The surprise thunderstorm draped
our town in linen. Even the mansard roofs
softened, and the businessmen
on the Square stopped to spy
blouses of rain
fall off the old opera house.
the miracle of lightning
That split second of light and heat
leaving the scent of old newspapers and salt.
By Dave Malone
It’s an absolute downpour in Austin right now. Hence the poem about rain.
The Silence and the Violence of Rain
Note to self: Don’t take a herbal supplement for allergies right before bed, especially when you know that one of its side effects is it makes you more awake. So now I’m owl-eyed at 4:45 AM. One’s own capacity for stupidity is always oceans deeper than one would like to admit. I can’t really complain though. I have nothing to do today and there is a soothing predawn rainstorm that is enjoyable to listen to.
This is my first post of 2015. I can’t say that I’m entirely sad to say goodbye to 2014. Although I had some of my best ever artistic experiences in 2014, there were several things on a personal note that went a bit sideways. So out with the old and in with the new. One thing I can definitely say was a joy for me in 2014 is the fact that so many of you decided to follow or visit this blog. I enjoy getting to write about the things that I am interested in and I love hearing back from those of you that are interested in those things as well. In my humble opinion, any kind of human communication sure beats a dinner party!
I wish all of you the very best 2015. May you live without regret.
One of my favorite songs, a song that always brings a smile to my face, is a song about regret. It is Morrissey’s song The Never-Played Symphonies. The song about someone on their deathbed whose only regret in life is that they didn’t have more sex. And onward we go:
Reflecting from my death bed
I’m balancing life’s riches
Against the ditches
And the flat grays in between
All I can see are the never laid
That’s the never played symphonies
I can’t see those who tried to love me
Or those who felt they understood me
And I can’t see those who
Very patiently put up with me
All I can see are the never laid
Of the never played symphonies
You were one, you meant to be one
And you jumped into my face
And laughed and kissed me on the cheek
And then were gone forever, not quite
Black sky in the daytime
And I don’t much mind dying
When there is nothing left
To care for anymore
Just the never laid
The never played symphonies
You were one, you knew you were one
And you slid right through my fingers
No, not literally but metaphorically
And now you’re all I see as the light fades
I went looking for a park
But all I found was the ghetto
Buildings that looked like London after the Blitz
A woman with a face so hard
It looked like it was chipped into form by years of harsh winds
A slate gray sky hovers over
Puddles filled with trash
Rain comes straight down
Making it impossible to avoid
I felt beaten by the elements
Was I out on some vicious sea?
Yet despite all of this
A country’s flag flew high and mighty
National pride is a strange thing
I saw and felt all this
On a downcast Sunday morning
Winnipeg, July 13th 2014.
It’s a rare cool rainy day in Austin today. It is the kind of day where any outside activity seems best left for tomorrow. When I was in Pennsylvania I realized that I missed days like these. Days that force you hunker down and be introspective. I was looking for a rain poem to post and I stumbled upon this one that is about the rain in New Jersey, the state I was born in. It is by Robert Pinsky.
Now near the end of the middle stretch of road
What have I learned? Some earthly wiles. An art.
That often I cannot tell good fortune from bad,
That once had seemed so easy to tell apart.
The source of art and woe aslant in wind
Dissolves or nourishes everything it touches.
What roadbank gullies and ruts it doesn’t mend
It carves the deeper, boiling tawny in ditches.
It spends itself regardless into the ocean.
It stains and scours and makes things dark or bright:
Sweat of the moon, a shroud of benediction,
The chilly liquefaction of day to night,
The Jersey rain, my rain, soaks all as one:
It smites Metuchen, Rahway, Saddle River,
Fair Haven, Newark, Little Silver, Bayonne.
I feel it churning even in fair weather
To craze distinction, dry the same as wet.
In ripples of heat the August drought still feeds
Vapors in the sky that swell to smite the state —
The Jersey rain, my rain, in streams and beads
Of indissoluble grudge and aspiration:
Original milk, replenisher of grief,
Descending destroyer, arrowed source of passion,
Silver and black, executioner, font of life.
I am up in Seattle now. It has been raining off and on. No big surprise. I love it. I never thought I could miss rain, but I do. Down in Austin we have been in a drought for awhile. Rainy days, where you can hide away in your house, are rare.
There are certain books, movies, and films that just feel better when it rains. The Cure’s Disintegration would be one such piece. With books I think of something like Haruki Murakami’s Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
I like to occasionally slide away into that land of dreams. Where you are awake, but touched by the realm of the mystical. The rain allows that. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain…