Monday, July 18, 2011


Insomnia & I have rekindled our on-again, off-again relationship & I've spent most of the dark of the last two nights letting cochleae drown in a flood of notes, staring at strikingly reproduced images of this, realizing how cliché & sentimental it sounds & not giving one atom of damn, which is probably why I'm oh-for-six


oh-for-seven in submissions but one has to write what hits them in the gut & draws blood. Metaphorically, of course, I'd hate to get that on this generically suburban beige carpet, right next to the still-wet tea, knocked over by a furiously clumsy pen stroke that simply doesn't have it inside to shock & frighten, save with the 19th generation copy he passes off as worthwhile verse* to jaded postmoderns looking for a Valian edge.

*Hey, it was penned at 2-something & it's still better than Brazilian PK takers.

A pre-dawn walk to clear the head often does nothing of the sort, for, in avoiding stepping on an interestingly speckled beetle, I realized I hadn't brought my camera & being not even an amateur entomologist, such a visual prize is forever consigned to the wastes of memory, though likely to never reach the status of madeleine. Sorry, bug, even if you crawl as low as we seem to, you're never going to be as poetic as the stained glass we strain to see, to vanish in, if only for a moment that we hope to cruelly lock away in a few lines, bringing satisfaction to the gaoler, the prisoner, one in the same.

I'm king of the dead more than Rokitansky ever was.
What's a cadaverous array
that answers to chirurgical beckonings, calls?
What but throwaway wind-up toys
that once played at dream, nerve
springing on sloppily-timed zinc coffins
hauling prime lurch twice a day.
The glass rests, too, belts lunettes of sweat
& waiting while I wait for a mushroom cloud
of etch & blue. Clarke works
in mysterious ways;
in Dublin, in a book
of his work at which I stare, blushing, too broke
to buy, breaking copyright –
I wished, wish & will to abjure fascination. No, I don’t, though
it's still okay to write that, right? Pieces,
how they're moonlit, how shattered by quiet,
soon kaleidoscoping into sharp friezes.
Better to play numb than freeze a cherry color –

if I could be that careful. What if
I pretend merry artifice is golden-age noir,
chloroform shy charm shut.
What if I staple the aorta shut – now
that would be quite the denouement,
if a bit crass. Slasher flick ritual,
neon take on vintage slow burn,
is that worse? I don't know
& shouldn't bother with such noisy splatter,
with such arterial excess,
preparing this comfortable playing numb for the kiln.
Up on panels of acid silence
bordered on all limbs by a poison hidden
below feathered fronds, organs of creative peace trill
vermilion & souvenir involontaire to run
away. To my beloved archetype
that imaginary flight is cut, fired.
The ring & the pages, a dashing afterimage
stains a dying eve with two more corpses.


thatgirl said...

as lame as insomnia is, at least there is always tuneage and pretty pictures. Or something.

Lisa said...

Listen, you're making submissions. To me, that is a HUGE thing. Something is gonna take.

Beach Bum said...

Like Lisa said, you're making submissions.

Maybe I could record my dad-in-law talking about his golf adventures, puts be dead to sleep each and every time far better than any drug.

Jack Crow said...

From where, the images, Rand?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Rise and shine, Randal!

Jim H. said...


I revel in the obscurity (esp. when partially explained), but feel the pull toward the obscurant (e.g., 'nerve ending...', 'this comfortable playing numb for the kiln', 'panels of acid silence...a poison hidden below feathered fronds, organs of creative peace...')'. Call me obtuse. Call me fishmeal.

"merry artifice is golden-age noir" Me likey. "throwaway wind-up toys that once played at dream" Yeah. Full stop. And "Clarke works in mysterious ways; in Dublin, in a book." Wow. I'd almost stop that sentence right there as well and pick up with 'Pieces'. 'Course that screws with the stanza-ing. So nevermind.

Don't mind me. Just got wrapped up in your lines. Thinking aloud.

Dude, melatonin.

Randal Graves said...

thatgirl, as long as there's something, otherwise it's nothing but infomercials for penis pills or the 87-in-1 Slash-Toast-O-Matic.

lisa, yeah, probably malaria. Thank you thank you, etc.

BB, does he golf with the Nobel Assassin & Weepy the Orange?

jack, click the first link. The dude's stained glass was ridiculously amazing.

jim, aw hell, every piece is up for constant tinkering, you know how that is. I might nuke it in a month, heh. Thanks for the kind, sir. & BOC!

Randal Graves said...

if, I'm so awake, I breezed right past your comment. Moar Kynge's Brewe ist need'd.

Jack Crow said...


S.W. Anderson said...

For heaven's sake, man, when it gets like that and go to a Perkins or equivalent for some rich, syrupy, buttery pancake goodness. Walk or run. Watch a get-rich-quick infomercial for 15 mind-numbing minutes, then go lay down again and see if you don't get some shuteye.

Tom Harper said...

"A pre-dawn walk to clear the head" -- that's kind of dangerous in Clevelandistan, from what I've heard.

susan said...

I'd never seen his work before and I'm as rocked by it as you are. Only I cannot wax poetic as well as you managed on that slumberness night.

Demeur said...

Well remember when you were little and you asked mom and dad if you can stay up past 9:00pm and they said no? Well nows' your chance.

Randal Graves said...

jack, pas de problème.

SWA, stuffing the face whilst learning how to quadruple daily a one-time investment is for the daylight hours, sir.

tom, precisely why I always carry a halberd.

susan, came across the dude via some drawings he did for a Poe book (which are fantastic), then this.

Now, if only I could take the various stimuli and not have the buried meaning be the same damn thing every time, I'd be set.

demeur, you're right, and since I'm feeling extra rebellious, I'm gonna sneak a sip of beer!