Susan Scutti's poems are published in The New York Quarterly, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Philadelphia Poets, New Observations, Aloud: Voices from Nuyorican Poets Cafe and other journals and anthologies. In addition, a collection of her short stories, The Renaissance Began with a Muted Shade of Green, was published by Linear Arts Press in 1999. Two of her novels, Second Generation and A Kind of Sleep have been independently published. She runs a reading series, Tone Poem, at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC.
He'd never made any distinction between his mother and other women come and go, even if they do seem necessary for a moment by moment he lives, he has no truck with the past, takes what he needs are not what matter, he can locate a woman's desire as swiftly, he fashions a string of words, a convincing lie, a fictional line on which he hangs his mother's dirty laundry, she was a junkie, he loved drugs too until they became so fashionable among the girls from Amherst think he's sexy and they're the ones who bestow trophies fill his suitcase, he wins all the merit badges in a career composed of constant travel, he arrives at another destination, signs books, reads poetry is his natural articulation, metaphor never confused him unlike his mother is no longer alive, she never found it within herself to give, to continue by train, by plane, speeding forward, he moves on, the next woman, why would you give this man your precious minutes when his next volume is a bloody, beating thing as mysterious as his mother felt no tenderness for him, none, and this he can never forget.
Originally published in Philadelphia Poets
The first time I came up to you My father held my hand and I Tasted your exhausted breath, Felt the rush of your steam Against my thighs and looking up I saw Your dark skies Squared by buildings Rising up, up, Higher than heaven could go. I pulled my hand from my Father's and hearing the Grumble of your subway voice My fearful heart curled inside of me. Smaller, smaller I grew backwards: seven then six, five, four, three, two, One, fetal again, Finally only my Soul remained, a Pale spirit adrift in your Dark streets, my heart was silent As if I had never been born. Father Manhattan, Burst your pain inside a womb of pleasure: I want to be your daughter. I want to survive you when you're sold. I want to echo your siren speech. Father, Father (Art in heaven) I still haunt your skyscraped nights. O, Manhattan: conceive me.
Originally published in The Outlaw Bible of American Poets
And then there's this incredibly long pan where the camera moves from the dirty china to the empty Heinekens past a few slices of fluffy cake and a single cigarette burning to ash in the tray until the pan ends with a brief shot of some burgundy stain spread dead center in the white table cloth. There's another part, too, at the beginning of the video: the camera zooms in on the couple alone at the altar and you see Maria move: just a flicker. She turns to take a last look at this man she's marrying. Even through her veil you see fear scorch her face. But the best part comes near the end when the camera starts on the dance floor then slides from table to table and you see all of us there and every expression on every face looks the same. we have held desire in adulterous arms we have loved selfishly and aborted desperately we have wanted what is not ours We are related. Finally, the camera returns to take a departing shot of the married couple who stand united against the chaos of living. having tasted the body having drunk the blood we walk free within the bonds of family
Originally published in Aloud: Voices from Nuyorican Poets Cafe