Andrew Gibsen & Zebulon Huset
Only lines from David Wagoner, Heather McHugh, and Script for Freddy vs. Jason
Andrew Beckett Gibson & Zebulon Huset from The Exquisite Centro Project
Lined up behind the space bartender
we all deserved to be punished,
to memorize the sky.
Thoughtful profiles staring straight at her
“You can’t believe everything Will tells you”
“God you’re a freak.”
Rain beat on his cape. He felt it urging him
Good. “Your hair smells like menthols.”
The back door to the Dream Clinic is broken at the hinges
complete with bruised eyes and bloodied noses.
The dewlap quivers the veins.
Sometimes a serpent, is just a serpent.
Doubletalk with me. I’m saying
“Look at the spine.” “It’s in mint condition.”
“C’mon! We’ll run for the road!”
Strange and archaic-looking surgical tools—
He’s trying to keep his head upright, but his neck’s broken.
Odd shadows move across that circle of fire
in the alcoholic automobile—die
clutching the walkie-talkie trying desperately to understand.
Start like pieces of string:
disasters or doom again.
and a workable drawbridge
so it seemed. Our last few days in Rome…
He gives her “the finger”
or were they little drunken Buddhas?
Hey, you’re my witness.
You were walking in the woods before this stranger.
The Exquisite Cento Project is a collaborative writing project in which two poets work with predetermined source material and the ‘exquisite corpse’ poetic technique of composing a poem with each participant writing alternating lines without being able to see the poem’s previous lines. The combination of the two poetic techniques gives us the project’s name and creates unexpected juxtapositions and serendipitous fluidity, often unearthing a poetic dialogue within the unconscious collaboration of poets. The poems either use the project’s standard template of selecting lines from a predetermined source of two poets and the script for a movie, or are more freeform and include more varied sources including popular songs, movie reviews, and many others. While some lines were omitted from the final results, aside from capitalization and punctuation, no lines were altered from their sources.
Andrew Gibson studied creative writing at North Carolina Central University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming at The Collidescope, The Bookends Review, Random Sample, and Always Crashing.
Zebulon Huset is a teacher, writer, and photographer living in San Diego. His writing has recently appeared in Meridian, The Southern Review, Fence, Atlanta Review, Texas Review among others. He won the 2020 Gulf Stream Summer Poetry Contest. He publishes the writing blog, Notebooking Daily, edits the literary journals Coastal Shelf and Sparked, and recommends literary magazines at The Submission Wizard.