Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Incomplete figure (the poem)

By Francis Scudellari

An incomplete figure, he stands
Before, self-mocking mannequin
Un-wholly cobbled together,
Invented in-human partner

Steel wire ribs ringed round hollow core,
Naked half-shape silhouetted
On confined walls, soul company
Oft-visited in cramped workshop

Its minded floor strewn with stray parts,
Pulled from dusted shelves, odd pieces
That he attaches, appraises,
Then soon sad discards; starts over

Curve of an arm, pointed elbow
Elegant fingers, marble knee,
Countless recalled countenances,
Un-inventoried memories

Passerby's smile, friend's crinkled nose,
The glint of re-imagined eyes
He projects on glassy oval,
Spins through mismatched combinations

This blank slate never sparked to life,
He new wipes clean, till it mirrors
Now creased face, twin dying portals
Leading down to his own gnawed gap

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Neither monster nor man

This one is a bit of a departure for me in several ways. It's a hybrid of a few different images and themes that have been traipsing through my mind. As always, feedback is much appreciated ...

By Francis Scudellari

Neither monster nor man, passive he lies
With contented smile, seeming suspended
Surrounded by wretched cloud, his spewing
Fleshed machine built to feed, and little else

A strange form, perhaps freakish, at first sight,
But well-suited for his self-made purpose
Pale, accustomed to emitted darkness,
Thick flaps over sockets where eyes once probed

Spider arms extend, gangly receptors
Arcing fists spread with bowed, bony fingers
Weeping, weedy hairs draped from spongy knobs
Knotted webs to catch wandering morsels

Clockwork raking movements, rapid, oft blurred
One appendage folds in, then another
His tongue protrudes from gaped jaws, slurps odd bits
Raised from fetid depths by scalding up-drafts

Translucent skin reveals inner workings
The slow snaking progress of encased sludge
Converted waste, soon deposited coiled
Piles where kernels, passed through whole, are nurtured

Extreme, tangled blossoms sprout in due time
Brightly painted, baleful blooms raised to seed
His children dire, dangled on twisted stalks,
Populate a world made in his image

Monday, April 21, 2008

Time-weighted words

By Francis Scudellari

Time-weighted words trail off,
Questions strung out …
Who's dangled on hooked lines,
Thought's push pulled taut
Endless how's break,
Plumbed possibility
Scatters, drops-in
Shimmering bits of if
Spectacled snow
Floats down to sightless sea
Where dusted, detritus
Silently mixed
At murky depths, my why's
Collected then
Too-sifted now, a what
Best left buried

Broken lines

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dark vision

By Francis Scudellari

I hover in ether,
A ghostly hand's caress
Curious, tentative
Touch thick-calloused surface
An outré encrusted
World only vaguely felt

Ghastly apparition
In circled route, tear-dropped
Foreboding I follow
Leaden cumulate waves,
Dark-rippled sunshine's ooze,
Sludge slow-spilled from above

Taint slathered tongue taunting
Tests its new-found morsel
Undulating, rolls it
Relishing swallows it
Down knobby throat pushed to
Brown luminescent maw

There, in spectral bath fouled,
Fleshy features eaten
By miasmal juices
Till smooth-worn, bony
Pebble left adrift, still
Un-wrested, I wake up

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Morning shower, Part two

By Francis Scudellari


Within translucent, sheet-transfixed,
Sharp-splashed, conscious-dispersed,
I fall back, twist
Down ephemeral paths, transform
Glimpsed, to passive statue,
Limestone slow-carved

Ego erodes to toppling, my
Loose particles, granted
Their passing wish,
Dissolve, fine sediment carried
A-way to frothy flows
Churned milky brown

Coursing mixed with countless others
Diverted from fed streams,
Change transported
In widening channel, till new
Delta deposited,
We nourish seeds

Monday, April 14, 2008

Morning shower, Part one

By Francis Scudellari


I find myself
Lingering longer, lured
By snaking water's steamy hiss
Closed-lid led from
Time, tempted thoughts a-drift,
Do drops, drained with cascading warmth

Re-called, perhaps
To gestational bath
A pre-personal memory
Tethered within
Maternal mind, free-floats
Cocooned, promise still borne, unspoiled

Or back further,
In cellular yearning
Immersed, primordial being
Washed, by dying
Stars' divine spark upward
Evolving, a chained reaction

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Two hands, for one moment

By Francis Scudellari

Two hands, for one moment,
Infinite joined, seamed pair;
Thumb to cupped palm laid, probes
Tentative small circles,
Then bold-reached forays; Maps
Thought-familiar surface,
Smooth to light touch, but pressed
Harder, finely textured --
Cobweb-lined memory
Etched on gentle rises;

Traces entranced deep-cut
Crevices -- age-worn, branched
Pathways to red-pulsed warmth
Concealed tantalizing
Close within; Draws forward
Lured by new-formed pocket;
Nestles in found comfort,
Shut off, oblivious
Till time's pulled influence,
Inevitable, intrudes

Monday, April 07, 2008

An orchid borrowed

This drawing is my visual tribute to the poem L'Orchidea by Hanna Filo at Amori, Poesie, Arte, Chat. Below you can read the provocative verse in both the original Italian and an English translation, to which I contributed.

L'Orchidea (Lettera d'amore)
by Hanna Filo

Essere una donna, sentirsi donna... si.
Frammenti di pensiero, nemmeno una parola.
Compiere una fantasia ha le sue forme. Orlo di terra da cui liquida cado.Vieni, insegnami il tuo modo, riempi gli anfratti altrimenti vuoti. Vieni e resta e non morire dentro di me. Sollievo alle braccia non più vuote, ma che tendono, cingono troppo, oltre la forma e suono.
Catturo sotto le palpebre e sigillo tuo sguardo più bello.
Nessun mio bacio senza di te esiste, ne nessun Klimt, Boudelaire ne Mozart l'han saputo.
Paradiso precipitato, rovesciato...
E perché sapere?
Via i nomi che compongono mondo. Non più tocchi, ma colpi delle note alte, arcuate. Fronde plaudenti, il flash tra diademi dei pini sull'attenti. Non deve aver un nome il mio sussurro che grido, non serve gridare, se disparve l'incanto.
La protuberanza pungente, custodita dentro, racchiusa in una forma breve ma intensa, ove il tuo glande incandescente, saggia e bacia la segreta come una cieca talpa devota.
Stillami dentro il tuo nome - che trabocchi! Lasciami inonda.
Riscuoti la cresta e bruchi e farfalle.
Sollevato sul gomito, guardami ora. Per aprirmi gli occhi, il modo c'è.
E lasciami così-un dipinto su erba, sotto aghi del pino che mente mio nome.
Non sono più quella di prima, ne mai sarò.
Senza la figura verticale, che mondo attenda!
E lasciami li, celebre icona, consacrata e degna -
Impollinata tua Orchidea

The Orchid (A love letter)
by Hanna Filo

To be a woman, feel oneself a woman... yes.
Thought fragments, not even a word.
There are ways to fulfill a fantasy. Brim of the earth from which like liquid I spill. Come, teach me your way, fill the clefts otherwise empty.
Come, stay and do not perish inside me. Relief in arms no longer void, but as they stretch, they surround too much, beyond shape and sound.
Captured under my eyelids, I seal your glance so beautiful
Not one kiss of mine, without you, exists. No one, not Klimt, Boudelaire, nor Mozart have known one.
Paradise fallen, overturned...
And why know?
The hell with the nouns that compose this world. You no longer touch, but strike high notes, bowed. 'PLauded fronds, a flash between crowns of pine trees standing at attention.
No need to name my whisper that I shout. No use shouting, if it breaks the spell.
The stinging bulge, kept inside, locked in, brief yet intense, where your glowing glans tests and kisses the dungeon like a blind, devout mole.
Drip your name inside of me: you're overflowing! Let me be flooded.
You shake the peak, caterpillars and butterflies.
Raised up on your elbow, watch me now. To open up my eyes, there's a way.
And leave me so - a painting laid on grass, under pine needles that lie about my name.
I'm no longer her from before, nor ever will be.
Without standing upright, as the world waits!
And leave me there, famous icon, anointed and worthy -
Pollinated, your orchid

Sunday, April 06, 2008

In-significance ... musing

By Francis Scudellari

My mind stumbles
On "in-significance"

A word,
Or phrase thin-glued
By that troubling black bit

Dash slapped
Hyphen, speaking
Proper, stuck (in-)between

(N)ever decided choice:

Give gapped
Pause, separate
In, truth tricked to comfort

Or space
Collapse, tether
Out-lined lack, naught meaning


Friday, April 04, 2008

Conversations long ago ebbed

By Francis Scudellari

Long-ago ebbed
To unknowing,
Stagnant, preserved
In murky depths,
New roiled rise up;
With sudden sense
Flashed memory --
A touch, a smell --
Her voice floods back

Mixed-up flows fresh
In white-noise washed;
Many merged strands,
Tangled phrases
Slowly sifted;
Minded pools drained,
Rippling inward,
Spiraling down;
Sad trickled words --

Drops -- in silence
Negated; I
Reply, recall
Full-throated shout
Thrust into time-
Thickened sludge, where
Weighted, waking
Pulled, it trails off …
Unheard echoes

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Unable to conjure

By Francis Scudellari

Unable to conjure
Spirit from lifeless clay;
To coax light trapped behind
Deathly mask's pale shell; Hard,
Inflexible set since
Firing flame flickered out

In-curled wisps of black smoke;
To raise fatigued soul, years
Pressed against bounded walls;
Accepting accustomed;
Thick-edged surface fixing
Inherited sense of

I refashion, purposed
One-way portals invert;
Out-turn once received waves;
Colored particle streams
Bend, mind prisms project

Fanciful forms chiseled
On fragile facing rock;
Subtle shaded displays
Mimicking life enough
Lost essence, envious,
Energetic leaps free