Monday, November 30, 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.

Arbitrary Abattoir

the painful honesty
of someone
thirty years older
than me and her
face looks redder
and fatter as
I dive under her
lab rock.

The laboratory
utensils becomes
entirely erotic for me and
she gives me flavored
shots every time now.

chromosome repair systems
are able
since I can feel her
different skin types mix
younger smoother.

I find a
wrecked penis
forgotten on a bench
as I do the daily cleaning
of the perimeters
bless this position
sterility my friend
I am helping her
bending over
every time
I do it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

demon lover

when i was a child in ages dark
demons chased me through the park
and angels though in charge in me
laughed loudly at my misery

and when i finally tripped and fell
you raised me with the hand of hell
angel born and demon bred
you introduced me to the dead

the dead whose wide and staring eyes
were whiter than the winter skies
who sat all night on fog wet benches
sad sentinels of eternal trenches

the dead whose soft and wordless lips
twisted like slowly sinking ships
in black and bottomless seas
in unreverberating reveries

who's watching?

What part of us lies dormant
Watching as we scrub our molars each morning
Looking back at our blank faces
That only examine stray hairs and wrinkles
Is it smiling, like a patient Lama?

Or is it defeated, caged and forgotten by us, tortured
Cries never answered with mercy or enlightenment

Does this part of us know our path, the path
And the purpose to our routine?
Smiling as we stumble along
Absorbed by bed times and laundry
Or contemplating the meaning of life

What's waiting in the shadows?
Do we know who's watching?
all things are set before us
like the hidden
wanting to be found
seething in the branches
of a lemon tree
turned up
and the sky
falling faintly
faintly falling
for your attention

Saturday, November 28, 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."

while you were sneaping with the others I got my education

i. it's so nice to lie among the living

my stirring, buried in triplicate in your broken zipper,
died a little that day, awkward of the rustic chrome,
and patiently exploding with an bronzed innuendo of why:

it was, as science says, a matter of degrees,
but mostly in a purple mist of irony, captive

in view of the violent fruit to come
I would have been a fool, then, to disagree.

ii. to wait for blueberries and skid into view on a falsely tiled floor is a cherished pleasure to some

then I saw you exiting the melodious factory,
the bronze chimes in a metallic haste towards

your felonious smile and your poisonous pocket bulged
with the ribbed beige cartridges from a sinister east,

the left-handed chimes in a hoison haste
so immaculately born of harmonious boredom:

even then,
you agreed I was a fool to disagree.

iii. before the glorious separation devolved to pearly worship

I'd be lying if I said that I did not look down
when we circuited the alabaster dome outside
the echo chamber of black gates and whiteness

where sounds were ok, maybe just a faint gray voice

that was, if not professorially golden,
at least annoying to an erudite degree.

adding the swirls of rainbow sherbet helps
because green and orange and lemon matter
almost all the of time:

of that I know that you agree.

iv. then, bang! zoom!

anti-abstruse ranting in a pink and vehement form,

actually more abstruse and certainly less tame
than the sprouting seed from which it came:

after I had taken my time to target the moon,

should I take the time, now,
to re-explain my explanation?

and would you, ever, agree?

The Sunken Head Rears in Windows

Once, in the apartment above
Union Square, she threatened to push
me out the window. She stood
behind me, her arms locked around
my shoulders like wet branches,
like a lover but more so, closer, nearer.
You must move forward she said and
used her mass to move me to the sill.
Because I knew her well, I slowly removed
her arms and drew an alternative from her brain:
Let’s make your poster of Sid Vicious 
into an oversized paper airplane.
So we sent the dried-blood/black and white drone
on  a lazy spin over the Square,
watching it briefly gain
momentum as it sailed by the statue of Gandhi,
grazing his baked-bean face, then landing in a crumple
beneath a bench where city squirrels, ashen and overly-
friendly,  began to investigate the image of anarchy.

We emerge from ourselves moment by moment.
Etching out our finer, crystalline shapes,
we release the vapors like shredded
skins of frost on double panes of glass.
It is happening always, as every moving
day of November is a little more December.
As the brain of your infant-self expands,
pushing the gelatinous skull outward,
upward to where air grows thinner.

Sucking on a Marlboro,  up 5th Ave,
every step I take I am farther from her:
17th, 18th, 19th,  cross streets cross us here, there...
she is behind me. My smoke
sails backward into her eyes: Reversals,
her reflection smoldering  in storefronts.
I reach the Flatiron where the center
captures us in glass—we merge like binary stars, a
bundle of smoke and past.
When I skid around the corner of the ever-widening
structure, she becomes lost, sunk in subway steam.

I have never trusted numbers.
We become in letters, words, sentences
said, and broken,  then said again, running on
and on and on the hour, by the hour, the seconds
are made of strung vowels, landmasses
of layered consonants. From these we form.
I have never trusted numbers:
they are voiceless.

Years and words later, I sit,
facing a third-floor window.
Below are tree tops--branches 
spread like neurons—ripped vein red.
I see her behind me, my sunken-self,
her smoked skin merging
with the reflected blood of the maple.
Closer, nearer.

You must move forward,
we say.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I do things I do not understand: volume infinity

I had a daughter who bounced upon my knee,
she was the light of my life with her giggling glee.

one day she smiled at a boy from another tribe,

so me and her uncles
took her to a barren place


buried her to her neck
to prevent indecency


threw rocks at her head
until we were sure that she was dead.

we have cellphone pictures and video
if you need proof that I'm a man.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I have decided to expose my deferment

i. it makes sense when you consider the pleasures of transgression

then they brought the heavy oxidized cannons, erect and
rising through a green mist of mud that oozed downhill-

it was, after all, necessary,
and they did have scriptures and all that shit,

and they brought it
and they brought it
and they brought it,


they brought it to an previously obvious place
that I never, idiotically, expected, duh?
and, to emphasize my stupidity (in case you missed the point):

I cannot say that I was surprised or even cognizant
of the absurd and ribald bloody scene that drew,

in the modern sense of the gerund cutting,

an audience of ten.

ii. I need to buy new glasses

man, I am just trying to see.

iii. in the interim, someone asked me about the afterlife

just to be clear,
man, I am just trying to see.

Nihilist James

Helios burns my legs
intimate evening
for billions and billions.
Anarchy defeats my invisible

Bourse du Travail forces
me into isotropic
civil twilight.

The keyhole I
am looking for,
aiming for the break
under the
dual power.

We are free in death
bound in life
fucking in dreams.
Doing her
guerilla gardening in.

Illegalize it.
Turn away my psyche
before multiplexing opposition
carries me into
parallel pathfinder
Different phases requires

standard pacific time,
I laugh
red dwarf.

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

the bears and the stars

i waited for the bear
at the mouth of my cave
i was hungry
he was hungry too

the clouds blew away
and the stars shone down
but the bear
didn't show up

i went down into the valley
with some other humans
they were looking
for bears too

we started to build cities
i built london, baghdad and san francisco
the man from the next cave built cairo and paris
i watched a woman build new york and tokyo

when we were almost finished
the bears showed up
they weren't too happy
because they couldn't see the stars any more

i gave my bear a diet coke
and a package of cheese and crackers
he grumbled a bit
but he took them

then we all stood around
looking at the dark sky

Sunday, November 22, 2009

a hair is such a simple thing

then I noticed that one of your rebellious golden strands
had flown awry from a crucible winged with the wilted brass of quills,

had pierced the imagined golden fabric of my pompous fleece
with a sinuous mythology that was tenacious
and prompted, to a ticket holder entranced by teal,
an ancient head of expertly burnished copper-

then that almost bronzed and autumn needle
suddenly, in refracted sunlight, opened

into a kaleidoscope irresistibly imagined and,

serendipitously shadowless,

waltzed so dreamily into such a blond captivation

that I am captured to this eternal yellow day
by a flickering prism of luminous mineral glass:

periwinkle, burnt sienna, forest green-

when I am feeling confessional, especially,

I am still confused by the red and violets


I embrace, as always, periwinkle,
but not so much the continuous bland reflections
of that new and awkward chrome-

I have heard that, occasionally,
for the want of a better watch,
time fritters away in a perfect rhapsody:

I heard also, reluctantly,
that there are things,
especially blasphemous,

things that are mortal
mostly to the young.


let no man stand aside
who has not taken his place in line
and waited for the 23673rd bird to sing
after the 23672nd

but raindrops and grains of dust
are not so appropriate
as the seat covers
of a 1938 packard

driven by the lady in red
across the canadian border
all the way from laredo
for a perfect indiana day

in the park with a white hat
snatched by a bluebird
flying to alaska
but landing on easter island


I fall out again,
he calls me
bag of dicks.
Inside a wrong sector;
I've been dry so long,
Captain laughs at me
before kicking.
Rambling man;
I only see his boot when
"getting cycled".

As I lay there
I dream about
honey dripper
and spoonful.
My leg bleeds;
don't care
for now.

A dog barks in my face,
not surprised
since he spends too much
time as a
red-light ranger.

Oh my, queer Jack,
drape me in
shrouds of heliospheric
current sheets.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Last night.
After four stories and lights out and waiting, meditating in the dark, one hand for each, shushing, and waiting and shushing. And then sleep.

After making a tea, ginger lemon.
After starting to watch "Something About Mary," in Italian (Tutti Pazzi per Mary).
After lying, no, stretching, on the sofa.

Punkone wakes up.

He can't sleep. He feels hot. He feels sick. He's itchy. He teetering on the edge he always falls over.

I can only be calm.

Bathroom. Water.
Remove covers. Turn off heat.
Perhaps a tea?

We sit in the empty kitchen. The tea is steeping and I start thumbing through a Penzeys Spice catalog. He sits, calmer. "Have a sip," I suggest. More moaning. More silent waiting.

Back in bed. He's itchy. Eczema. And some medicine for the wheezing. He wants to sleep but can't and tosses and itches and is frustrated as his sister sleeps soundly. As she always does. I sit on his bed, just waiting.

And he finally grows calmer. Cooler. But he can't sleep. And I bring him my iPod to listen to. This helps. Seems to.

As I sit with him in the dark, listening to the sounds outside, seeing his eyes grow heavy, and breathing, he turns again, and starts quietly to cry. And through tears he says he's sorry. He's sorry for disturbing my movie. He's sorry I had to make a tea he didn't drink. He's sorry I have to wait...

A hug is all I can do. And a kiss, a sigh, And waiting. But what am I waiting for? To have my tea? Lie on an empty sofa? Oh. Maybe waiting isn't what I really meant. Because sitting in the dark, with my hand on your shoulder... it isn't a burden at all... it's simply my way to be.

Sugar Bullets

The counter fire flanks us.
I'm exploding again.
My comrades lay in heaps
dead like chicken soup.
Scorched Earth.
The Saxon shore becomes a
killing field.
No Danish axes this time but
armored cars and bullets.
Grinning sculls
I want to be
buried in the sea.

"Let's try to make it a
pyrrhic victory,
shall we," the officer
calls. The phalanx is blown
to pieces, and the contents
of my officer's corpse
open up before me.
I can't hear screams;
machine gun besides me
use up the sound room.
"Retreating," what a
joke. The reminders are
screaming for unconditional.
No one left to bury.
A rocket blows me away and
that's it.
I close my eyes
and finds peace; dragon's teeth.

For a day.
Dusting my broom
while Carnaby Street
changes coat.
Flagging a train
cheap drinks,
the spoonful of
sugar is balling jack while
monkey man

Friday, November 20, 2009

right before the migraine: here be corona sin limon

cider offers regrets of nocturnal autumns:

overripe replays of never accepted crushes
roam onto nearly ashen cerebral orchards,
openly negating apple cores of rumors-

never answered climates only ravage openly:

action coronates obligations, rivers outpouring nectars.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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

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


there is desperation
in the greenest trees
a secret conflagration
in the coolest breeze

the kitten at the window
the butterfly in the air
watch the raindrops follow
each other in despair

and when the leaves fall
yellow in the rain
the sidewalk hears them call
a whispered name

Monday, November 16, 2009

the brain unfolds like mobius

i. the fever cops a heavy dream

denseness is birthed with a twisted cord,
a procession of blue pines that chants weight
and perversely collapses into seedling rust-
finial density that kills conviction
and smugly fevers the physics of crush,

a vernal notice that pushes breath
and pulse to the purple of freeze-
nothing compressed completely
can last devoid of gravitas
or a gloss of verbal trust:

it's not the sweat that matters in the humid night,
just flanneled pajamas with pockets that cling.

ii. the sweet irony of singular redemption

generally mounded into cairns at poles,
out of the icy north we twist,
in the hoary south we spurt:

we bark, we crow, we cluck, we bay-
renewal is beckoned but suspect now
in the spreading of our malty grain.

the ruler embossed with gold ticks is useless,
and censers only panic the sweaty scream,
mystery flayed away from normalcy
as the second grace is offered thirst:

around again the carnage first
and the weight and birth of pain.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

green light/not really an american

she was one of those people you just like to be around.

she was one of the original five, or one of the original six. this fascinated me.

we were headed uptown to the airport. then she remembered frank or billy, he was like a father or a brother to her. we went back downtown to look for him.

we split up to look for him. i was walking along a construction site and these punks were laughing and coming toward me with plastic bags of blue paint. they were going to paint me blue. then there were only two of them and i got away.

we were going back uptown. she was driving. i thought, i'll never understand the traffic in this town. the light was red. three guys came up behind us on the sidewalk, the two on the outside holding up the one in the middle. he didn't look drunk, more like he was spastic or had serious problems. they were laughing about something - " that sounds like something you would hear at macdonalds". something about playing ball - i didn't get it because i'm not a real american. the guy on the outside turned into a fish/basketball and floated on his back in the gutter.

the light turned green. i started to know it was a dream. i woke up. i never saw her again. i never knew who she was.

Friday, November 13, 2009

the crushing ubiquity of chainlink

maybe it was the stalking mystery
that ran the perfect sidewalk blind,
waiting to pounce from the pebbled curb

that forced the bark of health to wonder
whether claws could crack the code
and the scarlet purring of a cougar mind.

sure, there was mustard slathered rye
and the delivery of a crumbly toast
to dispel the cryptic myths of bread:
a carnage of sandwich in a deft parade,
that produced this lathering of frothy madness.

what was missed in the grim procession
was a reaper moving from black to red
through the harvest of suburban hedgerows:
a scythe of pink deliverance in curved disguise.

one build-up, one moment, one release,
in the technicolor pomp of circumstance,
to pierce the pump that pumps no more:

one long commuting train leads to return-
it's a lonely way to save a crumpled ticket,
to come once again upon the carnal thicket.

it was just a canine flashing for a pound,
a reet petite on the down low snapping ,
insanely unaware of the limit of the links:
one bubbly ocean cry for foamy limits
in the uncertain azure of your prison mind.

no wonder dogs play poker.

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 is a poetic mashup with lyrics to the jazz standard "East of the Sun" as performed by Billie Holiday and written by Brooks Bowman (in italics)

I Settle for Graveyard Orbit

Season after season I live
until oxygen
decay my weary skull and
fimbulvinter makes men uneasy.

Finally the coronial
line breaks.
Magneto sheaths
implode on flesh of
men and gods alike.

What caused this fate?
A fatal break of honor.
I suffer under alligator blows while
avenging death with death and
emptying my cup.

Geomagnetic storms blow
the feedhorn,
deities rule the
snowy darkness.
No more stars while
naked skin goes at
highest bidding.

Dead men riding,
she jokes
at the half empty hangar.
A blue carcass inside a red body;
I eat you while time exist.

Solar winds pass between
long lines of men before
the bow shock.
I feel no reconnection as my limbs bend and
Mjolnir forms intoxicated vectors in the night air.

PO Johnson

Dear poet friends, I am sorry I posted two poems in a row. I couldn't help myself. I hope you like it. It says that you can post as many poems as you like. But of course I shouldn't take advantage of that.

Sleeping Craniums

In a shade of dark
must the near conjunction of our souls
make their exit.

No longer soil,
dear amice.
Let's celebrate grief with
cathedral harmony while
magnetotails blow hot red vapors
the cranium.

The minister stretching
out his bony hand,
resurrecting you
from nil.

The coronial hole
propelled by
electro jets far beneath
the aurora.

The curtain is
drawn for
the yester.

PO Johnson

moments to validate

The bus wasn't particularly crowded, but enough that she would have had to push her way through to validate
her ticket.
Instead, she stood in her space at the rear,
Bracing herself for the curves against the door.
She stood there, fingering and thumb flicking the edges
Of the red and yellow ticket.

Sensing the people around her but not hearing conversations.
Catching a few pairs of eyes near the front, snagged momentarily in her gaze.
But feeling that space, that there was nothing more for her to do but to watch for the door,
She settled down into the steam of thoughts.

That stream that's always there, as if she'd been wading just now
At the bus stop.
Looking for the bus and pulling out one ticket,
The stream swirling around her ankles.
Now she took the space to flop down in it.

The swimming reflection of blue eyes that match the sky,
Right where it meets the mountain.
Or at least her memory of them.
Gazing past the same scenes she passes every day,
The tones of a voice gently swirl up around her.

She smiles.

Feeling that smile, that outward reality,
she sees the things around her
The rows of grass between bare vines
now speckled with yellow dandelions.

There's always something to give reason for a smile
But she knows that it's the resonance that brings it.

green trampoline

the gypsy had a violin
the clown a trampoline
and when they bounced upon it
the universe turned green

go on like that forever
the king politely asked
and so they kept on bouncing
at their appointed task

the gypsy hit his head
against the moon
but that was no excuse
to lose his tune

the clowns mellifluous tears
put out the sun
and the lettuce and tomato
ran away with the bun

leaving the poor burger
high and dry
to watch the rabbit
write upon the sky

the line forms on the left
to watch the eclipse
and fatso gets dizzy
when skinny dips

and on the right
the queen of sheba sails
away to byzantium
in her seventeen veils

which float to heaven
from the magicians hat
and the clown says
i wish i'd thought of that

and the rabbit replies
you'll think of something better
so i sat down and wrote this song
in a letter

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Geomagnetically Induced Current

Once currents ironed my vision and
Armageddon deflowered my eyes.

I am not afraid of the magnetopause;
death is not void,
being is not plasma.

Bartels rotation number
concludes that we all must

He must never come back,
he must never come back.

The shrewd Sheppard
on hills recyclable
will not consume me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lysis Strata

You know...
The buildings in these parts
Are meant to slow way down
To dreams...
We animals,
Our lives
And once and future
And they're made
More or less of stone,
That was laid down
In ancient seas.
They'll teach you that
In school, 
It's a fact that you can see.

My home was once an ocean,
And in it's water their lived 
They lived and ate and prospered
They fell 
As mortal beings.
And when they hit 
The bottom,
Of the ocean,
And their lives;
They piled on slow
Upon the coldest
Saline pyre.

So the muscles of 
My neighbors
That I couldn't hope
To share;
They are bulging
And quite useful,
Or were once,
At getting 
What they'd bear.
In their case,
Way back,
It was stone,
Beneath our land;
Long after 
All those swimming
Rained down
On ocean sand.

And it's funny that I 
Have this fossil,
Chock a block to play;
With light upon the beginnings
And endings
Most of all our days.
A canvas colored painting
Accreted of those lives;
From tens of millions
Moments that most human's
Won't surmise.

(But that ain't the whole
Darn story friend...
Not in the least.)

All mountains hold
With features like
Their crumbling
Stone facades;
Their tendency to
Being helped
By something odd.
And this oddity 
Has much more to
Do with you
Than taught,
By the vessels of 
Our memory,
Observant at some cost.

Entombed within the mountains,
Which, to some might climb from time,
Are the simple shapes of life
Which trip a wo/man
In search of signs.

That life has been a constant,
No matter,
What, our history,
Though the secret
Is that you and I
Share quarry with these dreams.

This world in not
A cold stone
That is circling 
Round the sun,
But a curling
That it carries
Something fun.

Sure, a pretty
Kiddies picture book,
All red in tooth and claw,
But also big stone mountains
Which to life too
Must be drawn.

A sign of life
Is beautiful
From a garden
And from space.
From the moaning
And the labors
Of a birth...
So at a pace.

But the buildings
That when entered
Seem to cradle us anew,
As surely were 
The intentions of
The burly construction crew;
Also have upon their face
The comedy of life,
That so long as girls
Will have it
In stone can't
Be denied.

Your hands and eyes
Might have it
That they're victims
Of the world.
As they travel down
The spiral toward
A place where all
Are born.
But be soon appraised,
If you are kind
Enough to love,
The flight of a pigeon dove
And the same of your wife;
The short life 
We were
Before the mountains

You are younger than the water.  But you are older than the stone.

Jawahira bathes

Jawahira is bathing stream side
under a canopy of elms
while insisting you wear billowing pants
to ensure a modest afternoon.

her straight spine
a latticed shadow into heaven,
dappled by breezes
and leafy peaks of sun.

a cervical ladder
where salmon might leap
into a certain mortal spawn.

this is not the yoga
of the fortunate:
a pedestrian chakra
opening and quotidian.

we have gone from teal to purple,
from spleen to shining spleen:
we could have been solar pretzels
if the ovens only knew.

she raises mocha elbows-
braids sleek wet hair
into a black lattice of steps
that rise from sacrum to nape:

a comb oriented reverse Kama
that brings sweet olive into view
with undried beads pretending dew.

she, at the lapping edge, kneels nude
heels pressed into a shrine
of pearly opulence:

her breasts shimmer in the trout trembling pool.


I have dreams.
Dreams of scaling El Capitan
Clamped to the edge of the world,
Drifting at the edge of space.
Dreams of tall pines and sap on my fingers
The sting of scraped knees and my breath
Caught as we sway with the wind.
Or being old and weaving loose ends
The loose ends of a fortunate life.
Loose ends that slip into a comfortable knit
With an old friend with the right loose ends.
Dreams of being unknown
But knowing myself
Just driving off in a new direction
And being exactly what I feel like being.
Or spinning these things
Bits of death and love and reaching far places
With an unseen touch into the web.
Into the ebb, into the bed,
Into... and
Out of my head.
I will not live in dreams
But dreams are the thing.
The things that fill up the vast empty spaces
An oil that carries heat from the fire
To everything cold
To everything real.

the unexplainable man: toward midnight

ride the bus
see a million stories
forget them all

mocking eyes
sneering lips
terrifying teeth

you don't like it
why you take so long?

they punch each other
they kick each other
they laugh at each other

lincoln towncar
dark and silent
surrounded by mcdonalds doggie bags

two hundred people
pass the bag lady
walking one block

behind dark glasses
checking out the women
dreamer or killer?

shine of bottles
behind a bar
like no other light

clutching hand
from a blanket
in a doorway

better than words
now only words

death is real
it is chasing me
through the streets

Tuesday, November 10, 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.

© Francis Scudellari

Monday, November 9, 2009

they walked with purple angels

ricky don't write no poems
sally don't paint no walls
more fun than a barrel of monkeys
going over niagara falls

josie walked down first street
didn't mean no harm, she
wore high heeled sneakers and a purple dress
from the salvation army

two old maids in a folding bed
watching jerry springer
a billion bees in their bonnets
not one of them with a stinger

bobbi and billi were siamese twins
but no one ever saw them together
they stood on the corner at three a m
singing stormy weather

my favorite eggs are bacon
my favorite drink is ham
i'm an old fashioned feller
it's just the way i am

i walked with purple angels
and sang with pinstriped frogs
i read the new york times every morning
as the world goes to the dogs

i could go on like this forever
but mercy is my style
i'll get up and do the crossword
after a little while

senza ombrello

The headline read
Cold and a little humid... perfect for the super flu
Could have said,
The perfect weather to stay in bed
Or hide under your umbrella
Or the thoughts in your head
Whispers of snow
Breaths of ice
Wet the tracks, white the ties
Falling gently like rain, but lighter...
Lighter in layers
Of silk cotton and wool
Pulled from their beds
Spun woven and wrapped
Just to lift you up
When you find the weather
Senza ombrello

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Rocking chair sway
Here I stand again
Glued to the highest point
Stuck once more at the zenith
Where lip presses firm against tile

Complicated elements
I have lost myself again
Silent at the pinnacle
Cool and snug at the summit
And I am unrecognisable and fractious and glib

lion tamer

twenty six
miles away

and i still
want to be

one of the
class clowns, and

if only
i could stop

the lion
tamer from

his sad and

ways and go
back to the

broken fence
where we first

escaped from
uncle john

and the first
law of the

blue roller
coaster while

the clown cried
twenty six

twenty six
miles to east

st louis
ladies and

before the

white merry
go round stops

and all the

red horses
run away

When thinking was fun without drinking










and loving was living without









I knew the arc of the back of the cat.

Tonight I know nothing of that.

getting to penelope

I am a scaly godzilla come to part your waters.

I do not sense the cleanliness of my absence.

I do not notice the gone piles of dropped clothing,
the missing stacks of papers that might have
inked the tiled floor, the hardened preserves
and butter scoured from the kitchen counter.

I return boisterous and frothing into your shower
stall daydream thighs, incensed by scalding
jets of spray, lips made moist by fantasies
of monsters.

Forget the dusting, the scrubby fucking bubbles,
the violin lessons that are ended but not mastered,
the monkfish that blackens as we clash.

I am a man. I return for one thing and one thing only.

Let me slide across your soapy beaded pantheon, gore
your vaulted belly with my horny claws and worship.

Let me bleed a little with your tidy blood, scraping
your heaving cheeks with a day old beard.