Friday, April 11, 2008

Re - cy - cling?

"Kids, always recycle. TO THE EXTREME!"

This isn't a public service announcement about separating the aluminum cans and glass jars from the rest of your refuse, but about taking your discarded creative crap and fashioning something that is, if not worthy of praise, at least worthy of not being stabbed to death. If it was a person, which it's not.

Anyway, I don't really have any profound statements on the matter -- or on any matter, for that matter (no, no, I'll stop). Simply that when you excise chunks from your novel, lines from your poem, measures from your song, don't throw it in the garbage. Ever.

Within the poem below, there are two lines that are not all that new, one from a couple of months back, and one that is at least a few years old. I liked the imagery, the actual sound of the words, but they didn't fit all that well in the pieces they were initially cut from. Thus, where the hell is my highlighter? Always easier to have letters buried in the junk catch one's eye when they're surrounded by a sea of fluorescent orange, especially now that my vision seems to geometrically get worse with each passing year. Though for some strange reason, my wife, not that much younger than I, is the one who always gets the AARP and Golden Buckeye mailers, all while getting carded now and then when she buys the booze, whereas I probably have the visage of someone's old dirty uncle.

Oh yeah, my point.

The emotions surrounding something I've written, fragmented or not, are bound to resurface at some place in the space-time continuum, so, whenever I'm in a creative rut or suffering from the nasty infection of writer's block, I'll scour the cryptic, dead language of my notebooks -- I don't exaggerate, they honestly do look like some undecipherable, antediluvian code -- in the hope of being inspired, of finding something malleable. More often than not, that proves to be a pointless exercise of hopelessly rummaging through already-picked-clean carcasses, but if I'm feeling extra full of my default state of shit sunny or even that rarest of emotions, melancholia, the pen will be kind enough to write something. Thankfully -- or not thankfully, depending on your point of view -- it was.

Pandemonium’s death

The maelstrom screams wishes into ash
as day and night clash within gnarled whispers
of vacant words, your binding tresses. Black
secrets beneath brought forth into twilight,
into darkening shade; hallowed murmurs
arrayed in red, steeped in ways of chaos,
submit to our immortal order. Old
omens stalk, draw life in the pained quiet –
comes the misrule of seductive hours.
Desire, you create and devour
betwixt sun and moon, so pulled down below.
O time, what do mine eyes with grief behold?

Plumes of stars reawaken paradise –
the wanton illusion, the deceiver
enthroned in the constellations above.
Draped by the empyrean adorned with gold,
this legerdemain: chasms lured from sleep
to meet your gaze and find their reflection.
Clarity struck by a graceful weapon,
the silent speech lay wreathed around our feet,
punishment birthed with each wretched step
traveling beyond greying horizons
to slumber and dream in the dying lands,
to live centuries from a verdant touch.

The flame extolled, condemned, now extinguished,
descends through the coil of smoke. Evening
begins to wander amidst the vanquished.
To the vanished, the luminous spoils,
final splendors spent in a stormy dance
of crystallized wounds now quelled by discord.
Souls ensorcelled in icy ritual
sacrifice fables for one serene breath.
Darkness slips to wrap its dreadful veil
over these mouths rich with blood. Woven lines
circumscribe all the lost moments buried
with permanence from the fatigue of love.


Dean Wormer said...

Wow. That is just amazing. Gonna make the Missus read it tonight when I get home.

For some reason it brought Katie Couric to mind. Not sure why.

Mary Ellen said... comments won't go through. I'll try this first.

Mary Ellen said...

That poem is hauntingly beautiful. I think it's one of the best I've seen yet.

Woven lines
circumscribe all the lost moments buried
with permanence from the fatigue of love.


I'll go back to recycling my aluminum cans and paper now....

TomCat said...

I know the feeling. Sometimes I look over past articles I've written to get the juices flowing again.

Mary Ellen said...

tomcat- damn, I thought you said I was the one getting your juices flowing! 8-O

Randal Graves said...

dean, high praise, sir, thank you. But Katie Couric? Ouch!

ME, thanks, I (and my wine, muah) actually spent a bit of time on this so I'm glad you like it. Now get recycling, tree hugger.

tomcat, a great source because sometimes one is just stuck and you can't find the spark in the present.

ME, don't worry you always [redacted] when [redacted]. Hey, this is a fucking family blog.

okjimm said...

" lost moments


the fatigue of love "

I got dem condensed jmm bluz

can only appreciate poem-parts today. It was a good poem, I hope you don't mind if I just take the condensed part home.

Candace said...

Nicely done, nicely done! You posey with emotion and grace.

I know you don't compose while on the PC, but some writers, before deleting any material, cut and paste the deletion into a file called "Dump." You never know when you might need that stuff later on.

Anonymous said...

It may be because its really late here, but that was very nice to read. The last poem part that is.

Swinebread said...

I don't know why but your words made me think of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever... weird

somber but peaceful in a way

susan said...

Some very sweet examples of creative alliteration. I especially liked:

"Souls ensorcelled in icy ritual
sacrifice fables for one serene breath."


Randal Graves said...

okjimm, thanks and take whatever you wish, even chuckles if it made you laugh.

candace, merci, but composing on the computer? Shudder. ;-)

fot, then I hope you don't read it when you're completely awake for you may hate it!

swinebread, thanks. I've never read those novels, are they good?

susan, merci. I like playing with sounds more than textbook meter, though not always successfully. This piece is pretty dark (well, to me anyway since I know the backstory) but it was hard to get that harsh, rhythmic chopping that I was partially looking for.

Distributorcap said...

are you the poet laureate?

Scarlet W. Blue said...

Impressive imagery indeed. Very dark and evocative. Inspires a sort of pleasant shivering.

Freida Bee said...

No thing that I could write here would do that piece justice.

Its span is deeper than such notions though.

Middle Ditch said...

Congratulations with your E award from Tomcat

Randal Graves said...

dcap, oh hell no, that's Freida Bee's shtick. I just hope she gives me some tickets to all the fancy state functions.

SWB, merci, that's essentially what I was going for.

FB, merci aussi, but one can never completely articulate what one is feeling.

middle ditch, thanks! tomcat is definitely The Man when it comes to politics.

okjimm said...

Laugh? Uh, not a chance. other shit, maybe (and thanks for that)


'...fatigue of love...' is a color I can embrace well.

three words, nice arrangement.

TomCat said...

Quiet, Nunly! What would folks think if they learned I was consorting with a lady of the cloth? ;-)