Posted by: tsopr | March 15, 2009

Ray Succre, American Poet

Ray Succre currently lives on the southern Oregon coast with his wife and son. He has been published in Aesthetica, BlazeVOX, and Pank, as well as in numerous others across as many countries. His novel Tatterdemalion (Cauliay) was recently released in print and is available most places. A second novel, Amphisbaena, is forthcoming in Summer 2009. He tries hard.

His website:

                                Featured Poetry of Ray Succre

A Wondrous Calamity

Let the dogs toss him back and forth,
a castle-headed baby passed maw to maw,
tooth to crystal tooth.

He has seen them laying bruised in beds,
warm dogs on a taste of honey,
having wet their chops, exacting their speech
for present gain.

If he burns cedar to build his fire,
he gives up a night for warmth until full.
There are other nights in which to be cold.
The dogs enter from these nooks in time;
they go to the public square to crackle and spring.

His fire goes out and he is quickly bruised in bed.
He wets his speech and presents his chops.

By crooked swings of path over path,
relevance circles and pierces the breath.
He hears dogs in the luxuriance of his broad July.
Let them be most vicious with him.

Castled dogs and vicious babies
are the paradise of the future.

An Unrelenting Hush

What ugly cake, what overblown balloons,
having collected the gross of tabulated night,
by three-hundred sixty-five,
and how beneath this gavel is my specter,
and how after-the-fact am I agreed to have aged.

Perhaps I’ll change my name to Nathemore.

The cake’s stinger candle bears my number,
and allows neither allegory nor aperture—
I am stuck in the candle with my head exposed.
My wife leans over, strikes the thin match;
the fire that draws at my wick is highly educated.

“Blow!” she says.
All becomes quiet.

What Else but Fried Fish

The times came, slow as apple maggots,
eating up the man, nosing in and moving him
toward a beauty of wild hell.

This man once learned me to cut fish,
to fry sides and eat and discard what was left.

He slipped off without sound, stirring
a moment from the sleeper’s end,
then snipped and laid straight, following
the pangs of the stone, the pulse of the floor,
a blood-warmed bloom having learned
a way to close.


Wires in tunnels shielded, shards prosper
flecks of meaning continuous.
They appear unisonic and I roll them
under my thought, which sits spinning,
greased as an immense bearing in a shell
to keep the bits howling past.

My vessel continues piping steam
across the Earth, works itself
into a constellatory crowd that
works still into a vested, versal crowd,
each segment a limiter,
my container full of cells, hollow things
within hollow things, nesting dolls,
the little chests of facts sent upward
on a wire.

After the Man Excuses Himself

Could a tanager on his deck of chirps
erupt any more than his era has let him?

Nothing occurs, he said, and when
it does come, it roars hollow, disinterested;
no raw ataraxis, no naked, rattling war,
and no renaissance— I insist, he said,
we are bored.

I haven’t an urge to agree him his reason,
and conduct my fat times with a seethe
of insistancy, leeching and springing
each hour its set, each topple its heap;
by moments I am led my purpose forward.

We are bored, he said. And you.


Have the curls that cowlick turning my hair
come from cells in my mother, or from those
in my father, or did a youth wool them
from juice or wine?

A mocking for flame, small laps at tinder,
or the skirts of belled, kicking women-
the infertile locks are as busted masts
about my head, like infant, like scimitar,
like pacific caps near the curling shore.

Did speaking with mad people twist my hair
from inside out, or did I begin to mimic,
seeing the briars swindle our hillsides?

Aurora. Capitalis. Sepultura.

Millions that turn can convert our tortures,
our civility and lanky law, each as macabre brights.
Any whose engine invents fugitives or torments
can comment closest.

This hack-a-by-hush and dismissal
of bridling fuck-sluice perhaps grows mild,
but only where a body has lessened
for a community supplanting.

The morning is forgotten, ordains slack vapor
a fickle counsel, modern breath the same,
modern though the curve and block.

Aurora. Capitalis. Sepultura.

By twilight, my sort are new men, and forget
our kill-stoney breakfasts,
we become gas-ranged curry cases,
gorging our teeth loose on crisp water caltrop,
and stirred by the worldly heats.

We approach other dawn, our dwellings swollen
as bellies off the grains of every feast.

Copyright © 2009 Ray Succre


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