(when it’s over)

Night after night this week I’ve lain in bed listening to the downpour, night after night the downspouts shake and the aluminum chimney sings and the roof holds up delightfully under the battering. By day my intestines are uneasy, I’m lonely in a shivering kind of way, and I worry about everything, more or less, that anyone in the world has ever worried about, but by night I have the rain to think about and the rain is always enough and always has been. I dreamed one night that I went out for a walk in it and got wet and cold, but when I woke up I was warm and dry, which is a normal way to feel in the morning but it felt extraordinary. The thing about rain is that no matter how many times it happens it seems like a miraculous phenomenon, or maybe that’s just me. I’m easily surprised and thrilled. I’m easily distressed and alarmed. In the middle is not a place I often am. Here I am in my forty-seventh year and I can’t locate the middle, though possibly I’m getting closer and just can’t tell because it’s a labyrinth and I can’t see over the walls and it’s raining so hard that I can’t hear the minotaur roaring.

 spring rain it will probably be poetry when it’s over

More Things Fall Out of the Sky and Disturb My Hair

and the snow (crystalline) makes it shine
and the rain makes it smell more like hair
and the wind proves that everything we do can be undone
and the sun burns light into it (the operative word being


and the leaves that have died
and been reborn as memento mori entangle themselves in it
and crumble into dust as I take out my comb

— teeth and all —

and stare at it, wondering how
the clouds get so close to earth that they’re fog
and my hair and I walk sideways

into it


I’d offer you everything but the barometer’s falling



oh, he’s poorly–his
eyes starting out of his
eyes starting out

of a cloud, convulsing
(down in the depths)
of a dream, convening

names and numbers,
nodding off
overandover he

finishes before he starts,
thaws before he freezes,
wakes before he sleeps,

all his minds left
behind right
before afterwards

in spring, shorting
the cord, the bed,
indefinite and un

defined non
non non monsieur amour
rain falls,

rain will fell you,
good morning,
poorly one


rain, rain (rain, rain)


spring rain backwards until the beginning


summer rain
some of you in
some of me


autumn rain preparing the palimpsest


forgot water could be so heavy winter rain



credits: spring rain, Modern Haiku 42.3; summer rain, Frogpond 35.1; autumn rain, Modern Haiku 43.1; winter rain, bottle rockets 26


NaHaiWriMo: the end


first date
nacho stains
on her blue dress


(Feb. 14: nachos. Also: Valentine’s Day.)


sun setting
one foot
on a rocky slope


(Feb. 20: talus)


shaking off
all the rain
that didn’t touch me


(Feb. 21: umbrella)




I knew you would all be curious about how I handled “nachos” and “talus.” There is no point in pretending that I have an easier time writing haiku (or senryu) about nachos than anyone else, or that I had the faintest idea what “talus” was before this prompt was set. Also, who else thinks that Michael Dylan Welch opened the dictionary at random to find that prompt? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

It was an interesting month. (Okay, technically it’s not over yet. Can we just pretend it is? In a normal year it would be.) I never felt especially inspired. (Well, I came up with a couple of interesting things about apples, I think. That was then, this is now.) I didn’t like most of what I wrote at all. But there is value in writing things that you don’t like at all. Generally, you have to write a whole lot of things that you don’t like at all in order to write a few things that you like a lot. It’s hard to figure out what you like until you figure out what you don’t.

But I can’t say I’m sorry February is over. Forward, March!