Friday, June 6, 2008

We Ain't Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain

While in college in Buffalo, New York, I had the great fortune to take a modern poetry class taught by the wonderful Robert Creeley. He was such a smart and sensitive man, with such a wide body of references, that the class sometimes seemed less like a class in poetry and more like a class in seeing the world. I think of that class and that teacher often. I escaped from Buffalo as quickly as possible, but Creely hung in for years, making him a profound expert on rain and on finding a glimmer of hope in the largest mountains of muck. In that spirit, I offer this rainy yet hopeful poem.

The Rain

All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.

What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it

that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,
something not so insistent--
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.

Incidentally, the title of this post comes from a strikingly appropriate and even optimistic poem by the often inappropriate and pessimistic Charles Bukowski.

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