The Always Never Breakfast Cento

Maya Angelou thinks everyone should have guns.
It’s never enough.
Geese are honking up a storm.
It’s always too much.

Coffee up boys,
there’s a bench with three princesses standing by it
and we’re leaving for Missoula Sunday.

They put their collars all up in their hood
and shot a bullet into a tunnel
it ricocheted back into one guy’s eye socket
he lived.
It’s never enough.
He can have his AK47 when he’s 30.

His shirt was soaked.
It was terrible.

Maya Angelou thinks everyone should have guns.
After she’s gone, we have to see what they say.

Brenda Warren 2013


Process Notes: Miz Quickly says, “Out in the world again. This time you’re just listening. Take a notebook and catch some of those random lines of conversation, trying to get the speaker’s exact words. What you do with the material depends on what you get. If you are very lucky, and get lines enough, you can arrange them into something like a cento. More likely, you’ll have been given one or two windows into someone else’s life. Or just a colorful phrase. Wherever you take it, remember that, here, what you see is less important than what you hear.”

Here are the lines as I heard them this morning at the Missouri River Diner(I did take a bit of poetic license in the lines of my piece):

there was a bench with three princesses standing by it
after she’s gone we have to see what they say
he can have his AK47 when he’s 30
it’s never enough
I’ve got my collar all up in this hood
he shot a bullet into a tunnel
and it ricocheted right back
into his eye socket
this soft part bothers me
I’m leaving for Missoula Sunday
those geese were honking up a storm
coffee up boys
it’s always too much
Maya Angelou thinks everyone should have guns
I fell on my nose in the dirt
it was terrible
sitting on a bar,
no hands, swinging down
right onto my nose
there was blood gushing everywhere
my shirt was soaked
it was terrible
It’s a waterslide that goes outside the building

Here’s the scoop on Maya Angelou in a Chicago Tribune article.

18 thoughts on “The Always Never Breakfast Cento

  1. Oh, dear, Maya Angelou thinks that. Congrats on the mention for this. You culled some wonderful lines for this piece, Brenda. It has been a fun and crazy month. This is year 4 for me as well, and this year seemed much more difficult for some reason and I work less hours this year, go figure.



    • You are managing well… but i get you .Busy breeds busy. Time on our hands breeds procrastination. At least for me. We’ve been writing together for four years. That makes me happy.


  2. Oh!! I love the poetic/artistic license you took with this…your cento is intriguing and I’m so glad you included your notes so we could see how this was formed! Very cool and I love Maya…we share a Birthday!! ♥


  3. I thought Maya Angelou would be more of a pacifist. But once you change your name…well you can change your opinions too I suppose. I’ve never heard the term ‘Coffee up’. I imagine that’s what folks who need, really need caffeine in the morning do.

    I only made it half way through the prompt thought Viv says getting out, I should give myself more points. Being this late in the month I’m good with 50%.

    Thanks for your visits and kind words.


  4. You take my breath away. Fantastic idea. I’m going to check out what you’ve been working on.
    I know kids grow up and leave home and I have no problem with that. The problem lies in the fact I don’t think of him as my son, I think of him as my best friend. He doesn’t want to live with his mom. I get it.


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