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    the waltz in my blood

          Waterloo Press, 2011:    £10       ISBN: 978-1-906742-40-9

To order the waltz in my blood, click here for Waterloo Press

or contact Mario at mmpetrucci@hotmail.com


our first
wrinkle in time
– irreversible gingerbread

softening in its thimbled broth
millimetres retuning
us to that

dim half
-hour we wrestled
slow & emphatic for the not yet

now – that bedside
way you pull off your skirt & th-

ought a powder
we have yet to give
water to or some aroma sweet &

shrill – transparent
smoke clung to ceilings
filoed by light that monthly

grows downwards
petalling flesh   to palm
each fist or

swirl our muffling
movements    in

each word

        (c) Mario Petrucci 2011


Michael Davidson, discussing George Oppen and the Objectivists, speaks of “language as participant in thought”. In the waltz in my blood we witness a language-led experiment as unprecedented as it is thought-provoking. Revisiting prior collections, Mario Petrucci runs his earlier poems through the mill of his current approach, using the ‘originals’ as metaphorical and linguistic grist. In effect, he rethinks the older sensibility by means of a younger language – one he has voiced energetically throughout his ongoing, evolutionary i tulips project.

Presented side by side, some poem-pairs glide Astaire-and-Rogers-like across the dance floor, locked together cheek to cheek; others, however, do not care to avoid toes – in fact, seem more like sparring partners. The second part of the book moves boldly into ‘rewrites’ of other poets, with Petrucci inviting those authors to participate in his enterprise by suggesting fresh directions in diction, imagery and style.

the waltz in my blood is undoubtedly a major tributary within the vast delta of Petrucci’s i tulips sequence; but it also provides a fascinating insight into the richly complex creativity informing this vital, vibrantly contemporary dialogue between British and American modernist poetics.

“Mario Petrucci is a true polymath, blending disciplines to exultant and exalting effect… Petrucci’s tulips promise to grow into a truly ambitious landmark body of work.”

Poetry Book Society Bulletin

"Resounds with the poet’s characteristic layering of insight, his fascination with the fractured musical opportunities offered by the poetic line… his utter commitment and devotion to language."

Flarestack Poets

"Mario Petrucci is not so much a poet as an architect… with a touch both commanding and playful… Well worth reading as a weighty example of expert experimentation."

The Frogmore Papers 79

"Reminds me of the leap that occurred in painting from Expressionism to Cubism... Many of the poems in the waltz in my blood are inscapes, to use Hopkins's term, and there is in Petrucci's work an intensity that encourages one to stay with it."

Ambit 208

"Conception, birth and bloodlines are dominant metaphors in a collection which returns again and again to the association of biological processes with writing and thought. Petrucci traverses this double terrain with subtlety and skill.”

DURA [Dundee University Review of the Arts]

"Flickering and sudden, absorbed in the energy of the immediate… There is an invitation to be a part of the poet’s experimental journey in finding a different utterance."

Tears in the Fence 57

“Anything by Petrucci is worth pausing for.”

Times Literary Supplement



copyright mario petrucci 2011