By Jen Karetnick

Wreathed Octavial

All lines must begin and end with the same word

All lines must be eight syllables long

The poem is ten lines long

American Dog Terrorists
By Jen Karetnick

Blood is what they want so it’s blood
they’ll get. Crawling from the shrubs they’ll
sabotage the host, sabotage
being their first nature, being
not animals, not humans, not
insects but spiders, ticks in sects,
eggs carried like ideas, eggs
the seeds of disease, unnoticed the
way they attach, feed, make headway
in reorganizing origin.


A centoum is a pantoum that is made up of found lines.

A “cento” is a poem that takes lines from other poets; a “pantoum” is a Malaysian repeating form where two lines of the quatrains contain lines from the quatrains before.

Centoum for Gin and Pilgrims
— taken from signs around the Black Friars Distillery, Plymouth, England
By Jen Karetnick

Welcome to Plymouth, twinned with tonic,
land of soap and glory.
Shake the bottle, wake the taste.
Embarkation and disembarkation only.

Land of soap and glory.
As one small candle may light a thousand,
embarkation and disembarkation only—
no permanent mooring.

As one small candle may light a thousand,
so the light kindled here has shone to many
no permanent mooring.
Smoking forbidden after this point.

So the light kindled here has shone to many:
Shake the bottle, wake the taste;
smoking forbidden after this point.
Welcome to Plymouth, twinned with tonic.

Jen Karetnick is the author of the chapbooks Necessary Salt (Pudding House Publications, 2007) and Bud Break at Mango House (Portlandia Press, September 2008), which won The Portlandia Group’s bi-annual chapbook competition. Her third collection, Eve and After, was a finalist in the Women of Words chapbook competition. Her poems have appeared in journals including Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Gastronomica, Georgetown Review, Greensboro Review, North American Review and River Styx and are forthcoming or recently appearing in Alimentum Journal, Blood Lotus, Carpe Articulum, Consequence Magazine, Folly, OCHO and Pearl. She received an MFA in poetry from University of California, Irvine and an MFA in fiction from University of Miami, and will be pursuing her doctorate in expressive arts therapy at the European Graduate School beginning summer, 2012.