Poetry in Motion

Poetry in Motion: The Rain

I was hoping to do a substantive writing post this week, but that took a backseat due to midterms. So here’s a poem I wrote for workshop but never posted because I wasn’t terribly happy with it. I wanted to try a narrative poem and one that rhymed since that’s what I wrote when I was younger, and I thought it was indicative of a male-centered and misogynist culture that all the classic seductive monsters are female when in reality women are in much more danger from men. I think this came out kind of hokey but it sort of works for Halloween, though (and it’s a rainy day today). 

The Rain

The sun is dappled gray with clouds

Fertile earth festering with shrouds

Rakes’ disease wildfire through the crowds

I am cold, and bitter, and slain.

Won’t you take pity on a humble stranger?

Cast out from the grave, the inns, the manger?

Spare a penny for a tale of woe and danger?

Drink, one and all, to my story of The Rain

 

I sorted nylons most iridescent afternoons,

But by night I sang gin and tonic tunes

To the jazzy smoke of paper moons.

Only one man knew I was not Iris, but Jane:

My brother, he was a gambling man.

But fortune withdrew like a lady’s fan

And once-cherished embraces grew wan

I was cold and barren for The Rain.

 

I hath no loyal knight and true;

Each velvet morning was a darker blue,

Lustrous nights as fleeting as the dew,

I was tightly wound as a selkie’s skein.

Men’s eyes and stars were twinkling

And vodka and skylight sprinkling

Dear Johnny, bless him, had no inkling

When I first beheld The Rain

 

He was as pretty as a dame,

With eyes the color of a bourbon flame

The curve of lips and hips as sweet as shame

Intoxicating as a sewer drain

He wore a trench coat and a hat.

No umbrella; the moisture on his skin glistened matte

And the wind swooped and howled like a vampire bat

Watching from alleys, watching in The Rain.

 

He never said a single word,

But I was sick as typhus of baritones slurred

And quite content to leave some things unheard.

I took him past the clubs and past the lover’s lane

To a damp room that smelled of eelgrass.

Light reflected around us like a looking glass

And his love was like mustard gas

Drink, one and all, in The Rain

 

Paperbacks and poetry alike abound

With toothed cunts with dentures crowned

Horrors and whores from unholy ground

Leggy Liliths and Loreleis popping men like a vein

Insatiable virgins thirsty for beer-roasted blood.

But what of the spiked cocks nipping the tender bud?

Water-wastrels drowning daughters in the mud?

Mortal brutes sans just the beauty of The Rain

 

Many molls have died for dreaming.

With lost loves are the morgues ever teeming

Dames died scheming, dames died screaming.

My downfall was a tad bit more arcane.

By the time Johnny returned, he had fled.

But a torrential downpour whistled overhead

And no one knew how I’d drowned in my own bed

No one except the dead girl and The Rain.

 

Listen, listen to the falling rain

Boom, pitter patter, pitter patter, whoa-ooh-whoa

Listen, listen to the falling rain

Boom, pitter, patter, pitter patter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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