Untransformed

A weekly poem, read by the author.
May 10 2000 3:00 AM

Untransformed

Rain rains on rain
The sales manager drops her keys in a rivulet
Everything seems haplessly minor
The disabled roofer ducks into the County Offices
The don't-kid-me cop is dripping
The old man who likes Johnny Mathis is soaked
Three schoolgirls shriek amid puddles
Someone utterly obscure hauls brown plastic bags
into the bedraggled alley …
The wet poet dries slowly in a deli.

"Rain patters on the uncaring streets"
"Rain shines on the mindless black pavement"
I needed all those times of writing in effect this
even if in effect only this
"Emptiness wears the gleam of October rain"

Beauty of the knowing you are enduring (while
you get to hint you might not)
in the drizzle on the rock in the rock drizzle world

Beauty of choosing instances in the long pour

Behind the counter at Drisch Drugs
Ethel says to Marie "I brought me some crackers
and peanut butter and a banana"
Marie nods very slightly to mean "That's nice enough."

Yeah the world has its own banana
The world don't adore that poet drying off in the deli
The world brought its own crackers
Yeah the world is just its rainy drisch self

but beauty of saying so, real particular-like,
at many nice tables across this big real nation.

 

Mark Halliday's fifth book of poems isKeep This Forever. He teaches at Ohio University.