Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Light but no heat

A mischievous sun,
up too early
and riding low,
he bursts in,
jumping through twin
abandoned panes

to scamper on
a delighted
ceiling, its worth
in crumbled brick.
He skips past kicked
debris, the tagged

walls, he'll now mimic,
dropping down,
bald knees balanced
on fallen pipes
to playful paint
his hued likeness:

a glitter gold face,
speech bubble
attached and crooning
song of wintry
light, but no heat.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #107: lighting the way at Read Write Poem. This was a photo prompt using the image Shotgun Blast by Shane Gorski.


She sees strange lights, hopes
for explanations beyond
the ordinary

Patrick robs

Patrick robs Peter
to pay Paul and rents himself
a new hideaway


It is said, suns rise,
they set. The truth is, we do
with our float and spin.

p.s. This is my 1,000th post to this blog... hurrah!


Pushcart, cobbled from
misfit parts, trundles past to
drop off a present

Green bag

Green bag breathed to life
by fickle wind, arcs then falls
covenant broken

Mirth takes a holiday

Feeling a bit spare
his mirth takes a holiday
to repad its girth

The hoary back turns

The hoary back turns
lush smiles to bemused tundra
a wintry neglect

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I can't

I cannot

command a seasoned sun
to shine,
or crowding clouds
to shove aside,

but I can

be thankful when she does
and they assent,
cleaving rayed paths

down to me.

Her blue eyes flare red

Her blue eyes flare red
to paint his great pate, and draw
peopled tides closer

A curious drape

A curious drape,
bound by hovering rod,
grown so weary of limbo,
flaps its wide trim,
filling the room
with dawn's restless light

Monday, December 28, 2009

Blood drunk

There wasn't any pain,
no prickle,
nor a tickled pink,
just this worldly feeling
of being pried
to a softer bed,
while twin fangs sank in
and rosy drew out
mere droplets,
planted by the shy
sun's unclotted gleam.
Its golden streams
pulled from primped-up flesh
to fill crimped-down bellows
till they bulged
bronze and round.

There isn't any pain,
no struggle,
nor a muddled shout,
just this bleary-eyed dream
of being led
to a slate-gray patch,
where blood-drunks dodder
and bloated belch forth
queer seedlings
that root at the stray
day's rolled-up edges.
Their crimson creeps
stopped by simple smacks
to spill pimpled oozings
till they sag,
flat and black.

Francis Scudellari

Last leaf

A lonely last leaf
amber laments lost brothers
its fear, letting go

Black-stomached soil

The black-stomached soil
craves a savory serving
golden leafed decay

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Impolite shadow

Impolite shadow's
greedy grasp loosens, over
time grows less troubling

Reveller gale

A reveller gale
mischievous twirling, reveals
trim maple's bare limbs


Inhabiting smoke
the molar melts, polar capped
to fouled yellow root

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sun slumbers

Sky sifts down soft, white
light hosting, while Sun slumbers
a winter away

Late season's teasing

Late season's teasing
breeze, mirthful birthed by
lake's rolling belly

Passerby stares

His eyes sliding shut
quiet the purple clamor
of passerby stares

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Christmas Wish

I have one Christmas
wish: we'd all let go
our pinch on old grinchy ways
and feel new, magic
unpackaged, unbowed
in gifts of everyday


His life's boat unmoored
he charts a course for unsure
sands on wayward shores

Dull-bladed stare

Dull-bladed stare twists
a quarter turn, to ensure
agony lingers

Odd hop

On narrowing path
he'd taken, destined footfalls
become an odd hop

Close tabs

He keeps close tabs on
the dull and drab, to color
his own misgivings

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fugitive blush

The fugitive blush
chased by a lowering glare
leaps off craggy cheeks

Lime green frog

Lime green frog hops in
the pond's murky brown cocktail
adding twists of slime

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


In its falling,
a white hush
fell on me,

as you hushed me,
"Quiet... ." Still,
in your white,

you wait for this
weighty thought
to break through

the storm's cushion:

"Stillness, I know
may not stay
in your life,

but it will in-
still silence
to linger

in your life, and
remind you
there can be

more, much more still."

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #106: Repeat after me at Read Write Poem. The prompt was to practice repetition.


As mirrors depict
features' drippy slide, he learns
Time paints like Dali


He peppers long-stewed proffers,
fresh-ground nods and piquant winks
gently stirred, in hope to prosper

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sunday blew in

Sunday blew in
popping pinstriped
cuff to bare
a cunning and
manicured tips
of rounded
pink extending
to un-shake
my seldom firm,
oft clammy

Francis Scudellari

Cheerful flaws

His cheerful flaws
all pause for chats
and chuckling come
to realize
their comity
of errors


Steam from a vent
as impermanent
as my spent

Ten rigid cypress

Ten rigid cypress
helmeted march through autumn
never once swaying

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wedged in the y

Wedged in the y
of a winter-bared branch
the plump squirrel screeches, then grunts
its oddly coded greeting

Gold Apple

At its very core
his gifted gold apple proved
ucommonly rotten

If I scoured

If I scoured our heaven's
sprawled-out stain,
its light-dusted logic
would leave me
cleansed of flesh and folly

Sunday, December 20, 2009


His molten essence
grown woeful dim, buried in
cotton-cloudy age

Damp-cloth words

Wringing damp-cloth words
she wipes clean his chalky slate,
draws a sharp-edged frown


Ungently gone from good
he'll break night's gait
to meet a fate
he hung unstockinged
once upon the tines
of yesterday's forked crossing

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Scraps of pictured smiles
he picks through, then gathers to
make his Sunday feast

Holiday Cheer

He increases the dosage
pulling tight the strap, but
he still can't quite seem to
inject some holiday cheer

Problems unbalanced

Problems unbalanced
equating, adjust to find
inward solutions

Friday, December 18, 2009

Shaggy head

Scratching shaggy head
he finds a moral buried
with the dark, limp tail


A newbie to the north,
she waits for the snow's first fall
so her angels can take wing

Five radiators wake

Five radiators wake
to shake off six months' dust
and whistle steamy
ballads of winter's
ever-soft approach

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gruff grumbles

Gruff grumbles, stubbly stares
donned daunting those wanting
to poke his little-boy heart

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The dolled-up moon may star
in this pierced black reel
sprocketed and spun
to catch our night's lazy
attention, and why not,
what with her curled lip,
her too-precious stare
and her meteor lines
whispered low in the wind
to pull our buzzed ears
a little bit closer
to the telephone,
but don't neglect the trees,
and their stiff-borne backs
abiding far off
our radar, knobby limbs
raised strong to always
offer us support.
Without them, this shell
of a shimmering game,
even when we're best conned,
would never quite hit.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #105: borrowed words at Read Write Poem. This week's prompt came in the form of a demanding 18-word list borrowed from another poem. I managed to fit them all in (click the prompt link to see what they were).

Petal plucked wishes

Petal plucked wishes
she'll toss before her flower
of youth perishes


A vodka-soaked tongue unspools,
his conveyance for the dazed dance
of early morning lies recital

Porcelain worries

In unbittered blue pools
they stir glass-stemmed flowers
healing her yesterdays
where teacup mouths were scooped
by porcelain worries

Ferrying wind

This ferrying wind
delivers crisp messages
with a stick-tapped code

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Striking these stubborn matches,
he melts her
frozen pose, the features too
soon subsumed
into catalogs of loved

My eye doesn't despair

My eye doesn't despair
this spare urban sky, black with

A steaming lake spurns

A steaming lake spurns
winter's immodest advance
slapping at the shore

Runnel plaints

He pens runnel plaints
through snow white stationary
crisp, clean and icy

Day shouts

Day shouts severely
accented, but dusk coos back
in her shaded voice

To their forbidding

To their forbidding
doors, he sneaks and tacks
bombastic lists that tick
off his tactics
for in-word allowing

Monday, December 14, 2009

Suspended Animation

Dear Santa

Seeing how
I haven't seen you now
in more than many while's quite,
I thought I'd write
this letter laden wish,
not big enough to be a list,
as it's just one thing,
and that thing is else no thing,
but a pod. Yes, I wrote pod, but not

any pod
you'd find hanging green
on a bush. I mean those lean
bits of oblong
and white that best belong
in the movies where one's out knocked
and then inside tucked
cozy, waiting for long trips,
or patches too rough, to easy slip

by. I'll glow
in my pod, yellow
digits the ticks down-counting
till zeros sing
alarming doors to whir
and pop, dropping a discovered
when both safely sound
and reanimated found
on the far side of neither's going.

But knowing
you Santa, to be
a bastard red and jolly,
if I know you
at all, then here's my due:
one ragged blanket from Good Will,
some pretty pink pills,
and an unassembled cough
instructing me to "go sleep it off."

Francis Scudellari

Sponge Cake

Starved for the few words
she never spoke
he molds sponge-cake fancies
to trick his ears full
with sugar-false sounds

Unhappy story

Unhappy story:
an aging after forgets
to follow ever


Curious cat's paw
swats at ornaments, launching
red-green armaments


He wagers his last
days loose stacked in tipsy piles
bluffing a smug smile

Half moon hatches

Laid on winter-hardened clouds
a half moon hatches
phantom tides

Many dances

Many dances
festooned in our moment's
finery, while Few waits
patient for the happy
tuning to stop

Cautious flames

Cautious, blue-toothed flames
nibble at damp air, waiting
to leap and swallow

Morning barely breaks

Morning barely breaks
spilling its naked red light
as timid seas blush

Snaky chance slithers

Snaky chance slithers
by tempting a lunge, always
proves too slippery

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Winter's withered hand
dabs at gray palette, painting
sky and ground, alike


He would have been much
more docile a student
had the fossil not displayed such
an inviting comparison

Sugary scents

Sugary scents jingle
bells of a late-night's peeking
to trap that red chap
and his cookie thieving


His coarser consonants
and sharpened vowels
texture flat sermons
carved from hollow scripture

Jingles jangle

Jingles jangle, demanding
he pay more attention,
but his coins are too few
to clang, so they'll cling
instead, pocketed


Drifting snow whispers
myths of beauty tricked below,
life held in ransom

December spits ice

December spits ice
picking fights with its blue-white


Long-plotted lives, just so
calomine pink and unspoiled
she itches to be more
than a little rash


Her cherry red boots
step swiftly through ice-glazed snow
a delicious crunch


Teaching his fingers
to be more nimble,
he practices deception
with a pea and three thimbles

His fears came dressed in

His fears came dressed in
black and white habits, preaching
dogma's denials

Bellicose wind

A bellicose wind
rattles on with mock courage
passive moon frowning

Saturday, December 12, 2009


She fashions five gold
brooches from acorns and twigs,
then sprinkles them white
with the freshly fallen snow,
hoping for winter's magic

Stripped of its color

Stripped of its color
the black arcing bough poses
chilled, dripping questions

Long employed to serve

Long employed to serve
others' wickedness, he quits
to master his own

Friday, December 11, 2009


I may waver
before my wavelengths
soar, gathered from pea-green
depths of bubbling soup,
fully measured
for spoiling.

Invited out
to doubtful places
we each must know, I'll step
blithe not grim, trimmed in
suits. Their smear

of plaid-scented
tears splashed with paisley-
flavored sighs, I'll rinse through
herringbone-strained smiles,
as the pinwheel-
peopled years

gargle my garb
fresh for bathing. Then,
to bathe I'll go, striding
on the bric-a-brac
bridge that spans the

where I wavered
before my wavelengths
soared, and plunge in to bob
atop chic'ry-swirled brew,
fulfilled measures...


Francis Scudellari

(This is a revised version of the poem that I posted at Flowers of Sulfur a couple days back)

Smudged-on ashes

Smudged-on ashes crossed
inarticulate recall
our long lost causes


this thought, preludes a word
this word, preludes a deed
this deed, preludes regret
and that regret,
preludes everything

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hours upon shadowed wing glide

Hours upon shadowed wing glide
clasping wriggling cares, they'll devour
atop morning's light-bathed crags

Once thick, straight and double yellow

Once thick, straight and double yellow
the lines he hesitated to cross
now curve and stretch
as thin as his prospects

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

His doubt lingers, two-headed

His doubt lingers, two-headed
gnawing both floor and ceiling
to collapse comfort's redoubt

Monday, December 07, 2009

Amid tangled roots

Amid tangled roots
topped with broken stems, he plucks
her name, flowering

These fell cuts

These fell cuts
rather than weakening
scar over in thickened flaps
to shield against
each following blade

He chased glossy scents

He chased glossy scents
down prescripted paths
to the dearly purchased,
but love and happiness
never happened along.

He triples the dose.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

If I could wish...

If I could wish,
I would wish upon
petals not yet plucked
from yellowed guessing

If I could wish,
I would wish upon
furry seeds white-tucked
in breathy nesting

If I could wish,
I would wish upon
stony time's rolled back,
concave-gray jumbling

If I could wish,
I would wish upon
yawning star's stretch, black
tales awkward mumbling

And when I did,
each counted could-be
would be a wished lie
down from undoing

Francis Scudellari

Glowing proud, this moon

Glowing proud, this moon
boasts its theft, risking the sun's
eclipsing rebuke

Black ink penned on milk

Black ink penned on milk
he writes his beloved
messages instantly lost
in squiggled gray bleeding

Saturday, December 05, 2009


For my mother, on her birthday.

The unexpected

The unexpected
crash of a single raindrop
can topple small worlds

Each successive year paints

Each successive year paints
him thick and clumsy, their brush
strokes smudging once vibrant
detail to a drab sag

Friday, December 04, 2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I meet Ingi

I meet Ingi,
stumbling down
from the opposite blend
of a tumbled path
paved with impatient falling

our split-bottom steps tingle
from the crumbling glass,
as slivered gum-ball ends
spike bronze gowns
of brittle leaves.

We swear to sea,
and shake frowns
till our best parts do bend,
toppling humble hats
where waves diverge, to grow then

Francis Scudellari

When I die, I'll jumble

When I die, I'll jumble
that placard long-posted
at the Inferno's gate

To read, "Enter
here with abandon
all ye who hope!"

Drinking in the evening's black

Drinking in the evening's black
blood, he waddles prone to listing
the many wicked vagaries
of less indulgent imbibers

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

This oft-stooped sapling

This oft-stooped sapling
stands at attention, ordered
by a martial wind

The musing of her

The musing of her
resurrected smile
provides much needed
morale for his
developing story

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Bauble Brothers

Bauble brothers hang red,
one rotund, one spouted,
both made a magenta
melancholy by fog.
Its white whispers nightly,
slipping their bloody seeds
down paper-funnel tales
of supple branches stripped,
and the skin-cracking eyes
coming too soon to cull.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #103: pomegranate at Read Write Poem. This week's prompt was the photo above right (Pomegranate by Nasos3), which has a spooky air about it that I tried to capture in the verse.

His once-was pulled up

His once-was pulled up
treading the asphalt drive, then
slammed back to being

Paralyzed in waiting

Paralyzed in waiting
his fixed stare of broken thoughts
watches numbers creep

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This is not an elephant

"This is not an elephant,"
he confides to the child
as they oval round
captive creatures foreign
and featured in glassy habitats.

"See those four stout stumps
with their loose-pebble bottoms,
rooting him to the dust-bound earth
where his great girth grows?"
"Do you mean its legs?"

"Then pay attention to the gray
veined fans that swat and sway
to push away midges nibbling
heat into his giant's skull."
"Aren't those just ears?"

"There are twin ivory tines
he uses to stab and dine on
tightly packaged meals
the forest's cunning seals for him."
"I thought they were tusks?"

"Last, note his accordion's
appendage that dangles down
to fleet wrestle and greet
with a snicker or a shout."
"Grandpa, the sign says,

'Elephant'! What do you call it?"
"That's a little tidbit
he's never shared with me,
but I do know him to be
much more than his name."

Ink abiding light

Ink abiding light
a looping quill his religion writes
outward drifting verses
sung by the myriad stars
blended in one choral voice

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Close-knitting snug yarns

Close-knitting snug yarns
to be wrapped in soft comforts
she falls away from the world
its caring seasons
that roll and spin past

A gray lingering

A gray lingering
till sated with earthy sighs
he rains affection

Fitted with this mask

Fitted with this mask
hard chiseled at harsh angles,
he hides the impulse
to be costumed in a veil
of subtly rounded feeling

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Float away, I would
if I could
be Snoopy,
chewing through
those Broadway bounds

Breathy wisp billows

Breathy wisp billows
then fades, ghostly life spoken
into crisp, cold air

His vital organs

His vital organs
still moist, vittles for vultures
swooping down peckish

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Small souls wither

Docile husks
under-nourished by
his unsubstantiated blood

He runs fingers

through jaundiced
pages, but can't find
a listing for lifting curses

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thought Experiment

I may or may not be:
a posited feline absurdity
curled up on comma paws
inside Herr Schrödinger's booby-trapped box.

Its flask of uncertain
whether smashed to poison my mighty mews
and spew a gray-mouthed cloud
that inky clots neither's sharpening pen.

Entangled buts become
stranded as knots of fuzzy pink yarn send
either-or careening
arm and arm down imperfect pictured paths,

where Epimetheus
stands, ready to wed Pandora anew,
and doom-birth our many
worlds with the lifting of my thousand lids.

Francis Scudellari

Ten toes tipping

the threshold,
unbalanced he leans
back waiting for a strong gust's push

Lids loosed

stubborn twists,
release captive breath
to mingle with freshening air

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I could let go

let go
people, things
to end these plagues, but
God is in it for the torture

Light had its chance

its chance
to woo me.
Darkness seduces
with a kiss of liquid shadow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Seeing such smooth skin

Seeing such smooth skin,
two eyes and just four limbs, makes
the spider's hide crawl

Am meal at

With a worded trap I'm asked
to verify my human
being by typing

I misinterpret that
as, "Am meal at."
Putting down the plastic fork
to key it in,

I wonder out loud,
"Who's about to be
eaten, and where?"
It tells me I passed.

Francis Scudellari

Done. Been. Held by

Held by
the fickle
world, this incessant
turning, I'll flee its gravity

Friday, November 20, 2009

With fork and knife

and knife
he devours
the day, relishing
both its sweet and savory hours

The world makes us

makes us
all killers
inspiring with memes
of the cruelest survival

They take small bites

small bites
bigger drops each night
growing addicted to his soul

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Pickled on quixotic tonics
he strives for a polyglot's poise,
balancing plaster peas
at the end of his tippler's tongue.

But the rough-surfaced pearls prickle
his too-ticklish bed of pink,
and gulped down, he administers
only a lessoned indigestion.

Flipping the flop, he prevaricates
himself into the tight-fit corners
of a parallelogram traced
by unsolemn processionals

bedecked in platitudinous finery.
Their porous smirks drip sticky
reminders of a plethora
of previously pernicious exercises

and dampen his fluffy ambition,
prodding procrastinations until
his drunken promise dries out
to become a posthumous wish.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #101: p-p-p-poetry at Read Write Poem. There are a total of 13 p-word prompts, and I used all of them (plus a few extras of my own for seasoning).

He waits

at death's
door, transfixed
by ornate knocker

He buys his hats

He buys his hats
too wide and his books
too heavy hoping
the volume
will expand his mind

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Straying's Wish

Disenchanted, this slanted floor
whispers to me
through its tightly clenched slats.
Cranky tales of failed

first steps, I tip-toe past,

unflappable. End tables mock
my walk-by dare,
mouthing weak-coffee moans
from wood-grained circlets. Stains

surface, I sidle on,

as their knots fade. A lean-to shade,
the lamp tilts up
shadows with blunted beaks.
Clipped wings flapping deep-toned

airs, my unsettling makes

falsetto. Vents hiss librettos
to dissuade me
with their combed-over notes.
Forced-upon causes, pause

to caress fleeing ought,

envied. Wood shutters crack mutters
to trick a gaze
from pictured window's bliss.
Vagrant clouds cross crowds

of stars, my straying's wish.

Francis Scudellari

He may have fallen

He may have fallen
by foolish pride
but it's the bitter
memory of what he once was
that keeps him from ever
getting back up

Thick-leaf canopy

Thick-leaf canopy
humble and temporary
my loaned umbrella

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tracing mirrored routes

Tracing mirrored routes
he calculates scaled-down miles
crafty age has mapped

Her mismatched legs dance

Her mismatched legs dance
to lonely rhythms, sweeping
elliptical paths
I follow, my eyes searching
the hard wood floors laid above

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wispy headed snake

Wispy headed snake
twists and glides through dusted blue
browning its belly

She cocoons herself

She cocoons herself
nightly, woolen wrapped
and awaiting daylight's again
to search her back
for nubs of wings, sprouting

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dreamscapes cluttered

Dreamscapes cluttered
with baubles and toys
his mechanical eyes can't clutch
lifting up filled
but only by waking

A spare marble tossed

A spare marble tossed
across this blue velvet sea
arcs to the morning

Thursday, November 12, 2009

False-flattering clouds

False-flattering clouds
gauzy stroke the moon's pocked cheeks
snick'ring at its grin

Door swings open

Door swings open, dis-
covers loving fraught with im-

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'll robot

As my illogic breaks, I'll robot make
to be this soul's chamber,
robbing a piecemeal joy from misfit toys
tossed out for fine tuning

by toddlers cheery mad to gorge on fads.
I'll take their T-Rex head,
with droopy lids that wink as if to drink
the world's wide-shallow stares,

plug its plastic prongs in torso of tin
while twin squeeze-box arms splay
to tie magnetic bows round pads below
gold, plush lion cub's legs.

This moppet of mixed breeds I'll learned feed
with animate cunning
to be ruled by charmed laws that give it pause
when whole-sum circumstance

tangles fuzzy circuits. Then a circus-
wire's unbalancing act
I'll paste from templed flesh to doll enmeshed
by transfuse rigging,

and as coil comes to slough, just as I'm off,
I'll flip that gilded switch,
implanting my spirit into a bit
of copper-hued country.

His weekly transform

His weekly transform
sluggish to mercurial
by quicksilver shots

After the buggy debacle

After the buggy debacle,
crawling cabinet cascade
jeopardizing his larder,
he ditched swatter stopgaps
to pursue insecticide's purer forms

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

His broad grin

His broad grin shows off
the new missing tooth he paints
as sporty black stripe

The go-round

The go-round never
made merry for him.
Its lacquered yellow horses
and their creeping,
glazed-eye grins.

Monday, November 09, 2009

He glares desert heat

He glares desert heat
life belly slides, crawls behind
thin shadows, cool nooks

Her pulled-up corners

Her pulled-up corners
a public moment's whimsy
drooping back at home

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Crow's harsh caw mocking

Crow's harsh caw mocking
my right-angled walk, it cuts
winged hypotenuse

My scratchy tissue

My scratchy tissue
can't catch the gook graying
lucy's chetstnut eye
so Albert paws in
his nimble tongue obliging

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Brazen-minded breeze

Brazen-minded breeze
tugs at the sun's cotton robe
eying his nude blush

A wounded beauty

A wounded beauty
early pierced, too often drawn
by ill-caring hands,
wary of his gentler touch
turns away, stabbing two hearts

Friday, November 06, 2009

Birthed in tumult's core

Birthed in tumult's core
journey becomes choice, which path
to radiate through

More bird on a wire

More bird on a wire
than yo-yo on a string
he clings to the warming
vibrato of her
whispers texted nightly

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Stormy ushers shove

Stormy ushers shove
tip-toe stumbles through curtains
half-parted amber
falling against red cushions
arrayed in a fragrant chill

His immense problems

His immense problems
best captured through a peep hole
bottle tilted back

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Romance thirsting eyes

Romance thirsting ears
imbibe her treacly voice, its cloy
a disheartened quench

Jogging autumn gusts

Jogging autumn gusts
fit and trim, push their way through
leaves crowding branches

Monday, November 02, 2009

Her polished lapis eyes

Her polished lapis eyes
set beneath spun gold,
a stare too precious
for me to fix

Mock-rock globe

Mock-rock globe spinning
he pokes at the tan-green blurs
a one-wish ticket

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

His waking coiffure

His waking coiffure
shaped by pillows and static
a cockatoo's crest

Glutton eyes binge on

Glutton eyes binge on
imaginary fillips,
avid to jostle
a brain grown weary trying
to stem their unthinking bloat

Friday, October 30, 2009

Carnival's Valor

Two amorously leaning props,
they duel to woo her,
a far-glowing mistress,
with their neon spins
and flash-bulb reels
that burn untempered torches
against the black-lit night.

The first flings his golden lines,
tracing over-stated claims
to crowned velocities.
The next, more simply,
rolls a sapphire eye
in an unblinking hope
of whirled persuasion.

All the while above,
their cratered princess,
attracted to much more
subtly fired revolutions,
looks down in yellowed yawns,
unimpressed at their boasting
a carnival's valor.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #98: Whee! at Read Write Poem. The challenge was to use a photo prompt (click the link to see the image), which I interpreted in my usual strange way.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My sign of the times

My sign of the times
teetered slowly down the sidewalk
a discounted pizza box
balanced precariously
on her head

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I changed my part

I changed my part
from right to left
not to better my look,
but to skip over
this rut

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Plump-fully fleshed, it sits
to me not unlike
a cloth of sacked potatoes,

though it's so pinkly dripped
and more misshaped
in its stranger bulgings.

This would-be man's clubby arms
and double-stubbly legs
tacked onto a drooping goop

that he eyelessly affords to
flap and flop around,
as a foundling seeking

its comfort's sorting out.
His sweet-meat rolls,
and summery salted stumbles

lead him to the final fall;
a downward folly
lacking its expected thud.

— Francis Scudellari

This poem is another one inspired by a dream. It was, needless to say, a strange and disturbing one, and I've softened it up quite a bit here.

We often bemoan

We often bemoan
fleshed fates we've been dressed without
trying another

Monday, October 26, 2009

My choices fall

My choices fall
in do's small

each splashed no-doubt
kicking out

to carve a did.
Then crooked

of when converge,
timely surge

to push my why.
Blue-tossed I

up on white-capped
and oft-happed

was carried down,
struggling drowns.

now, cleansed by here,
is no mere

Staked in blood-red ire

Staked in blood-red ire
she paints her face ghoulish white
a moody re-vamp

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pulling its blade from stilled flesh

Pulling its blade from stilled flesh
he touches the weeping
tool that bends his once
too-simple faith

Saturday, October 24, 2009

His daily drip of words

His daily drip of words
become a gushing leak,
he shaves the faulty pate,
heads off to nearby shop
fetching, a tarry patch

Friday, October 23, 2009

Coiled care's deadened weight

Coiled care's deadened weight
sliced by tempered hand, soul lifts
cerulean bliss

Choppy blade strokes churn

Choppy blade strokes churn
downward flows from source to mouth
clarity muddied

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back to Belly

I'm finally returning to my short story Belly, which I abandoned early this year after posting the first four chapters. I'm going to start anew with a revised prologue below, and I hope to post at least one chapter a week... but don't hold me to that.

Prologue: A Circular Journey

It starts and ends here: The heavy head of a man, who is perhaps too cleverly named, jumps skyward as if it were tugged by a puppeteer’s unmeaning and graceless twitch.

The man is called Jonas. That’s a variant of Jonah, and this is, after all, a tale of bellies.

The invisible hand behind the tugging is the jostling force of Jonas’s week-linked commuter train. The tethered box in which he’s nestled is the first belly of this narrative, and it carries him halfway along its circular journey. It’s a trek often punctuated by fits, false starts, and sudden stops, and one such regularly irregular interruption pulls Jonas from a dreamless sleep, punching up his ragdoll’s chin to bring him gasping back into its interior.

First to wake are his limpid blue irises, which struggle to emerge between black-lashed lids, straining against the flood of pallid light. His nicely rounded ears, more prominent for the lack of hair surrounding them, rouse next rudely reconnected to crashing waves of cartoonish sounds as the mechanical beast regains its stride. Last to stir are the nostrils of a rather plain nose, which flare to gulp some fueling air then spit back the pungent smell of perspiration, mixed with wet wool.

“What time is it?”

These whispered words, voiced as an aside, cue Jonas’s left arm to lift up, but, so long wedged against the steel wall, it misses its mark. A livelier right hand, eager to assist its fellow player, leaps their lapped divide and massages the deadened flesh. It’s a lovely and successful gesture, and the blood gradually returns, bringing with it pricks of tiny needles.

This first dramatic stumble gotten past, the action proceeds as scripted. The left arm rises dutifully and its opposing hand slides back a pale blue cotton cuff to reveal two silver strips spread like an open scissors attacking the white disk.

“Seven o’clock still, but that can’t be.”

If his eyes and memory don’t betray him, and after the arm-lifting mishap he can’t rule out their collusion, time’s usually steady gait had limped to a halt and then reversed path back to the moment icy winds ushered him onto this round-about. Or, it could be the watch. Jonas taps the glass crystal, but it offers no signs of life.

The rounded square of a window, backed by an early winter morning’s confounding darkness, gives him no clues either to his place in this oft-repeated story’s book.

“It doesn't matter.”

Suspended inanimate within these vibrating walls, Jonas lets the wash of artificial light and heat coax him back to unconsciousness. The troubling city sprawled out below him fades further into the black. His once-sharp calling recedes with it to the indistinct mumble of words spoken long ago, far away, and in a forgotten tongue.

Overcome by sleep’s welcome eraser, Jonas’s shoulders slump and his head nods, their controlling strings severed anew.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Burgundy seed pods

Burgundy seed pods
in honey locust dangle
bumpy lobes curling
anxious for fall's first strong tug
and the peace of raked earth beds

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Playful finger smears

Playful finger smears
chalky smiles across gray slates
lifting somber face

Monday, October 19, 2009


In the heat-tricked mirror, he sees
crafty miles creep up with vital intent,
toeing waved lines.

A pair of vultures glide in lean routes,
marking bold exes across the grain
of age-stained charts.

Their sudden runs on scented organs
made with strong swoops to fleshy thresholds
of life's tipping.

He discovers in this scaled calculus
that distance, moist but listing, travels
in taut cycles.

It can't defeat the curse of lifting
unbalanced loads with back pushed against
jaundiced fingers.

Ten peckish tips, waiting for victuals
they smell buried in gusty legends
of cornered maps.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #97 at Read Write Poem. The challenge was to use the "cut-up technique" of picking words at random. I used words from five recent haiku and short poems, so its a cut-up plus a mash-up. The result is pretty abstract.

The world may refuse

The world may refuse
words I toss out, more refuse
atop littered piles
but this trash, offered humbly
is my only true treasure

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Turntable: Regret

This is part two (you can read Part I: Love is here).

By Francis Scudellari

II. Regret

slips through, skipping over hairline scratches
etched by fitful nudges. The crooned once-so

simple and soulful, become fragile when
poised on wound-up platter. Needling him back,

that night their conversation broke to-be,
and was followed with a pause, he stretches

on each wobbly replaying. Then picked up,
he'll tuck it back in a wax-paper sleeve

corner-chopped to stash among discounted
bins of ballads rhyming her without him.

Your opinion

I truly value
your opinion, it's just that
I like mine better

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I hear now my
youth's crickets call
in the chirped hitch
of an overhead fan
or the high-pitch spin
of an idling engine.
The everyday reminds
I may have strayed
nearing too far.

No mere pin-prick

No mere pin-prick
on indigo veil, she hovers.

A wink each night in southern sky
burning through this big city haze
to re-assure me, I'm not
utterly alone.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nostalgia's fluffed sponge

Nostalgia's fluffed sponge
dabs a cracked past's weepy spills
staining as it sops

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back-door alley's soundtrack

Back-door alley's soundtrack:
the one-note songs
of trucks shifting
into reverse
above, an arrhythmic beat
as pigeons take to wing

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

After School

Backed against an unclean slate,
this teacher, much more preacher,
vowelizes her vague threats
with a dry-throated croak: "I'll learn
you both to behave, or else!"

A one-eyed stare sawed in two
shows that she means vehemence,
tying down small-town thrashers
in the straight-jacketed comport
of a well-raised progeny.

Their permafrosted pause firms
the footing for lessoned spells
that had giggled on the brink
of insolent "Chelations"
and its indecent relations.

But this light-bubbling silence
irresistibly explodes
in a "Cosmoramic" spray
of sophomoric rhymes – soapy
language tickling her upturned no's.

"One more outburst ..." and she'll make
twin reprobates rinse away
too-capricious grunts and groans,
exulting in the power
of a well-placed investment:

her overtime, their effort.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #96: spam, spam, spam at Read Write Poem. The fifteen "Wordle" prompts, taken from spam e-mails, are italicized. I used the motif of a spelling lesson to avoid having to write lines that made sense of the words Chelations and Cosmoramic (whose definitions bred more confusion than clarity).

A frustrated sun

A frustrated sun
wishes for hands, to rend clouds
stealing his kisses

Inspirational Bloggers

My friend Jena has just published a new book called "Inspirational Thoughts and Stories of Bloggers from All Over the World" that features one of my pieces. It's a compilation of works by 27 different bloggers and authors hailing, as the title indicates, from around the globe. To read more about this anthology, and to order yourself a copy, visit her GewGaw Writings site. With the quality of its contributors, it's well worth the money.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A dark, bloated cloud

A dark, bloated cloud
caught in lake's bounded mirror
pushes drifting thoughts
to float sinister tiding
shaped as his own swelling corpse

Wooden mask

Wooden mask slipped off
face carved wicked revealing
god's crueler knife

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Turntable: Love Is

This is the first piece of what I plan to be a four-part poem. Unfortunately the next three are still just vaguely shaped at this point. I'll post the remaining pieces here as I finish them, and then the fully assembled work at my main site (FrancisScudellar.Com).

By Francis Scudellari

I. Love is

a two-headed hook, that bobs as she toes
this cunning line. It cuts through the muddy

reverb of a wax-spun groove, swirling round
tar-black to reach the Day-Glo hypnosis

at its center. A trembling voice tucks in
among the hiss and crackling pops. Echoes

found as her left arm floats, extending
a turntable's journey to spiral back

on that jumble of a first rainy day
they met, dripping in the coffee shop's queue.

Halfway up the hill

Halfway up the hill
after many trips, he asks
"why the fuss, Sissy?"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

With tender kisses

With tender kisses
her lips blot away, his doubts
spilling from cracked brow

Friday, October 09, 2009

Waking on clear white sands

Waking on clear white sands
teeming with black dots a-scurry
to surround his giant's frame,
it dawns on him Swiftly,
he's read this tale before...

Forgotten glimpses

Fogotten glimpses
bubble up from decay's dream
airy traps catching
roll-back words in filmy shells
lines warped by a fish-eye lens

Thursday, October 08, 2009

East of the Sun

I often try to sing of penciled landscapes
where we two might meet.
My clumsy words hatching crumpled rocks
to top a barren line,
and in between their gaps, thick trunks I sketch,
to sprout bouquets
of vibrant green. But I give these trees too much
life, too much choice,
missing you, they pull up their roots and escape
the page to run

East of the sun,
And west of the moon,
We'll build a dream house
Of love, dear;

down mirrored corridors.
The future and familiar trade steely gaze,
as wooden crowds lead
in fruitful chase, pointing my not-belonging
eyes toward stainless pods;
squat glowing bellies lined with leather laps
where I could slip, nestle
and pillowed watch digits whirl backward,
dialing a piped-in lilt,
my lullaby to a past that trips its way

Near to the sun in the day,
Near to the moon at night;
We'll live in a lovely way dear,
Living on love and pale moonlight.

across black-and-white tiles. Instead I dodge
as I skip-dance through
dozens of mechanical players, lounging
above carved pieces,
hand-painted with perplexing stares. These
salt-and-pepper pawns
I grab and toss shoulder-ward, unsettling
over-recked games not fit
for the fancied fix I place on distant cracked
pedestal. Then, a stray

Just you and I, forever and a day;
Love will not die, we'll keep it that way.

among banqueted queues
of chattering guests, who ivory arrayed
wait beneath vaulted glass,
I see your finery's smile beyond them,
with pen poised atop
my hard-bound tale of tender leaves. The ink
on cream, once-written
you tear, so that together we can fold
papyrus sail boats
homeward pushed by a shared breath's slow unwind

Up among the stars we'll find
A harmony of life, too lovely, too.
East of the sun and west of the moon, dear,
East of the sun and west of the moon.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #95: The poetics of the mash-up, by celebrity poet Matthew Hittinger at Read Write Poem. Of the suggested mash-up techniques, I chose to mix a poem I was working on with the lyrics from a song.

The poem takes as its inspiration an actual dream sequence I had, which was a bit of a mash-up in itself. There was some very sudden scene-shifting, and it included a piped-in recording of "East of the Sun" as sung by Billie Holiday (and those are the lyrics interjected here). I tried my best to make the dreamy bits a lot more coherent, while preserving the metaphorical quality of the experience.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

His close-covered eyes

His close-covered eyes
dodge appointed jabs and thrusts
dawn's glad-jousting sun

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tension curls

Tension curls up on his couch
a triggered comma, waiting
to uncoil with the phone's next
blasted ringing out

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I can't help...

"I can't help but feel"
is a phrase
I can't help but torture,
prying out
that rooted "but"

Or gently stabbing
a daggered comma
in between
its yawning gap

Still, the words
always leave me
feeling helpless

Francis Scudellari

Leaf transformed to fire

Leaf transformed to fire
mimes our slow-burning journey
then falls, exhausted

Friday, October 02, 2009

Bitter-syrup stares

Bitter-syrup stares
he spoons around, milky gray
eyes, wide yet shallow

A demagogue takes

A demagogue takes
world's embrace, while Cassandra
gets an ill-turned back

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Transfixed by pulsing

Transfixed by pulsing
in streams of soft red, he waits
trafficked and blinkered

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Per-happy Spins

His present stands up —
a back-turned red,
round-blade shoulders held
high — ribbon proud,
but ever so prone
to be toppled,
heels-over-head twirled
by counting past.

Such flippancy
can't unfix the stare
of his future,
posed cottony white.
Two o'clock looms
less distinct, not less
to per-happy spins.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #94 at Read Write Poem. This week's challenge was to take inspiration from Thomas Hawk's photograph "My Angel and My Devil" (above).

My sigh lifts up

My sigh lifts up
to join with clouds, touching
to bring down, soft rain
to re-nourish, this soil

From dust to dust

"From dust to dust" we go,
they say, but I
prefer to dream
a trip "from soil to cloud"

Monday, September 28, 2009

A quick note: Bye, Bye Entrecard

If you aren't familiar with what Entrecard is, you can stop reading beyond this sentence. If you are, then please continue.

For those of you who visit this blog solely to "drop" your cards, I have some bad news. In the next couple days I'll be removing the widget. Most of you probably won't even read this post, so it won't matter. I added the widget as a way to build traffic to this site, but I always had mixed feelings about that situation.

I've met some very interesting and worthwhile bloggers through the service, but it's gotten to the point now that most of the traffic I receive from it is "artificial" and therefore meaningless to me. No matter how much it inflates my numbers, there's no point in attracting visitors who neither care about nor read what I actually post.

If you are one of those who visit in appreciation of the actual content, I thank you. I've tried to add as many of you as I can to my Google reader, and I'll keep tabs on you through it.

There's also Twitter, which is a much more useful tool to building traffic, in my opinion. If you have an account there, please let me know and I'll gladly follow you.

Obsessed with endings

Obsessed with endings
he flips to final pages
savors the summing
then flops back where it started
hoping words and deeds connect

Quarter moon's sad gaze

Quarter moon's sad gaze
tilting blue toward the sea,
a too-distant love
whose foamy caps leap, aching
to console her waxing loss

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dyslexic Dosido

These letters dance, spun too fast,
hopping spaces, changing places,

coming apart, re-assembling
in dyslexic dosido.

Their glee-filled, false steps kick aside
punctuation's too-stern stops,

undoing its stressful beats,
with a quick slip, dip and elide.

They make meaning a mean thing,
dressed loose in flimsy flowered shift,

and force my eyes to linger long,
caressing its rounded shape.

Francis Scudellari

His scar's sleek, scored lines

His scar's sleek, scored lines
steel rails slicing back through fog
to knife point's menace

Men become monsters

"Men become monsters"
our fictions concocted to salve
open, weeping sores,
to distract the haunted, hollow eyes
lost in watching shallow gravesides

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nether Realms

No thumb-printed squish or slippered swat
will I ill-fit as fate
to the various bugs so very engaged
in vertical creeps, horizontal crawls
and diagonal scurries
from baseboard to ceiling to jamb.

It's not that I'm a coward, cringing
at the prospect of spilled goop
(it does curdle my stomach)
or an insect mahatma
committed to non-violent displacements
(they always find their way back).

This keeping of six-legged fascination
has an even odder bent:
I tolerate roommates of small
and exo-skeletal sort (rent free, of course)
because their nightly prances
enhance my fancy with tallish tales.

On dozing lobe, barbed forelegs unfurl
notes scanned by faceted eyes,
their jagged beaks propping then dropping
sibilant syllables to be carried
on stereo cilia strumming
the tympani of my inner ear.

Their droned odes sing of minute kingdoms,
each clique in turn surveying:
spiral stairways sculpted from red clay;
ornate thrones wood-worked in stump and root;
dangling silk hammocks spun on airy heights,
a reward for stealing flowered kisses.

This entrancing Royal's ransom promised
to me in simple exchange:
I let them traffic through cabinets, walls
and drawers, all the time plotting
how to populate and expand a bit
further their swarming, nether realms.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #93: Make it a Whopper at Read Write Poem. The challenge was basically to build a tall tale out of a lie or lies.

Sacrificial flesh

Sacrificial flesh,
fire-licked, spits its fatty drips,
riles moody embers
crackling out an acrid smoke
to entreat wayward idols

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Electrical cord

Electrical cord
uncoiled strikes a languid pose
its fangs unvenomed

Mocking shadows tug

Mocking shadows tug
ragged cuffs of worn-out eyes
guide sidelong glances
to stitch tightly patterned stares
patching ghostly absences

Monday, September 21, 2009

One lonely star

One lonely star set
within a cobalt sea, blinks
its sad tale, leaving

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What would a frog want?

Ever-after wishing
for magical

transformations, and
one to follow

closely, by the book,
she rolls lace sleeves,

plunging icy hands
into pond's brown

murk, with a talent
for fetching out.

Finger-wrapped, fearing
pursed leather lips,

her slime-green captive
gives squirmy croak:

"What would a frog want
to do with you?"

Francis Scudellari

This poem is a "fractured fairy tale" inspired by a spam email I received with the subject line of "What would a frog want with you?"

Ink and blood mixed

Ink and blood mixed, smudged
Newspaper rolled, tossed aside
six-legged murder

Clad in thicket's mail

Clad in thicket's mail
thwarted wounding finds a way
to gnaw, inside out

Friday, September 18, 2009

Today demands

Today demands
I change
everything, but tomorrow
always sits, cross-
legged, patiently