Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oranges, Part Three: Pulpy Mess

Here's Part 3 of my poem Oranges for Three Loves. I'll have the conclusion up in a few days.

III. Mid-day Sun

Days left to his virtuous devices,
he fusses over the next, nails digging,
screw-cut peeling its thick rind, picking off
odd pieces of pith to smooth its surface

After would-be idol hours spent preening,
second love, an acid yellow figment,
floats down to him from distant high hilltop
her flopped gold curls mopping a wide pink brow

Fruit in palm extended, he waits his worth
while the orange exposed to mid-day sun
shrivels brown, a collapsed-in pulpy mess
that her passing wave topples uneasy

Monday, March 30, 2009

Swab of swirled scarlet

I don't know what the artistic merit of this drawing may be, but it appeals to me for some reason. It's a loose interpretation of the line "tall swab of swirled scarlet hair" from my poem Oranges for Three Loves.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Oranges, Part Two: First Love

Here's the second installment of my poem Oranges for Three Loves (Part I is here). I'm trying to do a better job of balancing the flow, imagery and word play. I too often sacrifice on the first. I have an idea for another related drawing that I'll try to post before Part III.

II. Striped Dawning

Home on morn's edge, a first love he soon sights
her narrow white face with blush-dabbed features,
the tall swab of swirled scarlet hair atop,
a bobbing tongue that bounces into view

At striped dawning, he, perhaps too eager,
reaches into his bag with halting hand.
An under-ripe gift he blurts out to her,
offered wholly careless, green-tipped, unpeeled

She takes it, and rolls it in slender hands
thumbs inspecting it, a bit misshapen,
bumps and crevices around knobby stem...
no fruit for her, nose upturned, she walks on

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fruitful picking

I've been working on my poem "Oranges for Three Loves," and what started out the very simple seed of an idea has blossomed into something a bit over-grown. The plan is to present it in four parts, the first of which I finished the first draft of today. It will likely require some more pruning, but I think it's shaping up.

Oranges for Three Loves
By Francis Scudellari

I. Picked Night

To steal a-way: three oranges for love
he was instructed by cackling voices
over time become vague though sharply plucked
and sealed in wide-mouthed, boyish memory

So, this picked night, he stalks storybook rows
of stubby trees that squat stacked in a maze
pulled straight by tender hands to hide riddles --
a patchwork of endlessly seamed sameness

Aided by a sickle moon's pointed glance,
he hasty harvests three waxy-lit fruit;
The feather-leafed branch loosed, snapping skyward
As juicy hope drops neatly in his pouch

Thursday, March 19, 2009

La Vita Oscura

In his La Vita Nuova (The New Life), the Italian poet Dante describes emerging from the dark forest of his early dissolute life to be guided to a more moral existence by his dead love Beatrice. It's a great piece of art, and an interesting framework for a collection of verses.

I've never led anything resembling a dissolute life, in fact I've toed a pretty conservative line in the conduct of my quotidian activities. Beyond an occasional beer at divy bars, I don't dabble in too many vices. That said, I haven't found much reward in this upright and uptight lifestyle.

So it got me thinking ... yes, always a dangerous prospect. Maybe I need to pull a reverse-Dante and explore the wonders of moral dissolution. I could even write a collection of verses called La Vita Oscura (The Dark Life) that describes my slow dissent from shiny plained turpitude to shadowed lands of vice. Of course, first I need to locate a dark-spirited guide for the endeavor ... my Malatrice. I'd prefer that she be living, however.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Too clever by half?

I've been a bit overwhelmed by real life, and only able to retreat into my imagination for a few short breaks, so updates to this blog are going to be slow in coming for a little while.

I do have three poems in various stages of incompletion, and I also have a quick question to pose to you dear readers: Do you think the title "Oranges for Three Loves" is a bit too "clever"? Also, do you even get the reference? I already have a companion sketch in mind, in case that influences your answer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fun in the fourth dimension

This poem is a bit of an experiment, and also a kind of a mental break for me. I hope the playfulness comes across...

Spacetime becomes molasses
By Francis Scudellari

Her words, I love you, dropped
a red marble planet
thumb-shot and rolling ... smack-
dab in my middle path
slow-dragging spacetime down
with its wavy weight's pull
the stop-motion churning
and turning it viscous
greenish yellow-green goop
that oozes round my legs
accordion wobbly
with each fractal footfall
till my heart-thickened thoughts
relatively rebound
and sling-shot, this pupil's
dilation speeds ahead
to future visions of
happiness densely packed
in a singular whole's
matter-slurping moment

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Springtime growth

It's been quite a while since I posted a drawing, and the blog seems a bit dull without them. So, here finally is my latest. I think I like it better than the poem (Metamorphosis) that inspired it. The colors have a Springtime feel, and I'm definitely in need of that brightness.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I finally feel fully back mentally, and as such I was able to finish the last three stanzas of my Metamorphosis re-write. I'll try to do some more catching up in the next few days. Below is the new conclusion, and you can see the whole thing on my main site here.

... Ashen arms time-tied into criss-crossed bow
unfold and stretch in open-palm seeking;
scarlet freckles, at long last bared, flare up,
bulge out, burst forth in pollen dusted blooms

Blush-tipped fingers petal-spread to attract
a noon-day sun's lurid stare, its stark heat
that bubble boils her inner crimson sap
till its smoky sighs vent through wax-flapped wrists

The hot blooded steam up-borne on breezes
intermingling in changeling-pregnant clouds;
where gathered droplet children patient wait
to be released and reborn, not themselves

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Work in slow progress

The re-write of the poem Metamorphosis is proving a much slower slog than expected. I've managed to get the first three stanza's closer to the way I want them, but they're still not perfect. The last three are a jumbled mess. Maybe tomorrow...

by Francis Scudellari

Change engendered with mythic suddenness,
as if sprung from strange god's familiar touch --
whether for fleecing lust or lancing pride --
a re-purposed Daphne, her life transforms...

Crowning, walnut-stained strands turn thickened vines
that whip outward, crackling bud ends a-twirl
to loosed-leaf wrap around her trellised bed
and eager bind her to this dreamed waking...

A bony cage once rubbery encased
dons barky layers -- brittle, gray-notched sheets
that spiral-drop down and scratch uncoiled toes
seeking worm-led passage through soft black soil...

(to be continued...)