My breviary is not an antiquated litany.
But robust with viands, a supreme feast.
O’ Francis er St; Paul’s beatific asceticism.
Er the iconic mysticism learnt not given.
My hosannas sing in Latinized refrains.
Sans the humanistic, requisite Romance,
O’ the body’s feral, hungering flitting need.
Sans circumstance’s lascivious dance.
My book is o’ sorrowful comforting psalms.
Er the doctrines o’ Leviticus & the holy writ
O’ canon law, meant for the pious & the poor.
The Franciscans’ hair-shirt, stippled by the lash.
& the ones whose tears are still restrained;
Ner the salinized stigmata o’ the fleshy palm
Neath then & now, we fill in with rain.
His wounds art a festoon, a garlanded balm.
The slicked dress o’ the postulant’s hematic rivulet,
O’ susurrations that neath it lay in a graven field;
O’ a bevy er bey o’ contrition, & of which we
Hunker in, & with it & on it, we pray er do yield.
Ethics & pittoresca & the moralistic overlay.
The dandling notes between Byzantine & Baroque
Art strung from the divine, ner mortal hands
O’ which in gladness, I doth, & do blandly evoke.
Doth I paint er press my ear, & e’er fill the air;
A chanteuse grazing the bowels o’ the pitiless viol.
Crafting cross the spruce- rosewood concave box,
My bow resting on the hole as an appoggiamano.
In the midst of the panorama, a child is formed
In the Elysian fields o’ an apoplectic that hears
The choir & of this alien who doth reach er aspire
Beyond the mundane, o’er the brightening bier-
A noviziato may seem to flee this errant torrid life,
Her heels- clipped feathers- resembling pinions
O’ a vulcher er dove, that would, buoyant bird,
Ascend hurriedly, from this polluted volatile world.
Extirpating self, neath the flagellant’s leathery cloath.
Shunning the bridle mantle for a convent cloistered stable.
The passion o’ the nun in her vestal sack, er ashen shrift.
The abjuration, doth not weigh on the plain pure label.
I am at once enflamed in an all-consuming conflagration.
My lissome form, my being, so debilitated that it disappears
A latticed sheen, thru which the sun shrinks & reappears,
The dissidence apparent, is a diaphanous er opaque blear.
O’ doth it course, o’er my pale wan indistinct form;
Doth it, enliven, with enervated but solemn aplomb;
Doth it, thru this save what could surely be, my reason,
My industry, laid waste, sacrificed with needless qualms.
Upon a plinth, a bond to God, obscuring that treasure
Lanced for a momentary, compulsory dutifully done pleasure.
That my needed gift be sought, er sown, that my body retain
Its limitlessness, the trove, a seat unfurrowed yet to be honed.
I fall in, not in self-serving egoism, but in him, in Christ’s ideal
His unsentimental application, er his unremitting joyless agony.
O’ the diurnal, dreary, laborious rosary o’ the saintly crucifixion,
Not the echo o’ the call, o’ the grandiose romantic anchorite.
Er the dandified hermit, er a sparrow, pirouetting on his wing
Er in the lonely thatch-worked narrows er a suitable sweet thing
Er the pleasing serpent’s tongue, which pleasures the ear
With affections, mollified temptations o’ the faint plaint leer.
Lulling one either to the precipise wherein they may sit
Heralded a fashion, on a rock renouncing whilst the gaping
Horde paints the pastoral o’ his pristinely lain port.
These are equal devils o’ the gnarled knotted harried noose.
But yet, they do not please, whilst the heft o’ the yoke
That strokes my brow, the constant silence, the service
Er the expiation, er the penance, patent confession,
Er the millstone afflicting translucent milky bones-
Is more than needed, & obligies me with a weight,
I ought, & now own, which tortures, like lime flattening
My back, each vertibrae inverting the calcified mass
Whilst constricting movement, long the supplicant’s dais.
Ossicles akin to penduatling discs imploding, grafting
Ligments in an unending, amplified, distressing duress.
The crossbar of the patibulum its invisible, intrisc shaft
Pierces what t’s left, thu the burthen bared is not suppressed.
Do not eat o’ a thistle, its prickly ovaluated poking sac
Skewering the mouth in a visceral virtual all out attack.
Er a vesicle on the vine, for the bitter water coolly sublime.
Whilst the rebellious trill recoils unconsciousessly er slack.
& climbs with a hey,ho! To lead & verily, keenly, shout
Come back, er squash & temper that still, with yr reins,
Voices that stretch cross the proverbial, sunken terrain.
Sweet & unctuous, plaintive & presumptuous with a tang.
In this battle doth he, did he, materialize, slow moving semblance
In the auric, refracting, incandescence that is HIS LIGHT.
Did he, & his mother listen with polemics & cut& chastize
Ripping thought from throat, whilst professing & curtailing
With their leathery wings & captious inscouant airs,
Grimacing with side slanting lips at the holy hewn despair.
That the postulent in her handmedown habit winces
In reticence whilst flickering eyes flash & falter by.
O’ leavings o’ misery art not the same as Christ’s cry!
The joyful tintinnabulations er the winnowing light.
Er the wandering variances o’ the ruinious inward eye
That rises hind lids & smiles wanly else it divide.
She keeps her ego in-slid, insulated in the drawer.
In the affixed cushion upon which she did sits
Er neath the fibrous piling o’ eggshell tinged stuffs
Sheaths writ with great care, prepossessing thrift.
Er self-confessing, a manual o’ silences er in which
Humility is oft the the least bared- e’er doth she slip
Between the gloaming & sundry hours with quill er
Chalk to pen neath sweat er the fraught elicited quip.
E’er stowing it in, mid-deep & tacking it in wood relief.
But, ho! Did she not return & find the seat’s edges flayed
Er with a reckless disergard, rummaging that did betray
The prized notes askance - woolly reams hastily frayed.
Thence to the oven, its embers- the brazers & hearth
She threw in the epistles, sermons, queries, appeals
To his righteousness, er his goodness that they not miss the mark
& watched with a sadness churning neath the cowl o’ her cowl
Whilst the revereies drifted in thru the nights o’ ruminations toil
She whose appellation was worn without a coronet o’ titled airs
Whilst knitting the weave o’ grand, saintly, unpresumptive wears
Her wimple o’er its youthful pate e’er exacting on self & same.
 Caterina had an accident in which her back was flattened by heavy limestone, resulting in chronic pain in the lumbar region.
 During fasting she had a vision of the Virgin and Christ child.
 She was worried that her vision instead of being holy was a trick by the devil.
 Caterina wrote out a journal with her confessions and then threw it into the oven, worried that the contents were self-serving.
Before him, there was a child, before him, life was mild.
Before him, the dust determined itself in the warm breese.
Before him, I could kneel upon an oak er mastic woolly tree.
Before him, my smile was held as dolce as the white capped sea.
Before him, the play o’ my skirt was not viewed dangerously.
Before him, my work was ner tainted in the rape o’ chastity.
Before him, I was met with honorums, & erudite appellations.
Before him, I was not levelled with acrimonious illicit liberality.
Before him, the streets of Rome were an artists’ royal haven.
Before him, my maidenhood was ner sullied er questioned.
Before him, I had the light o’ youthful ambiguity in my eyes.
Before him, there was certainty in my careful rectilinear designs.
Before him, I hung at the end o’ my father’s vast clipped apron.
Before him, the well o’ her maternal spell filled each incised line.
After him, the little bit that had been, seemed a stolen treasure.
After him, came the infinite, ominous, darting stark rumours.
After him, Rome became alive in unkindly tongued measures.
After him, I drifted as a fallen, shiftless abstract, spinning beggar.
After him, conversaziones fell in an abyss o’ wayward pleasures.
After him, words were summarily swallowed in ample droves.
After him, the length of loneliness became a feverish groan.
After him, my knuckles ached whilst movement crawled o’er bone.
After him, the hum o’ sibilant bees roved maddeningly at me.
After him, the pines pecked in with a piquish hateful quality.
After him, young girls & grey puckered spinsters snickered ruefully.
After him, my head lolled & lolloped lengthwise cross my lap.
After him, the bedding was forever a cold, crennulated blockade
After him, my shift upturned, the play o’ a stoic tightly tressed maid.
In the aftermath, wilt my brush be praised, er apprised as great.
Its broom swaying romantically crosst a broadly based loom.
The plush feel o’ the lineaments flecked thru linseed & flax.
The lacquered barrel o’ its winnowy stem felt worn & maroon.
Its grace born up thru mizzle fine sediments o’ pigment & cracks
My supple crested wrist that leant lovingly was a cradled boon.
O’er many a famed fluted frame er ormolu appended plaques.
Where’re the sidelong silouhettes o’ Judith & Abra lit in rooms
Where’re the opacity o’ Cleopatra’s breast slipped neath & let
The hunger o’ the intrepid asp curl within her ivory base cleft.
Where’re Lucretia not thru despondency, but in a height set
Her able dagger to her heart, to avenge she who had been beset
In her somnatic hour, when will, & strength oftimes offsets.
Though not in a moment of acquiescence nor lacking reason.
She, like Mary, Judith, Bathsheba, Cleopatra, worthy women
Femme Forte, sailed acrosst my panoply, the sheets o’ them
Filling the days er the nights o’ long starrless er moonless fens
Wherein what had been, & what would be, whirred a myriad
That o’ the plains o’ their faces, secerned as jaunce lit beacons.
Seen as less than, in the light o’ humoured honorous men.
Yet, buoyed by their fearless acts, er by some deemed ferocous.
Their coolly raised palms, their prow twisting yea hefting again.
In a feat not shaped in delicacy but purposely, & rigidly audacious.
That the curve o’ her blade, whether Judith’s, Lucreti’s er mine
Wld fly thru the air, with a savoir fair, a razor whip edged tine
That in the instance o’ its landing, wld jab in soft, rupturing spines.
Er wld find where the heart is rumoured to lie, its tumid orb
Encased in the arch & bendy stone at the throttling listing node.
Before him I was a child, my canvas’s were sedantry er mild.
My palette & brush wert steeped in my fathers’ esteemed lave.
Before him, I had known simple trust, his aged hand in mine,
Er the shadow o’ her maternal, caring, intemerate confines.
Before him, the penumbra o’ Judith er Susanna were glyphs
In a hornbook, er the holy book, er the epistles canon writ.
Before him, my sheets had been unstained bitterness contained
To the empty chair, the desolate plate, her cassone etched kit.
Before him, I had one need, to create, with a painterly cause
That would mix my colours er outline in changeable tableaus.
Before him, the subtext was pixie play, ambiently laid gauze.
The whisp o’ hair, a veiled lock o’er the eye, a wink o’ show.
Before him, there was no aversion overt er hidden suit er clause
Breath came as a free flowing pool without hestiation & without rules.
Oh, runnel rolling down
Each moment leaving me unspun.
Down Dante’s ladder
Beasts and brethren in conviviality amass and herd
Un-milked steers hairy, hoary supple rears.
Lobes glistening in the realm of the Empyrean.
Oh, roll me down the corridors of men
Who have loved the sumptuous, the perfect ass-
Not whiling away hours amidst bosoms,
Nor deflowering with shaft.
No let me roll down Dante’s ladder, gradations in torment
Levelled precisely at this near faultless form
Who never knew the sour smell,
Nor felt e’en the savoring’s, the after mixture
Promises lingering in the morning air.
Oh, let me lay sozzled, disrobed, unrestrained
From the neighing, braying, suffocation;
The hoard and fetid mass; boars and the rank worn ass
Oh, let me be unattended -blissful profligate.
Ner hiding from solemn eyes,
Those judging, obdurate caviling pleas,
Who deigned to lift my dressing;
Mocking and cavorting, sneering and deriding.
The ham-hocked vine low- flaccid and forlorn,
Spent and drawn into the vacuum o’ me cavernous sheath.
Me, hands toiled and laid thru the gloaming doom
Forty days and forty nights; I am now a plundered thing,
But upon awakening and seeing the blasphemous leering,
My lips once slack in wooziness, purse and grimace
Whilst foaming that ever monstrous reprieve
Omen for the obscure, generations now and evermore.
Taken you will be in chains, for all to see,
Hideous compilations, tinged and tainted for all eternity, Darkened by the branding flame
Whilst thrown into the sham-wrecked sea.
Nero’s wife bore these pains-not once, but twice.
Her will a steely wielded iron chain.
How alike art we -exiled to a life.
Riven by graded ascensions- fashioned in based pretentions.
O’ let me walk in her morocco brown heeled sandals,
With the flap o’ her white shift, toga quartered,
O’er her stately shoulder, crisp marble borders.
O’ let me feel her bones cradled within mine,
And know her pain t’which lights a flame, twin auric,
Twin piqued & within the conal fusion find release.
Photos provided by the poet