Friday, March 28, 2008

A haphazard sower

By Francis Scudellari

A haphazard sower
By trade, I am
Fore years (re)-collecting
With greedy hands--
Stretched, (im)-pulsed receptors--
Clasping seeds, on breeze borne;
So many missed
Trying, yet repeated
O'er time, enough
Caught, details in-word writ,
Samples heart-pressed

Out of e'er, safely kept
Abiding till
Filled to bursting, I reach
Within, shuffle
My minded book, unbind
These chance-chosen
Pages random pick, pluck;
Whimsy torn to(o)
Abstract bits, casting off
On trusted wind
Scatter-shot confetti
Swirled widely

Where crushed in fertile soil
By seasoned wheels,
Each turn around cracking
Dormant-laid husks,
Then-kernels take root, grow
Plentiful, push
Through crumbled surfaces
Our gathering
Future-fed harvest, just
Now imagined,
My fragmented self, whole
Again, (re)-born

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Variations on a book meme (bilingual)

I have been twice tagged with book-related memes by two fellow devotees to the art of virtual writing.

First, Patricia at Jane's Writing passed along the Page 123 Book Meme. Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

And here's the relevant passage from the top book on my nightstand pile -- No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy:
I know they's a lots of things in a family history that just plain aint so. Any family. The stories gets passed on and the truth gets passed over.
Next, Hanna from Amori, Poesie Arte, Chat called me out for the Page 161 Meme with the single charge of "selecting a book, opening it on page 161 and choosing a complete sentence." To honor Hanna's native tongue, I'll switch to Alberto Moravia's Il Conformista (The Conformist), which was a little lower in said pile:
Allora, improvvisamente, Marcello capì perché la vista della donna gli aveva ispirato quel doloroso sentimento di rammarico: in realtà, come si accorse, egli non voleva che ella facesse il piacere dell'agente e vederla subirne l'abbraccio l'aveva fatto soffrire come di fronte ad una profanazione intollerabile.
And here's my probably faulty translation (I'm sure Hanna will correct me in the comments):
Then, suddenly, Mercello understood why the sight of the woman had inspired that painful feeling of regret: in reality, as he realized, he didn't want her to have pleased the agent, and to see her subjected to his embrace made Marcello suffer as if facing an intolerable desecration.
Since both of these memes have been circulating for a while, I'll resort to my all-too-frequent tactic of the anonymous tag. If you (yeah you reading this) haven't done either of these yet and would like to, please have at them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A-lone houred drift

By Francis Scudellari

A-lone houred drift
In accustomed lying,
I reluctant,
My conscious let go (of)
Self-feeding streams,
Current broken, thought-less
Diversion starved,
A slow flickering flame
Lost in-lapsing,
One last dying spasm
Fore it slips off
To not-being's black vault

Then, now, after
Un-timed lingering pause,
A sudden flash,
Life sparked by memory
Or divine breath (?)
(Re)-birthed in forms random,
Borrowed landscapes
Painted, impulse colored
Droplets, exhaled
Long ago, new-weighted
Cascade down, flood
Chaos-nurturing seas

Sleep's crested waves,
Arrhythmic rise, fall, push
Minded toward
Illogic's free embrace,
Pull from this heart,
A face, e'er locked, (a)-way
Till doubts edge ebbs
And (re)-seeded dreams flow,
Cedes I am, then
Quick-cut carried awake,
Her trailing voice
(Re)-calls my name, spoke once

Friday, March 21, 2008

Second sight: Random beauty

I tried to combine two purposes in this poem. First, I wanted to marry words to my Second Sight drawing. Second, I hoped to incorporate the weekly theme of Random Beauty proposed at Jane's Inspirations (I've needed external musing lately). The verse went through many incarnations before I finally came up with this ...

Random beauty

By Francis Scudellari

From youth,
My ever minded eyes
Mistook order
For truth; lured from chaos,
Cautions, learned not-living,
Chased flickering
Signs, brilliance-mixed shadows,
Pulsed flows -- electric thought,
Liquid feeling --
In-formed false, direction-
Tricked sense,
Pathways for love, silent
Caring buried;
Divinely borne deceit

Till life,
Clouded by distorting lens,
Made thick with time,
Awakens to blindness,
And I
Cast off
The jaded glass; sight-less
See shattered bits
Sprayed like moments; glimpse
In mirrored shards, scattered
As seeds; sowing
Tender epiphanies,
Stemmed hopes
Through cracked surfaces, buds
Intertwined, sprout
Leafy, coincident

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This face ...

By Francis Scudellari

This face:
Familiar, yet
Blurred by distance,
Memory; lines
Smoothed out,
Smudged, then re-shaped;
Mute lips,
Eager eyes, morph
Emptiness makes
New masks
To be shattered;
A past
That never was
Only wished for

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Two eyes, conclusion

By Francis Scudellari

Two eyes, a-part
Wholly transfixed, wander
Lost each, other
Focused a-head, seeing past.
One peers back, clocks
Months, days, hours: surfaced since.
One future grasps
Loosely imagined next.
A thin their links
Both, present over-looked.

Two eyes apart

Friday, March 14, 2008

Two eyes, part two

By Francis Scudellari

One eyed dreaming
Unbound from old sight, flees
Ever wanting
To see all-owed (out). Frees
(In) herself, his
A-gain loosed guide. Stares,
Past steeped, love-locked,
Trip down, split too sudden,
Cast a-side, spill,
Lit distance spiraling

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Two eyes, part one

By Francis Scudellari

One eyed sadness
Weighted to that spot, stays
Still unable
To look a-way (out). Finds
(In) himself, her
A-lone escort. Watches
Once-taken hands
Slip down, grown too heavy ...
Un-moved. Constant
Hearts drop, pooled time rippling

Monday, March 10, 2008

History reads ... that I love

This poem was inspired by the title of another site's blog post. As often happens, I mis-read the phrase. Rather than the author's intended meaning (recommended historical texts), my twisted bit of consciousness took the word sequence in a completely different direction. It's a strange and bumpy ride, but you can follow where my wandering thoughts went here:

History reads ...

By Francis Scudellari

History reads:
That I love,
Or loved
Once ...

But more, distance re-moved,
From faded pages
Over-turned, to
Re-collect …

Is hard. Cold facts printed; inked on
Paper. Out-lined face, withdrawn
From flip-book memories,
Slight searched, to re-place …

Loving details. Seems
Now lost in too tangled
Stories. Close-knit, feeling full-
Blooded, color-drained as re-called:

Subtle touches
Be-loved, past sleeping,
Restless, as re-captured

My new fiction …

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Birthright: Final Chapter

By Francis Scudellari

Jacob's Reward

There was a loud knock at Jacob’s door. Bang. Bang. Bang. Jacob sat hidden in the dark. He cowered before an inevitability. Bang. Bang. Bang. Its steady beat echoed throughout the building.

Jacob knew who it was. Jacob knew that he wasn’t going away. Bang. Bang. Bang. The door bulged with each blow; a worn-too-thin wall waiting to burst and release the ever stronger pulsing blood behind. The loudly repeated stresses began to warp the door jamb.

Fearful for his damage deposit, Jacob staggered to his feet. He flipped the light switch behind the couch. He walked unsteadily toward the incessant thundering.

The door squealed as he slowly pulled it toward him. There on the landing stood Edom. Twin licks of flame, his eyes burned with an anger Jacob had never seen. In his left hand, Edom held a rolled up copy of the current Grounds. The moist warmth of his beer-soaked breath brushed against Jacob’s cheeks.

“I warned you Jake. I warned you not to write it.”

Jacob closed his eyes in shame. He bowed his head, silently seeking forgiveness; a presumptuous pardon he knew that he would never receive.

There was a rush of movement in the doorway, and Jacob felt Edom’s thick knuckles strike his gut. The wind in his lungs escaped through his throat in a sudden gust. His knees buckled and Jacob crumpled to the floor. The stereotypical fish out of water, his mouth gasped greedily at the stale air.

“Why don’t you write a story about that, Jake.” Punctuating his words, Edom tossed the newspaper on Jacob’s pale face. He bounced down the stairs and left Jacob on the floor prone -- his knees clutched fast to his chest.

As the air gradually filtered back into his stomach, Jacob rolled on his back. Still, staring up at the shadowed ceiling, he saw a gathering shape. A seeming shift that floated vaguely in the orange lamp light. Her thin, sharp outlined arms reached down to him. Lifting him up closer to her, she breathed renewed life into his trembling body.

Jacob, finding his feet beneath him, walked over to the table. Sitting down at the typewriter, he cracked his knuckles. He stretched his arms over his head and let out a guilty chuckle as he began to type: “A smug smile crept across Joseph’s face as he climbed the musty staircase. His dirty blond hair was a tangled mess.”

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

In in-between spaces

by Francis Scudellari

In in-between spaces,
Neither lingers,
Not-yet undone, half-grown
Still, caught up in
But, impatient a-mounts,
Too something, takes
Longing, perched-on thresholds
Of next, a-wait
Change spanned, pulls up behind,
Drops down a-head,
Fills gapped instance, ever-
Minded, restless
For now

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bound by fate

If, one morrow

By Francis Scudellari

A simple question: If,
One morrow's treading fate
Falls heavy footed down,
What, sake lost, would we leave?

A fatted bloody splotch,
Full-heart blackened, soot stain …
By downpours, not rinsed clean;
E'en one million cycles

Or withered husks, empty
Love drained, desiccated …
By blasted sand cast off;
Dust mites fore-Time's brushed hands

Monday, March 03, 2008

Midnight Wanderings

You may have noticed the new avian-themed badge that is proudly displayed atop my sidebar. It's to mark my membership in a grouping of writers called the Society of Midnight Wanderers.

Conceived by JD at The Uneasy Supplicant and Mike at Mr. Grudge, it's a badge of honor binding those writers whose dedication to their craft takes them on journeys beyond the normal bounds of measured time. You can read a much more eloquent description of the society and its members here. I'm extremely flattered that JD and Mike included me in this.

I've written the following poem to commemorate the occasion, and am looking forward to sharing this badge with the host of wonderful writers and poets whose sites I happen across in my regular nocturnal wanderings through the blogosphere.

Midnight Wander

By Francis Scudellari

I touched, after midnight, wander
Raised from open eyed sleep, beckoned
Forth by icy unknown, digits
Pointing, scratched tips on knobby spine,
Nail-mapped pathways, scribbled ciphers
To guide my self-meand'ring steps

I feel, finger-forward, stumble
Into moonlit mists, mythic shrouds
Wrapping murmur-voiced brooks, watered
Cautions against too light led sight,
My long, lashed lids pulled down close, knit
To cloak seemed truth, trickling above

I kneel, with pair handed cup, down
Spade the black, wormed soil overturn,
Unearth tangled roots, topped plants gone,
Clearing shallow, seed softened bed
Where my thoughts can seep home, returned
To walk, once more in-waking dreams