Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Apéritif ices this loser’s game
whose gruesome sonata recapitulates,
accommodates variations, ashen, shared.
Alone, under pretense of urgent pretending,
I wipe condensation of repeating lines
upon lines, yours and mine dancing in place,
gazing out-of-time -- time forsaken,
time after time --
These, our best lines.
Scrape and scrape tongue off tongue
whose rough grime leaves behind nothing
but pouring out of our throat
fleshy hallucination
recycling wasted time’s most tantalizing lines.
Fright is staged, licking flame
fools no alarm, nor moan of marionettes
hanging back in glassy-eyed climax.
Tender theatre yells back
ablaze! ablaze!
while we stick in tinder box paste,
ringing gruel is all I taste in your mouth ablaze.
Hands creep,
fingers curl,
pluck, hurl
epiphanies on our bluing lips.
Pick up and put down,
set ‘em up and knock ‘em domino,
ten thousand days standing tall, fall
once moistened by Erinyes’ kiss --
don’t be ascending, be
wet and wailing in sweetest woe.
Swallow glances half-emptied of blood, half-full of bile:
pay and swear, strike the match and forget
consummating with heaven and hell.
Left in limbo to watch features fizzle with dead amazement
under beacons bubbling; bubble, glass, bubble,
our trouble is doubled,
this turmoil that toils so low
caressed by amusement, caught in promising undertow
whose promises recite their lines and, for a time, please
until left checked by pocket conspiracies.


Übermilf said...

Marionettes are the creepiest of all puppets, and that's saying something.

Christopher said...

Keep fucking that chicken.

sunshine said...

To me.. in some spots of this poem it seems sad, then angry.
Now, you know me. I'm going to have to read and read and read this.. (yes, I'm printing it off).. I've already read it 5 times. :)

It's very passionate though. I think I like it a lot. :)


Holte Ender said...

The anger of the dead
The torture of damned souls
(well that's the way I see it)

La Belette Rouge said...

Erinyes is not someone who I would suggest making out with. She is a chthonic deity of vengeance and she is also a supernatural personifications of the anger of the dead, but you knew that.

Yes, she has powers of regeneration and the potency of creation; She could be a useful pal to have if you are feeling blocked. The double bind is that the bitch consumes and empowers.

Actually, she should be the goddess of this poem: so much powerful and potent creation about despair and decay.

You are a fierce talent, my friend. Just breath in that compliment and swallow the compliment. I assure you it is not made of Hemlock.

S.W. Anderson said...

Great poem, RG, but I fear you're spending too much time on the wheelie bus. Toiling low and pocket conspiracies?

Ahem! :)

Tom Harper said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your post. That's exactly what I was going to say.

Randal Graves said...

übermilf, precisely why they make an appearance. Next time, clowns!

christopher, every goddamn day.

sunshine, you get the sentiment(s) exactly. Just a slice of domestic bliss. ;-)

holte, that's what it feels like sometimes, lemme tell ya.

LBR, believe me, there's a reason I picked her, but to explain would turn this comment into an episode of Springer, and what if I run for office someday? And thanks.

I remember the immortal words of Socrates who said, "I drank what?"

SWA, I fear you're spending too much time in the gutter. ;-)

Randal Graves said...

tom, don't agree with me, I'm merely riffing off Glenn, Master Performance Artist.

Liberality said...

Are pocket conspiracies the ones in which Glenn plays pocket pool?

Ugh, you make me think too much and now my brain hurts! Thanks!

Hill said...

"ten thousand days standing tall, fall"

Powerful imagery.

Exquisite writing, Randal.


Beach Bum said...

Ain't marriage fun?
And thank the Lord in Heaven for cheap tequila.

susan said...

I interpret it as a lament of great intensity and heart.

I've read it four time too and like it more each time.

Randal Graves said...

liberality, hey now, I don't come to your place and mention Glenn Beck. Forget about that time I came to your place and mentioned Glenn Beck.

hill, thanks. :)

BB, what, you're too good for Schlitz?

susan, thanks, now in return, you must post more of your art. It's the law of the internets.

Dr. Zaius said...

That's the way that undertow is. It's always promises, promises...

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