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

Her closeted pain

Her closeted pain,
a ruby talisman
she pulls out for falling dusk
its thumbs rubbing facets, to wish
a gentler awakening

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Scofflaw Christ

A scofflaw Christ, he mounts the wrought
balcony to sermonize between bites of fruit.

His musty words cast out, over
an impoverished lot, its multitudes lost
among clumps of grass, weed and clover.

This day's gospel topic: the waiting-to-be
attitudes of a conformist flock he extols
from their meeker paths in vague hope
to inherit a less unkempt earth.

Black rail receiving the leaned weight
of narrow hips, this mock Jesus extends only
one arm, and with graceful arc tosses
a twice-bitten plum, to bounce and roll
where his disciples might some day stand.

Till that coming time, when craned necks await
his offerings to remedy sleeping hungers,
these peels, husks and wrappers of half-eaten
confections, his pittances, will lay in stead,
as he withdraws from reverie's limelight,
to a kitchen well-stocked with sweetness to impart.

Francis Scudellari

This poem is written in response to Read Write Prompt #92: Word Gems at Read Write Poem. The 13 words from the challenge are italicized to ease their spotting.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Undiscerning tongue

Undiscerning tongue
held and bitten too often,
lures the incisors
to pink meat for a hard chomp.
Its lopped-off tip flopping free

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Toady Haunt

The bathroom faucet drips hurried footsteps,
carrying him back to dappled wood buried

in repeated dreams: a brushed ritual
circle hasty ringed by displaced logs, bark bit

by lichens; their sacrilege tools — hammer's
rotted-wood grip, nails with rusty shafts — littered

about a stump-altar where brothers met,
made not-so-secret sacrifice, to abash

their god; still suffering toad, random
picked to endure this mock passion play ending

on cross-tied twigs. Its yet resurrected
eyes stare at him, ask simple but damning "why?"

No Samaritan, good or bad, among
pretend Romans, ever stayed their hands to help.

Francis Scudellari

This is my second poem (finally) written in response to Read Write Prompt #91 at Read Write Poem.

The trapped candle's blushing

The trapped candle's blushing
light escapes its cracked
crystal, tinting the gold
caps on his irregularly
stacked teeth an eerie red

Brad awaits the blow

Brad awaits the blow
gracefully, but when it falls
awkward, the neck kinks

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Two Souls: Gathering

I finally was able to complete the next installment of my cycle Two Souls, Twin Lives (a title I may eventually change).

IX. Gathering
By Francis Scudellari

Two legs find horizons
cracked-wide, the hours
of likened now made unlike
when, heavy cloaked
in thickets' hair-cloth prickling,
she-he slip out
into lusty gatherings
of clutched sticks fixed
with sharpened stones, prancing
down hooted trails
painted fresh by scents, singing
of sun-drenched tang,
slain muscle torn from bone

Taxed computer fan

Taxed computer fan
choked by age and dust, labors
with more clunk than whir

Tiny explorers

Tiny explorers
equipped with twirled antennae,
hard shells, grippy legs
squeeze through crevices, scale walls,
reach for human peeks

Friday, September 11, 2009

Waxed black floss

Waxed black floss, sharp-edged
cuts crooked nose from curled lips:
a facial fraction

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Love's spectral faces

Love's spectral faces
refracted in each splashed drop
of a sunkissed rain

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mere Kids

Mere kids, we probe the distant
sky, anxious to touch
glimmers of a wink, peaking
out from rain-dropped curtains,

their slow thinning, allowing
pale fingers to rip
glad gaps through which we tumble
as we plunge from sliding glass

doors smudged with our fingerprint
smiles. Mere kids, we skip
slippery slopes, trail run-off's
trickle down to bubbling beds,

careless steps raising sweet scents,
the decay of leaves
and years falling away thick
from a canopy's stout arms,

criss-crossed rays sneaking through, hatch
us to muddy ponds
breathing out black, buzzing clouds,
then drinking in an unseen

pursuer disguised in plops
and ripples. Mere kids,
we muck bent knees to spread small
hands chasing backward crayfish,

who scurry red-brown under
slime-licked rocks, too poor
cover against nimble eyes,
as armored backs with pinched claws

we snatch and drop into jars
sealed shut with clear minds,
plastic moments stretched to last
an over-fancied lifetime

— Francis Scudellari

This poem was written in response to Read Write Prompt #91 at Read Write Poem. It was a bit of a challenge for me, and there's another draft poem from the exercise that I'll try to post soon.

Heart-hungry shadow

Heart-hungry shadow,
love's drawn-out silence, blinding
as fire, it consumes

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Gun metal gray,
this pigeon grasps
at current strung black
across a brick-
bounded back alley

edgy eyes on
uneven piles—
artifacts of people
caught in-between—

it trills its plea,
a directionless
directive to throw
away smaller,
more edible, trash

—Francis Scudellari

Still supple necks

Still supple necks strip
to beseech the reaper's blade
inclining to tempt
his crescent keenly purposed
to sever their spectre's stalks

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Rock spine's arched crumbling

Rock spine's arched crumbling
looms at warped, gnawed planks' end
thresholds to forgot

Friday, September 04, 2009

Steely beaked cranes

Steely beaked cranes swoop
to pluck shallow souls lost in
dreaming's swift current

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Prompted: My song to fire

This Is My Song To Fire
By Francis Scudellari

This is my song to fire
imagined gods, tipping the balance
of an eight-pointed star;
spirited tongues that orange-blue dance

lost stories of ancient's
mother whose land-distending belly
gave violent blood birth,
spitting forth choleric streams to crawl.

Molten fingers capped by
cruel mouths, gurgle cryptic paths down
humped and wooded back, till
reaching the lip of a plunging slope,

their fierce heads droop, roiling
limpid pools to release snake-coiled steam
and entreat ill-favors
from a jealous, flood-fathering moon.

This is my song to douse
fancied demons, speeding the tumble
of an eight pointed star;
frenzied frolics to blur waking myths.

This poem was written in response to Read Write Prompt #90 at Read Write Poem. The challenge was to take inspiration from a photo of a street performer balancing a metal frame tipped with eight flames (click the prompt link above to see it).

Heaven's lidless eye

Heaven's lidless eye
drinks deep velvet scapes, eager
to taste liquid sparks

Hour-swept stage

Hour-swept stage, bare-faced
follows uncounted costumed
bows, taken before
a fixing flood's painted gaze
washes bound acts to pale light