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    The Bone Ship

          Xxxxxx Press: 0 Xxx 202x   Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-00000-000-0; £ 0.00


Plastic surgeon (1882 – 1960)

I advance flaps – loop tubes of skin
: tunnels
to transport cellular troops to required fronts

A blunt nose might begin near the collar – a brow
above the ear
– a palate reach up from neck – so each may attempt

the smile for the wife : as with that luckless gunner from
HMS Warspite
now wearing goggles of his own chest as though at dinner

he had lifted to the blenched & boggling face a tucked-in
napkin of himself
Ah – they have said how my knife this sculpting scalpel

is war’s angel that accosts flesh to make bridgeheads
of itself : but I
never ask whether those features remember their

once-entrenched strips of body : the man bled
of expression
waking to such lost manoeuvres of lips –

feeling all across that leathered mask
where a woman’s hand touched

        (c) Mario Petrucci 202y

To order, contact X Press by clicking here:

or contact Mario at mmpetrucci@hotmail.com

"The wide and varied scope of Mario Petrucci’s poetry is impressive, but its underlying strength is in its passionate coherence. The Bone Ship offers us a synopsis of the poet's deep concerns; and yet the very first line provides the clue as to what powers the book's incisive language: the poems of science, medicine or war, as much as those of physical tenderness, are impelled by a fierce and vulnerable love."
Philip Gross

The Bone Ship draws on a quarter of a century of bold, vibrant composition. It brings a degree of closure to Petrucci’s oeuvre, gathering uncollected poems written between mid-1995 and the beginning of 2020, aside from his epic i tulips sequence which is amply represented elsewhere. Petrucci unflinchingly explores love, loss, family, mortality, war and woundedness, climate change, space, science and the metaphysics of data. He also presents excerpts from major commissions and residencies: the Imperial War Museum, the Royal College of Surgeons, the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad, and BBC Radio 3. With clarity, courage and craft, The Bone Ship successfully navigates those fertile waters between the modern and the eternal.


* * *   VIDEO / AUDIO excerpts from The Bone Ship ....   (not for redistribution)   * * *


GENE - a unique take on Climate Change, placed 3rd in the National Poetry Competition...
Note: if Youtube (below) doesn't play, click here for archived video (this may take a short while to download)


* * *

NIGHTWALKER - Petrucci's powerful IWW poem on YouTube...
Note: if Youtube (below) doesn't play, click here for archived video (this may take a short while to download)


* * *

LION'S TOOTH - a totally unexpected look at love-loss, as featured on YouTube...

UKRAINE WAR... An edited extract from the book, entitled in Kyiv, is given global reach during the height of the conflict (24 March 2022) in the Kyiv Post.    If this external link doesn't work, a pdf of the poem is provided here.

TIME IN SCIENCE was Petrucci's mesmerising audiovisual scientific collaboration exploring 'big data', particularly its impact on modern consciousness.    Commissioned by the JRC SciArt Programme and the Resonances III 'Big Data' Datami Festival, Ispra 2019.

For pure audio (without visuals or music, etc.) ... click here.
Or watch the full film ... here.
For the text of the poem ... click here.

PHILAE - the closing poem of the book - was deployed by the European Space Agency [click here] to mark its inspirational comet landing... Like the comet probe, this poem is - in its own way - a tiny voyager riding the vast and equally mysterious limits of language.    To listen to the poem, click here... or to read Philae on the Literature and Science Hub, click here.

Also, for 'Fuzzy Richness', a fascinating interview on science & poetry with Petrucci on that same site, click here.

Reviews of The Bone Ship...

“xxxxxxxxxx.”   Exxx 182 (June 202y; Pxxxx McXxxxx).


copyright mario petrucci 2021