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die to live

7 Jan

Susan Scutti

Just as a bitter memory is dislodged from her heart, the train arrives in the station.

The morning is a siren gone dead from overuse.

Snow has fallen and now covers the tar rooftops.
Daylight shines through the broken blinds.

His face is a child’s drawing made only with circles.

In the steel support rust forms the shape of a kidney.

A jagged pattern weaves through his neurons.
She has a compulsion to sacrifice.

The night is a nod and a sneeze.

title is from Much Ado About Nothing

what is

10 Dec

Susan Scutti

on the wall encaustic paintings contain separate fevers
and hang like untasted fruit

Sunday is a widening curve
the membrane bends in silence
as memories cascade

rain has been selected to distill this mood
while fire is meant to release the spirit
inhale the transporting smoke, exhale a vacating mind

there is little in this world that is meant to keep
but the sound of machines still fill the air
and the clouded sky never ends

nearly 12 miles

1 Dec

Susan Scutti

again we are here suspended above the earth
confident of the unspooling night
newly aware that the other is the self and not

we are without our fathers
as icy waters surround this accumulation of concrete and sadness
the surface of our alienation serrated like a knife

although our gestures fail on occasion
we hear the call of birds as we walk impoverished avenues
chill winds discovering the island of our face

vagus : Latin, wandering as in vagus nerve

17 Aug

Between the moment of rest
and the moment of action
the painter’s brush caresses the canvas
the wood, the density of
time, a thought of you
intrudes, and it is
felt as a

wounded, rewarded

in his wasteful wantful way
we divided the spoiled and examined them
righteous, flagrant, schon

the train sweeps past every ten minutes
or so i am told
in the equation I am x factor, you are y
mitochondrial dna
y chromosome
how strange to think of

the necessity to act
the clean sheet is the neat retreat is
the following after an ideal

reply to no sender
I am automated inferior
an invented thought of a pseudonyminous being

so they think so i believe

to do, to think, to be

night is christ

underground within the city
a lingering presence
a floundering concern

well-spent time, an investment of concern
this vocabulary of usury
applied to soul

will we encounter the void as one?
don’t we already.

at the callosom

21 Jul

cular and veinous though you may be
traveling this way leads

prevailing solid
downstream emotion
for the same reason you are my foe
i am the clipped branch

a week ago

22 May

Susan Scutti

at the party the art opening the party
white wine was chilled and served and the people gathered

in a thickly accented
the woman spoke
the artist

how badly she wanted people to see
this most ancient of art forms
lacquer paintings that are so hard

she left her daughter behind when she was 12

and the artist has great purpose, such great purpose to share her work which is based on ancient methods so she travels around the world and she has brought forth life and cast it off as well and the daughter is
and the mother travels everywhere making herself known and felt and listened to and photographed

she wanted more people in the shot
calling out to others

and oh paintings crowded the walls of the crowded room the paintings made with gold leaf and black and red oil to form characters that seemed to melt into the background and disappear like marks made by a child’s hand

so much of life is lost and then there is what is remembered and stored in recesses of the brain to be brought into light or not

what occurred in my father’s mind while he was failing from alzheimer’s, what exactly is decline?


13 May

Susan Scutti

i am a pulse responsive to
generations unborn

my vision narrowed to unquestioned facts:
this room, this night, this man

how innocent the mob
how quiescent the spaces between leptons

empty like time
the sturm und drang of fortunes

speechless, the many buildings spire toward heaven
babel is here upon your screen

unseen and perched on a high branch

22 Apr

Susan Scutti

the god of mystery
attended your birth
imagination was your midwife
and delirium the bath she plunged you in
to wash away your newborn tears

now you are here having flown high above a salty ocean
to arrive where you are wanted


what is required of you is
reflex & gasp
Oh how the others continue wanting to shield themselves
from the secrets of the past


14 Apr

Susan Scutti

how long till the blunt faces

on the train evaporate from memory

only to melt into the unremembered stations of

daylight          or is it nightfall? later as you wait on a

park bench                                     you recall the afternoon:

sleeping swans floating on the pond’s surface               envy

parading at water’s edge          the molten god once again aloft

to think it all began for you with a physical contortion         two

bodies askew on a bed                        some internal logic forced

a liquid perimeter trespassed then multiplication commenced

separation undone           another singularity created

how it is the geometry of beginning equals

some compulsion to end

Happy people don’t plan wars

18 Mar

Susan Scutti

instead they sit in snug rooms
contemplating the flavors of impending meals
the pleasures of smoke and the age of
the red wine that flows in no way like
and once sated they make love
co-existing without rancor
and why are most never schooled
to understand this is exactly
what life can be

enjoyed so as to avoid
unnecessary pain

the child alone
with stick and stone


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