Friday, November 2, 2007

Black Friday

What's the best day to dump bad news on an unsuspecting populace?
What can I say. Peer pressure got the best of me. Cue up said Megadeth, for I think that I'm about to be slaughtered. Thanks a lot asshats, I love you all. Just don't expect me to ever speak of the story behind this piece.
Some things are better left unsaid.


Speechless

Each mute harmony, a post in the dirt;
string them together, the ring grows tighter.
Breath choked away with ease, blood to follow,
seeding the fallow earth to swallow hope.

Guide the faultline with daytime rhetoric,
birthing the nightmare that frightens off sleep,
that tears the air from slowly scorching lungs
where the heat hangs long, desiccating love,

feeds the wounding within - silence without.
Vengeance suffers at the will of weeping,
supplicating in weak scriptoria;
verse lies unread as the stone tumbles down.


Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go drink heavily.

22 comments:

Scarlet Witch said...

What?

PoliShifter said...

I'm with scarlet...????

What the hell happened?

La Belette Rouge said...

Happy to see that peer pressure emboldened you to be "speechless."
Verse has been very much read.
(that is a bad sentence that I am going to leave as is).

For a man that claims to suffer from block, you somehow managed to audibly communicate the longings and sufferings that come from enduring a previously silent cacophony of a reticent anima.

No need for drinking....well, perhaps some champagne to celebrate your voice.

Candace said...

Scarlett, Polishifter - some of us, a/k/a "asshats" pressured Mon. Randal to publicize something he's written, so now, he has.

I'm with le belette rouge - Champagne! As I admitted in an earlier comment, I'm a peasant in that I'm one of those people who just don't "get" poetry. Even so, this piece evoked (in me, anyway) a feeling of desolation, as being in a dry, barren desert, of impotent rage that leaves one speechless, but you try to write of it, anyway. Is that anywhere close to what you are saying? (See, this is what is so daunting to me about poetry - what the heck are they saying, and why don't they just say it?) :) I know this sounds like, "I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like to look at." This is why I must stick with prose.

Well done, asshat.

Randal Graves said...

la belette rouge, merci, but in this case there was block. The incident, though neither ancient nor still unwrapped, was old enough to have had a long gestation before it became the piece you've since read.

Of course, that is in itself a danger. Though strong emotional imprints can certainly maintain their strength over time, would a piece written at a later date properly reflect its magnitude, or would it merely have become a ghost, a memory corrupted by time? Or the wrong words?

Candace, merci, and thanks for clearing that up. I didn't suddenly discover that I have a debilitating disease or that I've been drafted to be a diplomat in Iraq. :) And that's essentially what I'm saying; an initial, if not rage, unhappy surprise perhaps, moving into a silence. The soul may be screaming, but there are those who should be listening, but aren't.

And that's what's always drawn me to poetry, even if there's a concrete foundation for whatever is being conveyed, there's enough ambiguity to make it more ephemeral than prose. Not that I'm against prose, considering I spent the better part of this year writing one of those godawful things. How you guys do it on a regular basis boggles the mind.

Candace said...

Randal, how do you feel now that a bit of your writing has seen the light of day?

As promised, I put some of my writing up, and la belette rouge did, too - well actually, she got by on a technicality because she had previously posted a poem. I've nudged my inner french girl to post something, as well.

But the main thing - how do you feel about it now? I see the Queen is not hairlipped...

Randal Graves said...

Honestly, I'm not sure. I suppose that it was painless, at least upon initial examination. Still, ranting and raving is far easier to put out there for all the world to see than something personal like that.

My Inner French Girl said...

Randal,

Bonjour! I've been neglectful of checking other blogs of late, but weekends are never good for me.

Wow. As others have mentioned before, I'm amazed at your so-called writers' block. Would that I could be so eloquent when all my mind wants to do is recite dialogue from Peanuts strips. The sensation I have when reading your poem is of devastating loss and a bottomless abyss. Er, I've no idea what you're writing about, but my God, man, get yourself that damn drink and FAST.

I love reading poetry but suck royally at it. I love your facility with words, your metaphors, your visions. Dark, yes, but while I tend to be a rather cheerful sort, I like to plunge into the abyss sometimes and dwell in the shadows. That's where all of my best writing usually comes from.

And no, as I mentioned to Candace in a comment on my own blog, I'm afraid I just don't have the guts to post any of my own work. Not only is it a horrific mess in first draft form, but, uhm, it's a really horrific mess in first draft form. I'll see if I can root around here for something that I've written elsewhere, but I can't promise anything.

I thought the whole point was to get you to join us in the agony that is NaNoWriMo and rid yourself of this writing block? I say, mission accomplished and leave it at that! ;-)

Salut,
Marjorie

p.s. My favorite poets are Kipling and A.E. Housman. Simple, yes, but I'm a sucker for tortured Victorian-era men and their colonial fetishes.

Randal Graves said...

Je vous remercie. Et ne vous inquiétez pas, always time for a drink! I suppose that most of my stuff is either dark or wistfully longing in a wake-up-and-smell-the-reality kind of way. But they - whomever "they" is - say write what you know.

Regarding your stuff, I understand. Of course, we cannot promise to stop badgering you about it. So be forewarned. :)

And what's wrong with simple? That's often harder to compose than something overtly complex where it's easy to hide behind endless metaphors and thick language. When creating something, it's always good to remember something a great artist once said: it's such a fine line between clever and stupid. :)

My Inner French Girl said...

I've been thinking lately that I really should read some Hemingway, starting perhaps with A Moveable Feast. He wrote really punchy prose, something I want to do more of. Being Filipino, I have a tendency to write overwrought first drafts. I read of one writing instructor who has his students slash all adverbs, adjectives and other unnecessary words during editing, which often led to tighter essays. I'd like to try that with this novel.

I'm hoping to have my first draft completed by the end of December, which was my original goal. I doubt any of it will be ready for primetime, but perhaps I'll share a chapter from the 2nd draft in the spring. Whatever the case may be, I look forward to finishing it and getting your input!

Salut,
Marjorie

Randal Graves said...

Oh, that writing instructor scares the living hell out of me. That's my bread and butter, oodles of unnecessary words. I have no plot, so I have to flower up the language into a stifling greenhouse of overwrought prose.

Regardless of style, since they're all valid - how's that for some affirming Stuart Smalley-itis? - I'd love to see whatever you have whenever it's finished!

La Belette Rouge said...

Randal and IFG,
I could fill a book with all that I have learned from writing teachers and then quickly ignored. :)
I have to say that if I was required to edit out the unnecessary and the superfluous I would have nothing to say. Style over substance, is my motto. I am not a fan of sparce writing. Just my humble opinion.

And when you bring up Stuart Smalley, one of my few brushes with greatness was being hit on by Al Franken--- lo, many-many years ago. I am telling you, because my husband is getting tired of hearing about it.

La Belette Rouge said...

Randal and IFG,
I could fill a book with all that I have learned from writing teachers and then quickly ignored. :)
I have to say that if I was required to edit out the unnecessary and the superfluous I would have nothing to say. Style over substance, is my motto. I am not a fan of sparce writing. Just my humble opinion.

And when you bring up Stuart Smalley, one of my few brushes with greatness was being hit on by Al Franken--- lo, many-many years ago. I am telling you, because my husband is getting tired of hearing about it.

My Inner French Girl said...

I know. Frightening, isn't it? But I must say, I subscribe to the philosophy in theory. I'll let you know how the hacking goes once I've done the foul deed myself.

Salut,
Marjorie

La Belette Rouge said...

And, dear MIFG,
From the writing I have read of yours--I feel confident I will enjoy what ever you write wheter it is lean with adjectives or not. :)
LBR

Randal Graves said...

One can certainly have style and substance. I cringe when thinking about someone telling Proust to eliminate all the unnecessary words. There'd have been one slim volume instead of seven big ones.

And I second LBR. Just from the blog posts I've read, it should be pretty damn good. :)

I've never met Al Franken, though I'd like to, as long as he refrains from getting a bit too friendly. And I can safely say that I've never been hit on by anyone famous. Nor infamous, nor quotidian. So whatever you've heard is purely fictional.

My Inner French Girl said...

LBR, merci beaucoup for your kind words! There are days when I'm very conscious of each adjective and adverb I write, and then there are others when I just gleefully throw in everything, even a swoon or two, just for the hell of it. The editing should be quite fun.

Randal, merci merci merci to you as well! I hope I live up to your expectations. If not, well, tough cookies. ;-)

Wynton Marsalis' trombonist once asked for my phone # after a concert in a private home. Does that count?

Salut,
Marjorie

Randal Graves said...

Sure it counts. Celebrity by proxy? :)

My Inner French Girl said...

Randal,

Ah, but I'm embarrassed to say that I was so unused to the attention that I inadvertently gave him a number that I had already requested to be disconnected just a few days later. Don't ask me why -- I was an unsophisticated little duckling who couldn't flirt to save her life. Sigh. This was years ago, but my best friend has yet to truly forgive me for missing the opportunity to get score him free tickets to the next Marsalis concert.

Salut,
Marjorie

Randal Graves said...

I think most people are bad at that sort of thing when they're younger. Some of us still are. I couldn't even imagine trying to date these days. Some days it pays to have that ring. :)

And hey, she wanted free tickets, perhaps she should have gone with you!

Freida Bee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freida Bee said...

I have ventured back here, to a time predating my discovery your blog, which so raptuously included the word "ennui" in the title, and found this gem.

Very rarely, I read my husband something I wrote and he'll say something like, "Damn, that's depressing," but after nine years, he knows that is par for the course as do I his "appreciation."

Since the summer I have thrived, poetically speaking, in a one-sided email rapport I have cultivated with a person I met on the interwebs in a literary capacity, and wonder, at times, what it might be like to actually be in a more reciprocative scenario as such...?