Thanks to the scads of readers who contributed to our Cento Contest! Actually, there were only two of you—but your centos delighted us—so much that we’re adding a full year to both your CR subscriptions. Same holds true for anyone who offers us a cento using lines from CR 12.1 by the end of the day tomorrow. We should mention that Assistant Ed. Jose Angel Araguz took the form to new heights by creating a sonnet cento of last lines. To check all these out, simply click on the title of the CR Cento Contest post and scroll down.
And now it’s time for a genre switcheroo. A fiction cento, as it were, though that’s not really an existing term, so we’re just calling it a fiction mashup. Same deal: Those who submit credible efforts—and especially those who submit incredible efforts—get a year added on to their subscriptions. Associate Ed. Don Peteroy played it pretty loose when constructing the mashup below—grabbing a phrase, part of a sentence, or just some interesting word pairs from every prose piece in our current issue. The result is . . .
Hot Raisin Bird for the Temptation Arm of My Father
by Don Peteroy
“I want you to come over. Right now,” Earl said.
“It is forbidden,” Esther said. He hung up the tapeworm and ran out into the rain with his Cape of Invisibility. Except it never worked.
He called 911.
“Welcome to Mr. Milkshake. Can I take your order?”
“Are you ready?” he asked. Words clogged his helicopter.
“I want you to come over. Right now,” she said.
He was driving over in his disaster of a car. She opened the shed. He reached over, putting his arm around seas of cantaloupe slices. She had makeup insurance won’t cover. The girl sometimes wore firewood.
“You nervous?” he asked like a pinecone.
“You signed a contract,” she said.
“Good, but could you squeeze harder?”
That hot, itchy feeling was leaking from him, kind of shaped like France. He said he’d been taking a lot of heat from Pastor Joe: She’s seeing a therapist rumored to be in Rising Sun. It snugs up to the Mason-Dixon line, covered by a Vampire Weekend poster.
He sat on the edge of the bed. Her throat was always on schedule, the damp smell of the locker room. One month, they’d eaten nothing but sailors, but after the divorce, he couldn’t stop thinking about a tub of cottage cheese. When he was nine, he’d been chased through concrete. Chickens were miles away. Rain fell unceasingly in preserve jars. Pastor Joe had bailed him out of jail because her neuroses allowed him to feel like potato salad charred to purity. Winter came. They all ate.
“Did you fight back?” Esther said. A spatula simmered in the crockpot.
He unrolled an old treasure map. She hit him with her secret cave. Everyone got a chance to.
I called 911, popped out my left boob, and said, “No daughter of mine is going to be a rock star.”
Me. It was the last thing she was expecting. Me in full makeup and costume, with their chemistry teacher wired directly to a defibrillator. “Look, let’s go over the options in person,” I said.
“We just want to eat bacon,” she said at length, like a fragile foot.
“She shits herself all the day,” he said, putting his dick away. “I hate salmon.”
I wanted to inhale my wig. “I’m in the band,” I said.
“No way. You’re making that up,” she said.
I unrolled condom wrappers, built to look like coffins. “I’m in the band,” I said.
She threw a pillow. Chickens were miles away. Nipping at each other. That night, she would sit me in a bucket of crabs.