Friday, May 9, 2008


The spark of creativity is a moody creature, and this is the reason I swig humbly offer libations of wine and eat pizza rolls sacrifice virgins to the indifferent cosmos for the gift of others who heed its call when my muse is out of town on a raging bender. Sorry Erato, that was you calling the porcelain phone, was it not? Now I'm thinking of Roland, after so much bloodshed, blowing his horn at last. Sure, he fought valiantly and with honor and all those other medieval buzzwords, but at the end of the day, he got chopped into teeny, tiny pieces.

Sort of how I feel when I try to write.

Yeah, there's a finished work lying on the table in front of me, but goddamn, is it terrible. Perhaps I should find me a nice, shiny, sharpened broadsword and get to hacking, you hack. Laugh, damn you, laugh.

Anyway, while tossing the bloody, versified chunks into the freshly dug (imaginary, bien sûr) grave and debating which musical piece or work of art I should conjure up in order to spark the creative process, I remembered a painting done by the talented susan -- she tells quite interesting stories, in addition to being an artiste -- that I enjoyed very much, subsequently attempting to write a poem using said painting as my source. Whether it captured a fraction of, or one view of, the work's essence is not for me to decide. The finished product, as you will see, pales in comparison to her wonderful watercolor, but I hope the act itself will transcend any inherent flaws in the lines below.

La danseuse de ciel

Deep light waxes long in brilliant fire
for flora to bloom, blessed by winter’s grace
to display the dawn smiling in a face,
and the storming of a new desire.

Verdant days stray, playing a simple suite,
catching colors in voicing harmony.
Fools and fiends struck by natural sorcery,
worn down by the thunder of their deceit.

Bright dancer, descend from your ancient throne,
changing violet shades to thickest black.
Disappearing sight finds at last the track
where waning, disheartened gloom has since flown

under the cover of your silvered strands
bathing the petals of these wretched hands.


Dean Wormer said...

Now I'm thinking of Roland, after so much bloodshed, blowing his horn at last. Sure, he fought valiantly and with honor and all those other medieval buzzwords, but at the end of the day, he got chopped into teeny, tiny pieces.


A beautiful poem as usual, randal. You're the biggest hockey loving badass poet on the net.

b said...

I so know what it feels like, knowing that your creative self is off on some bender. Meanwhile, sitting here wondering whether I should wait it out or go get that creative bastard!

I also know fully what it is like to stare at a piece of my own writing and wish to hack it up mercilessly. Yet, I am also aware that sometimes my inner critic can be very wrong. I once contemplated burning a term paper I wrote in grad school and just not submitting anything. The need to have a grade for the course eventually forced me to submit it unwillingly and my professor (one of the most difficult ever) approached me about publishing it. Oh, that inner critic. Even Tolstoy threw the first complete copy of Anna Karenina into the fireplace. Yep, he torched the entire thing. And then, he rewrote it. God, I so hope that we don't quite put ourselves through that. But to write something so brilliant... maybe! :)

Your poem is evocative. I pulled up the linked painting after reading it and then reread the poem. As you commented on my recent post, it is amazing that even during these lackluster creative days, some piece of art or nature can just spark something within us so immediately. As the painting did that for you, your poem did so for me. I can now look forward to an inspired day! Merci, mon ami!

Anonymous said...

I think the poem is beautiful. I love that it was inspired by the work of susan.

The poet in you wrestles with the "average" guy and wins. Again.

Anonymous said... nailed it. Nice work here.. Or what was it you told me "versification"? Yep...That's it...Nice versification.

Randal Graves said...

dean, I figured that if there's one thing the world is short in, it's gory images! And thanks. Go hockey!

b, I've reached the point where, when I use or see the word 'bender,' I can't help but think of this.
If I knew that I'd end up writing something as good as that, pass the lighter. ;-)

Using another creative work is something I usually do, but it's more to brighten/darken/improve/emphasize
a preexisting mood; putting on a piece of music is the most obvious example. I'm feeling a certain way, I want to convey that in my writing, so go grab a CD. Here, I was stumped and couldn't come up with ANYTHING. So instead of fighting it, just see if something will come.

Glad I could be another link in the creative chain, but we want some blogged evidence of your creation!

symbol (I'm calling you that because I'm not typing all that. Laziness, you understand), merci, but I hope that's not a dig at my wonderful sporting posts, loved by all, muah!

spartacus, thanks man and I like that word, versification. It makes us poetical types sound 'elite,' you know? Heh heh.

M.Yu said...

Though your Bard's on a bender,
thinking who to dismember,
You still did remember
that you could be tender.

Your lines are very fine, Randal

(Dallas in 6)
They do not show the games here those pricks!

Mary Ellen said...

Hockey-poetry-naked're so predictable, Randal. ;-)

Missed ya.

Scarlet W. Blue said...

I love me some Susan at Phantsythat.

Utah Savage said...

I have times I can't type half fast enough to get it out, whatever
it" is, and then there are times nothing at all comes. My "mind" seems to determine this process. I have no idea what its "rational" for this product is. Sorry for that last bit of grammar, but fuck grammar, really. I seem to be able to only do one "creative" thing at a time. Inspiration strikes me, and I am pulled to the keyboard. But when I can't write, I read. Months on end, day after day. All day long, books a day. I find a writer I love and gobble it all up. But then, I'm crazy.

Nice poem, dude.

susan said...

To say I'm flattered would be less than the truth. I'm very touched that my painting inspired such a lovely poem.
Merci beaucoup mon ami.

Anonymous said...

The poem is great. I see it going with the pic above too.

Anita said...

that is a lovely, lovely poem. and yes, dcup seems to be spot-on in her observation. although, i guess, only you would know what struggles with whom and why within you. we, your readers (and admirers) can only observe and wonder.

Randal Graves said...

m.yu, thanks for the poetical good words! I take it you guys don't have Versus down there either? A game on NBC on Sundays is about all there is these days.

ME, I know. I should film myself doing a Fred Astaire. Which would be extra funny because I can't dance. :) Glad you're back.

SWB, word. Is that what the young people say these days?

utah, oh, there's certainly no rationale for it. If there was, we could bottle it and sell the crap. Reading certainly helps because even an innocuous word or phrase can trigger that irrational process. Just have pen and paper handy! And thanks.

susan, de rien, mais merci pour votre peinture.

fot, thanks and I was looking for a picture that would accompany it. If I put up susan's pic, well, I didn't want to risk violating copyright. ;-)

anita, merci, but now that I've been saddled with the 'regular guy' tag, I can't help but think of Rodney Dangerfield's character in Easy Money. No iridescent sharkskin suits here, though. ;-) The poems are about as glimpse-y as can be allowed.