Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day, chumps


Burst without, clues once within draw edges,
cut tongues from mouths crawling down rabbit holes
hidden in blood. Above, weeping spangles
carve malediction upon broken limbs.

Weak balancing act, equilibrium
draining out, splits apart a searching eye
electrified. Slow burn apocalypse
throned by idle words falling like idols.

A shed temple lords smiles somewhere,
spit out by a copper throat tasting third,
fourth, a further second death. A flesh
retraces trails that circumscribe nous.

Stinging flakes rebuke all my speechless love
that fails to choose. Constellations speak,
ignore, reflect no more, choose! I ignore
and descend into fervent certitude.


Touch lies on surfaces of elegance,
in castings high and low. A coup-d'oeil
with strange geometry burns away ink.
O, witness the decline of illusion.

Steps spiral cold, spin a darker measure.
Blind and silent, tips print a hex on glass,
sure that sin such as this is deserving.
O, affirm your drifting complicity.

Waters brought you to curiosities;
I can still hear their splendid forgeries
of sovereign calm in delirium.
O, condemn absence of tranquility.

One-ring circus with the bitterest bread
offers nothing save a kindred poison.
Trudge through crimes of rust, leave this shore behind.
O, flee, allow me to be tried alone.


Play at a blade, outstretched beyond my neck;
watch me escape, time and forever more.
A starry step, my boldest yet, curses
at winds that wither with a parched whisper.

Subtlety, their deceit, murders with pride.
Gale force ghost caresses the railing,
keeping me upright, keeping me from where
always rests in the tidiest of beds.

Next, and deep, a forge to blacken all hearts
with reddest bluster, with crestfallen heat.
Mine eyes lose sight of carcasses in line,
memories being readied for the dirt.

I stumble and fall, again as before,
where each new glare is but a plea reborn.
I know, thus cannot forgive this trespass
on a past never permitted to sleep.


Übermilf said...

You should've gone to Jared instead.

TF said...

I'm a happy chump, today :-D

Mary Ellen said...

Nothing says Happy Valentine's Day like a skeleton holding a spear. I guess that's the Goth version of a Cupid,eh?

As always, your writing astounds is yours, no? You're much too deep for me, kiddo (now get your mind out of the gutter, you know what I meant!)

Liberality said...

I need more illusion and not a decline if you don't mind.

Randall you need to publish a book of this stuff and get the credit you so richly deserve.

PS--happy Valentine's Day!

Dr. Zaius said...

I don't get it. Where is the part about the flowers and candy? Especially the candy!

Randal Graves said...

übermilf, my wife should have married a guy with a bigger bank account. Thank you, thank you!

TF, happy or sad, as long as we recognize our chumpitude!

ME, sure, the middle ages had plagues and pestilence and peasants and public punishment, but that's a cool skeleton.

All the lines are mine, including bad pickup ones. How do you think I got so deep? With my poetry, but you knew what I meant!

liberality, my illusion machine is still in the shop. Publish? No one reads poetry anymore except when forced to for English classes, but thanks. :)

dr. zaius, hey man, you snooze you lose. The sweet, sweet candy is all gone and all that's left are these angsty wrappers!

Bubs said...

You had me at "chumps"

Beach Bum said...

Its times like these I remember why I failed the poetry part of English Lit so bad.
Realizing I'm just a simple redneck from South Carolina I still have to ask a really dumb question. Are you in the dog house like me?

Utah Savage said...

I bet your wife really loves these poems.

And publishing anything is an open door to publishing something else. Just saying.

Randal Graves said...

bubs, gets 'em every time.

BB, since I'm a simple Yankee, go ahead and ask. And yes, I'm usually in the doghouse. But since she's usually in mine, we've struck a nice balance with the occasional peppering of some fresh scowling.

utah, she says they're alright, but I think she's merely being nice.

You do have a point. I really should get cracking on that book so I can sell millions in the wake of your millions.

Beach Bum said...

All told I should have gone to Zales but like a dummy I believed her when she said that she didn't want anything special for today.

susan said...

Incredibly visual versitude. I can't begin to tell you how impressed I am with your ability. In a better world you would be a famous poet.

Sal Kilmister said...

Macro and Micro.

Distributorcap said...

i have no idea what that was about

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

not bad, but you forgot to work in the gal from Nantucket ...

Suzi Riot said...

Geez you're so schmaltzy! Stop with the mush already!

Anonymous said...

Oh boy...if this is a Valentine's Day poem, then you are my hero. Another Hallmark holiday shot down in flames.

Dusty said...

I am w/DCap on this is it about? ;p

okjimm said...

Dusty, I'm not sure, but I am thinking, and that is a perilous endeavor of a Monday, but...

I stumble and fall, again as before,
where each new glare is but a plea reborn.
I know, thus cannot forgive this trespass
on a past never permitted to sleep.

Sounds a lot like someone who has imbided too much cheap beer. 'specially that stumble and fall and again thingee.

okjimm said...

But what do I know? Really?!

La Belette Rouge said...

I don't dare comment on the poems themselves on the first reading but I can say that I feel sure your wife prefers these poems to anything that could be bought.

S.W. Anderson said...

I just flashed this scene in my mind in which our poet laureate is getting off the bus and is approached by someone with a microphone, with a cameraman close behind. Then comes the question, "The mayor says were going to have to (whatever). What do you say?"

And Randal replies with something like, "Weak balancing act, equilibrium
draining out, splits apart a searching eye
electrified. Slow burn apocalypse
throned by idle words falling like idols."

"And so, that's the word on the street downtown, Janet," the reporter says. "Back to you for today's Acridweather Forecast."

(Seriously, the imagery in the poems is intriguing.)

Übermilf said...

Are you going to write anything today?

I don't want to say I miss you, because that would be all mushy and stuff.

I just need to hear from the one person more bitter than me that I know.

Dean Wormer said...

Mrs. Graves is a lucky lady.

My own romantic gestures towards the missus involve playing "Groovy kind of love" on the bapipes.

Somehow that lacks the punch of poetry.

Randal Graves said...

BB, sir, I hope you haven't been assassinated for your lack of purchase of pressurized carbon.

susan, and you a famous painter, but this is a world of Hallmark and Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light®. (don't wanna get sued)

sal, who doesn't love verse about computers?

dcap, that's alright, I don't either.

JNRR, I don't think I could write bawdy verse without sounding like a poetical version of Skinemax.

suzi, but I'm so happy, oh so happy!

spartacus, thank you sir, anything to destroy that evil empire.

dusty, that makes three of us!

okjimm, I think one can distill subtle references to adult beverages in nearly anything. Why just look at that garbage can, it's an upside-down beer stein!

LBR, I think she might prefer tickets to Ireland, but poems cost less.

SWA, funny you should say that, as I pass by the offices of one of the local TV stations every day. Sure would be better than the stock answers of Joe Sixpack. "Gee, winter's tough, but I gotta do what I gotta do."

übermilf, and waste a perfectly good day off? Don't be ridiculous.

Did I successfully cover up the mush?

dean, are you kidding? Any chump can write a line, but it takes actual skill to play the bagpipes.

Dean Wormer said...

I'm not sure "skill" is the right word. Playing the bagpipes takes a willingness to inflict pain on others bordering on sadism. Every piper is really the Marquis de Sade in a kilt.

A Canadian Officer, pinned down with his unit in 1944 in Italy, urgently signalled his CO.

"Need reinforcements to rescue us, please send six tanks or one piper."

S.W. Anderson said...

Randal wrote in reply to my comment, "Sure would be better than the stock answers of Joe Sixpack."

Indeed it would. And, BTW, a better answer than we often get from some very highly placed and paid public "servants."