Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Day The Rain Forgot To Stop

Doorway, Locke, CA
—Poems and Photos by D.R. Wagner, Locke, CA


At night
when the
when the
are quiet

I come
I come
I come out
to dance
in front
of them

bent body
bent in the
in the dark
in the paintings
lights lights
lights lights
go on lights
go on and off
as cars pass
pass in the night
I come I come
out to dance when
the paintings are quiet

I am the pattern
I am the pattern
I am the pattern
turning in the dance
bent in the dance
the night is full
of me the night
is full of the
painting the paintings
look our at the
pattern dancing
dancing dancing
dancing patterns

I come out
I come out
out in the night
to dance in front
of the paintings

(first posted on Medusa's Kitchen in 2010)



I’ve seen photographs of the brittle
Stars.  They are deep water starfish
Living hundreds of meters below our
Air world.  They move like serpents across
The floor of the oceans.  They Samba.

The batucada eats into the nerves.
The legs of the starfish look like early
Animation.  They feel around the spines
Of the purple sea urchin and into the
Places where every move is a dance of death.

They have seen the heavens and watched
The fall of the angels from the far heights.
They have seen the martyrs tossed into
The sea attached to ropes and heavy weights
To die and rise to the highest throne in crazy
Glory.  They have consumed those bodies
Themselves and felt the course of celestial
Beauty course through their brittle forms
Nearly crushed by the great depths.

They number thousands of species, each
With a voice that calls across time and seas,
Heavens and impossible-to-fathom depths
Where their spiny legs worship those far heavens
From which they will always remain outcasts.

(first posted on Medusa's Kitchen in 2012)

Evening Light Over Russell's Workshop


Certain words remember when
I lost them.  This is disturbing to me.
I’m not talking about things
Like your name.
I’m talking about running my hands
Up your thighs and knowing
Your sex as if it were
The lion's skin, as if I could
Speak for stones,
A pink stain on my shadow.

The words laugh.  They have
Seen what they were to me
Previously and I am now unable
To undo their packages,
Make them run naked beside
The water.

“What have you brought to town
This time, my boy?” they say.
“Ice screeching as your trumpet
To the clouds in your special
Way of talking?  You call that poetry?"

“Why don’t you just pretend to talk?
You have forgotten so many words
You made us speak for you, you sleepy bird.”

“Just look at yourself.  You are
Hungry once again for what
Is inaccessible, for nouns
That make you see the one
Who will say. "Oh there you
Are.  Come to me now.
Can’t you tell how much I love you?
Or have you plumb run out of words?”

 Ironworks, Walnut Grove, CA


The rain forgot to stop.
It really didn’t have anything
Else to do but it kept acting
Like it did.  It had a lot
Of gray to keep it company.

Nothing seemed of consequence
To the rain.  It was acting
As if I had deserted
Some friend of his and that
It wanted to teach me some
Kind of lesson.

Okay, there was a woman with me.
I didn’t really want to talk
About her.  She was very beautiful.
Even the rain noticed her
And let some sun come across
The ridge and make her hair
Look even lovelier than it had looked.

She made me light up, too,
And I wondered what the rain
Had in mind.  I hardly knew her
But I already had something in mind.
If it wasn’t for the rain I would
Have acted on it.  But it was raining.

I pulled her close to my side and raised
My umbrella over her to keep her
A little more out of the wet.
“Why did you bring me here, again?” she asked.

I told her about the little cabin
Again and that it was just
About a quarter mile ahead.
We could make a fire and lie
On the big bed getting warm and dry
And look out of the windows at the rain.
“That’s not a bad idea,” she said.

I’m not going to talk about her any longer.
Let’s just say the rain was very interested
In her and stayed just outside
The window and watched the fire
With its phantoms and stories.

“When will the rain stop?" she asked.
The rain heard that and beat harder
Against the window,
Really wanting to come in
And be something else besides rain.

 Drawbridge, Walnut Grove


This has nothing to do with love.
Wait.  Who am I kidding?
I can taste her lips on mine.
It’s like the "Children's Gallop and
Entry of the Parents" in Tchaikovsky’s
Nutcracker Suite, but has nothing
To do with the music.

Wait.  Who am I kidding?
Her breath, her breasts,
The way she rolled off of me
And slid her backside into
The curve of my body.

This probably is happening because
I can’t force myself to fall
Asleep and it’s too late to play
Guitar or sing anything.

How about I remember your heart?
How about I remember when I had
A body?
How about this entire thing
Becomes a flight of birds?
And I’ll just lie here in my bed
Trying to count how many birds
There are before the clouds
Roll in again, occluding
Everything I ever wanted
To say.

I’m sticking to the part
That has nothing to do with love.
Except for that beautiful bit
Where Tchaikovsky came
Rumbling in the door and took me away.

 Night Coming Over James' House


I found the place where all the words
That ever hurt people lived.
They were a lot different here.
They didn’t say anything, just grunted.
They seemed tired of their job
And its responsibilities.  I noticed
They played cards a lot but
I didn’t understand the games
They were playing.  I watched them
For a long time.  The place they lived
Was actually pretty nice and had
Very good lighting.

I didn’t say anything to them.
I knew what they were capable
Of and I surely didn’t want
To start anything.

They pretended to not even
Know I was there.
Finally one of them said:
“Go fuck yourself, you stupid idiot.”

I sat down at their table and learned
How to use the cards the same way
They used them.  They remained silent.


Today's LongerNip:


Today I told Larry that I wrote
All of Lew Welch’s poetry.

You did not, he said.
Yes, I did, I answered.
So I told him some of Lew’s poems.
That doesn’t mean you wrote them, he said.

He couldn’t do it very well, I said.
He never knew why that was,
So I wrote them all for him.

Did you just give them to him?
Yes, I said, all of them,
But not all at once.
Didn’t you ever notice how I talk?
I sound just like Lew Welch.

You’re crazy, Larry said.
Lew Welch is a great poet.
That’s what you think, I said.

Do you know what happened to him? Larry asked.
Yes.  He killed himself up in the mountains.
Why? he asked.

What would you do if someone else
Wrote all your poetry for you?


—Medusa, thanking D.R. Wagner for this morning's tasty breakfast, and noting that Sac. Poetry Center's Artist's Gallery will be presenting the visual artwork and photography of Gerry "GOS" Simpson tonight from 5-8pm at SPC, 25th & R Sts., Sac. Free! His work will be on display through July 24.

 Yucca Behind Garden