This is the world of a philosophy graduate, who happens to work with old paintings, who invents all sorts of memories and tries to overcome his limitations (as far as he’s aware of them) through writing.
- I once saved my brother from drowning.
- I have no sense of orientation.
- Never seen one episode of Game of Thrones.
- I have learned English mostly from watching TV.
- I can’t skate or rollerblade.
- There is no instrument I can play. But I can follow a rhythm.
- I can’t dance.
- Nothing can beat a gin tonic. Except for ouzo, sometimes. Depending on the weather.
- I am happier in the summer months. I like the sun.
- I missed my first university exam by one day (marked the wrong day in the calendar).
- Going to dancing balls bores me to death.
- I’m a rather good child entertainer.
- As a kid, I used to collect stamps.
- I rarely dream. I need to have slept enough in order to dream.
- You can always tempt me with dark chocolate.
- I like eating raw quince.
- The first cigarettes I smoked were made of (dried) corn hair and newspaper paper - I was just a teenager in a village in Romania.
- I used to get headaches most of my adult life (once a week, usually).
- I like teasing people. Some can take it. Some not.
- I try to cut down on things I own. Every couple of years I empty my shelves.
- I once fell asleep while driving (I succumbed to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue). It will never, ever happen again.
- I had a Time subscription for almost 15 years.
- I have never killed an animal (except for a handful of ducklings when I was a toddler).
- I am a very bad swimmer. I can only keep afloat.
- I like clear, open spaces. My ideal living room has two concrete walls and two walls made of glass. And almost no furniture.
- I can’t stand a bit of noise. It’s either loud or quiet.
- The most memorable nights out are those when I really did not feel like leaving the apartment.
- I like the bread I make more than any other.
- Put a bit of tahini on a fresh crust of bread and I’m in heaven.
- I sleep on my back.
- I don’t like shopping for clothes.
- I can smell if a dish needs more condiments. Usually i cook without tasting.
- I like coffee. Espresso. As well as cold brewed coffee and tonic water.
- I often have difficulties finding shirts that have the right arm length.
- Of all the places I jogged in until now, Speicherstadt in Hamburg was the nicest.
- My jaw clicks and is slightly unhinged on the left side (thank you, brother!).
- I used to smoke pipe as a student. The vanity!
- Never wore glasses.
- I learned Russian in school but forgot most of it.
- I used to have shoulder-long hair.
- And a goatee, too.
- I sometimes “borrow” books from those lying around in hotel lobbies.
MEANING: noun: A literary work, especially a poem, composed of parts taken from works of other authors.
ETYMOLOGY: From Latin cento (patchwork). Earliest documented use: 1605
NOTES: Nobel-prize-winning poet T.S. Eliot’s observation is relevant to centos: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion.”
Examples of centos:
The Oxford Cento by David Lehman
The Dong With the Luminous Nose by John Ashbery
USAGE: “Louis Zukofsky continued to write … a play, a novella, a book of criticism, a 500-page cento of philosophy in homage to Shakespeare …” Bob Perelman; Finding His Voice; Tikkun (Berkeley, California); May/Jun 2007.