Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #206

Concerto Grosso
by Randal Graves


Night comes with the smell of sulfur and a hospital gown, the continuo sound of the winged, scratching psychopomp passing above. I pause those syllables to drink in the ponderous, solitary sonority of dead hours before resuming this intaglio chamber piece. Words are refracted in an askew, drunken pace, the heard half of the dialogue less mystical fugue, more fractured pop song, nonsense to the grasses so serpentine in the lunar breeze and, truth be told, me.

Underneath the long-limbed trees, I pondered the hermeneutics of their leaves, not wishing to linger upon the glimmering contract I had just spoken. The nourishment that once coursed invisible in their fibrous tendrils – now browned, desiccated veins long vanished into dust – runs ever slow, closer to hibernation. But in time, the vertical maze of boughs will return to life, shedding its grave stasis, threading fresh, verdant fingers sensitive to touch.

Time slipped deeper into slumber, and I waited. Subconsciously conjured, pitchy ghosts circled my form seated against the gnarled pillar. And still I waited.

Undulating away from sleep draped lovingly over me, I carefully laid it down upon the matte luster and moved towards the recently afflicted earth. The spade split apart the picnic of worm-infested roots.

I wondered if one last psychosis had laid its fetid egg within my brain.

I wondered if the lines meshed in contrapuntal darkness would hatch this gift.

I wondered no longer if such music had visited those ears, for below the grain, she began to stir.

24 comments:

Laurel said...

Hibernation, sleeping seeds, I know not what but whatever it is expresses itself well!

Interesting.

Bernita said...

I thought the beginning effectively and effusively described sounds absorbed by a patient in a hospital room - then I began to wonder who let him out.

susan said...

There's no darker time than those few hours before the dawn.

MRMacrum said...

Well Randal I see you made it here afterall.

Haunting and very well written as usual.

Tengrain said...

I'm glad you remembered the fetid egg.

Regards,

Tengrain

laughingwolf said...

ponderful piece...

Beach Bum said...

I agree with Bernita, the only thing you missed was saying something about the lousy food and the damn nurses prodding the patient out of sleep every three hours for vitals.

Great piece, felt like I was back at work.

S.W. Anderson said...

Anyone who can muster mysterious literariness out of contrapuntal darkness is OK in my book.

Another really good read, Randal.

Aniket said...

I fell in love with the first two lines. And it was all great there onwards. Great work.

David Barber said...

Great piece Randal. Nice to see you back on form.

Randal Graves said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

Aerin said...



Caveat

Something I Would Keep

The first line. Carefully worded, an effective hook.

Something I Might Tweak

I'd alternate line lengths, a bit, rather than having long ponderous sentence after long ponderous sentence.

James R. Tomlinson said...

Sometimes you need to hit the reader over the head. What in tar-nations is he pondering? Death? Recovery? Rebirth? The writing is fine, but the story is lost on me.

Preeti said...

im amazed at the richness of the text in this piece. it is actually rich. each and every word is like a carefully selected gem. i felt like i had opened a treasure chest and POW...bedazzled...

the first time i read this i only absorbed the words. in fact i read the words in the very first line and i was lost.

the second time i read the words deliberately. to savour the moment.

and the third time i finally homed in on the plot.

Beautiful. Truly.

Freida Bee, MD said...

Aw, you're sweet.

Try as you might to hide it behind those big, quirky, beautifully juxtaposed words, this one is touching.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Wow. Has anybody got a dictionary?

You've certainly got a grip on the english language and are wielding it with aplomb.

Great imagery.

JaneyV said...

I'm really not sure but I think what we're witnessing is the germination of a story.

I feel trapped under the soil waiting for the moment of growth. The imagery has me transfixed even though I remain unsure of what I was transfixed on.

Magical.

Craig said...

There some fantastic images in this piece.

pjd said...

Maybe it's just that I've been through 205 stories in the past few days, but I just don't get this. I really liked the first line up until the first comma, but then I just got lost. Is he digging up a body at the end? You lost me. Sorry.

Harper said...

I think I just witnessed Shakespeare falling in love.

catvibe said...

I think this piece would have move much better if you essentially stripped all the adjectives from it and just let the story/experience of hold the weight. The adjectives take up mental space that makes it really hard to follow the story along. And speaking of the story, I don't understand it. I like the analogies to music, and the romance of that, but I don't understand... all in all, I would prefer action to description, verbs to adjectives.

catvibe said...

PS sorry for all the typos, I am word weary...so word weary...:-)

Leatherdykeuk said...

A very rich, descriptive piece.

Dr. Zaius said...

"I wondered if one last psychosis had laid its fetid egg within my brain."

I think they come in threes, like deaths. Or helpings of onion rings. ;o)