectious ease--
An era in which we would count beats per minute.
I feel like a dog that is sniffing the ass of another dog

1. John Greenleaf Whittier from "Among the Hills"
2. Percy Bysshe Shelley from "Hellas"
3. Henry Vaughan from "Regeneration"
4. Andrew Mister from "Lame House"
5. Matthew Dickman from "Amigos"

I have asked the class participants to post their reworked versions of this Cento as comments on this entry, so please check back for updates.

Thanks again to everyone who participated.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Game #2: Brett Price's apartment Brighton,
Cincinnati 5/23/07
WINNER: Cindy King


Of the minutest cricket
there was a joke.
Pretend that you don’t agree with me
this morning with a blue flame burning.
Nests with their birds, houses with their keys.

1.Emily Dickinson
2. Robert Creeley from “The Joke”
3. Stan Rice from “Psalm 178”
4. John Wieners from “A Poem for Trapped Things”
5. Paul Eluard from “To Live Here”

title by Brett Price



The trees facing wind, wind-waves towing nothing: leaves flagging, nothing to sign—

This morning. Its blue flame burning clouds.

Hotness overrunning horses overrun by dust, by—

Roofs remark their hooves overlain with hooves.

Despite the flame blue and shingles, the sand
notices the Milky Way the origami the doves, the oysters
sense the racks they boil on. Red, orange, yellow:

temperatures like onion inside
onion. Thunder slices too close to a car.

Pretend you don’t agree with the one quiet dust.
Pretend you didn’t see that blue crack burning.

Nests full of cower, mansions full of feed.

Cindy's Note:

I didn’t want to touch the five lines – still don’t. They seem to come from some logic that essentially clings to the ether. I wasn’t even present to win. Ruth Wartman was guarding my bingo card for me: I was taking an important call down in the very tidy bedroom of someone I don’t know. This adds to the feeling the five lines are like a rock that fell from the sky. Then I wrote a first draft. It was all Latinate collaged with refrains akin to the ones in Rukeyser’s “Orange and Grape”. It ended with a statement followed by, “This is the joke.” But then, that poem looked too vertical, cut like an intractable and mincing landscape poem from 1989. Rumpus in a stale way. So, I started over. I stared out the window for a long time. I thought about big things, the cricket who’d been in my mind for a long time by then, how comfort and scale can blind anyone to a helpless quiet thing like a cricket (or a conscience).


Cindy King is currently recovering from an injury sustained while pitching fastballs on a Sony Wii. Her poems are forthcoming in RealPoetik and Copper Nickel.

Friday, June 8, 2007

CENTO BINGO: GAME #1 WINNER: Kristi Maxwell!

Ladies and gents, we are pleased to unveil the results of Cento Bingo Game #1. Below are both the game winning cento and also an all new and wholly original re-working of that poem by winner Kristi Maxwell. Please check out Kristi's notes on her cento revision process too, and stay tuned for the results of game #2!

Game #1: Brett Price’s apartment Brighton, Cincinnati 5/23/07
WINNER: Kristi Maxwell


I have the rages that small animals have.
It is a sultry day the sun has drunk.
Thank you for giving me this battleship to wash.
Sorrow’s springs are the same—
and, with a shout, collecting coat hangers.

1. Paulette Jiles from “Paper Matches”
2. William Cullen Bryant from “Summer Wind”
3. Kenneth Koch from "Thank You"
4. Gerard Manley Hopkins from “Spring and Fall”
5. Kenneth Koch from “When the Sun Tries to Go On”



I clean my rage with rags small animals have been made into.
Sulk-day. Sun-dame the thermometer accosts and crams
into the mercury corset. (Our course set by “how
warm?”—we accomplice.) Thank you for giving
me this battle. Thank you for shipping me
this wish. Marrow springs from the bone. Pain as the bangs
that cover so well the forehead of “So?” –
and, with a shout, equating oat with anger.
I asked how to unfill what you feel.
To insert a plus-sign where one is not.

Kristi's Note:

The modified lines are first a practice in translation via misrecognition (both visually and phonically), followed by an iron laid to skin and blisters that needed names. I enjoy discovering what two words beside each other secretly harbor, like characters in a Victorian novel, and misrecognition is one productive map toward such discovery. And, yes, booby-traps! So climbing out of the line, slipping sometimes, not so much at others.


Kristi Maxwell enjoys making guacamole and asparagus soup. She is the author of Realm Sixty-Four (forthcoming from Ahsahta Press) and an admirer of The Little Prince.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Good news, true believers, CENTO BINGO happened! Wed. 5/23 at 8PM in the Brighton neighborhood of Cincinnati, OH, and it was a roaring success. Roar.

The two inaugural games took place at editor Brett Price's apartment/disco, and Matt Hart called them. Also in attendance for both the centos and the dancing that followed were: Kristi Maxwell, Michael Rerick, Cindy King, Scott Dennis, Christian Schmit, Ruth Wartman, Laura Alich, Mike Vallera, and Katie Koga.

Kristi Maxwell won game #1, and Cindy King won game #2. Look for their winning Centos and also the new poems they're making using their winnings as material in upcoming CENTO BINGO posts.

It'll be soon, we swear.

Questions about Cento Bingo, or about how to host your own Cento Bingo games can be posted as comments to this blog.

Thanks to everybody who attended the Brighton event!

--The Cento Bingo Editorial Team

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Welcome to CENTO BINGO

CENTO BINGO is an online sideline of Forklift, Ink. edited by Clay Poetry Series organizers Brett Price & Evan Commander, and published by Eric Appleby & Matt Hart.

Here are the rules according to Matt Hart:


1. Buy (or make) some of those cheap-o BINGO cards that are available pretty much anywhere (esp. in a Catholic stronghold like Cincinnati—where BINGO is a way of life—not to mention a way of raising funds). A BINGO Card contains 24 numbered spaces and one free space (blank), with which you play BINGO. The numbers are assigned at random on each card and are arranged in five columns of five numbers each by five rows (5 x 5 = 25 in total including the blank square).

2. Get together with pals for dinner and drinking. As part of the festivities dig through your favorite poetry, cookbooks, art books, science books, etc. Pick out lines in batches of 75 (see below) for CENTO BINGO use—reading aloud and discussing how your choices work as lines is greatly encouraged—maybe crucial. Use a variety of lines in many styles and from many periods. Or, for fun pick out a 75 lines (again, see below) all of which begin with I, or which have a proper name in them or the name of an animal, etc. Or, for the themed version pick out lines from Beat Poets or the Romantics or L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E only… Pick out only lines from The New American Poetry: 1945-1960 or back issues of your favorite journal, or cookbooks, technical manuals etc.…

3. Write each line on a small strip of paper. Number the strips 1-75 [which is how Bingo cards are numbered— The numbers in the B column are between 1 and 15, in the I column between 16 and 30, in the N column (containing four numbers and the free space) between 31 and 45, in the G column between 46 and 60, and in the O column between 61 and 75]. When you get to the end of the first set of 75, start numbering again from 1.

4. Now you’re ready to play CENTO BINGO, which is just like playing BINGO, except when you call out a number it’s attached to a line (which is read out loud, heckled hooted and otherwise discussed), so when the person gets a BINGO it’s actually a CENTO, which is then read out loud to the group. As the numbers are called out participants mark the corresponding numbers on their cards with a highlighter, etc. In Cento Bingo the Free Space offers some interesting possibilities, e.g. allow winners who use the Free Space in their win to use any line called in the game, or perhaps better yet allow them to make up their own line on the spot!

5. Other CENTO BINGO possibilities: Imagine walking into a workshop on day 1 and passing out BINGO cards… Imagine using this as a way to teach poetry to school children—even really young ones. Imagine having multiple CENTO BINGO games/readings going in a variety of cities simultaneously (perhaps hosted and called by featured readers—Dean Young hosting a BINGO game, reading lines from the Vast knows where out loud), then publishing all the “winning” CENTOS on the CENTO BINGO Blog and/or in a little journal called CENTO BINGO (of course), paid for with the proceeds of the game (we could charge 25 cents a card) and sent out to all the participants in all the cities for free… Allow only CENTO BINGO winners to submit other non-CENTO BINGO poems for consideration on the site or in the journal (thus, perhaps, encouraging people everywhere to play the game, both for the fun of it and as a means of community building in the face of clique-y posturing)… Allow winners to use their winning centos as primary material for other poems that get published in CENTO BINGO… etc.