Posts Tagged ‘ rain ’

7

The pillow smells like hair.
O,
The windowsill is wet.

A puddle of rain from yesterday
Is drying
In
It.

Fanfare for Pouring Rain 2

And now the rain

And now

Now

The rain

            Which is and is

            A thousand things

Falls and falls

Everywhere and all around,

Down through the soft

Movement of trees

And lifting

And touching

Leaves,

Falling and falling

And everywhere and all around

Falling and falling

Everywhere.

O’er

1

Out on all

We or all

In

Now

In

Now

Is.

 

2

Or

Ending

Is

When now

All is,

Ending

Is.

 

3

The end is

Is

Ending

Is

Undoing

All, or

Undoing

Is

Ending

All.

 

4

Disembowel

Or

Disavowal

All

Or

Disembowel

All.

 

5

Language

Is,

Movement

Is

And

And

Our

Thought

Consuming

Thoughts,

A candled death.

 

6

On

All

Our

Or

Is

On

All

            Else

Believing,

Who is left?

To

See

Is

            All.

 

 

 

The Richest City (A poem about my grandmother for Forough Farrokhzad)

What gives itself to the dawn

Is taken back at night

And given tomorrow again.

What is given to the dawn

Is taken from the night

And what is given to the light

Is given back to the dark

And whatever is taken from one

Is given to the other.

 

Your hands and feet and cheek

Have not withered.

Your arms and legs, my love,

Have not withered.

 

I have followed the soft line

Of your long neck,

Overcome with awe and curiosity.

I have followed the soft line

Of your neck

As if I were on the edge of an ancient city,

A rich city

That is only real

When I press my hand to its side and

It walls rise before me.

 

And wherever I have gone

I have not come back from

Completely.

My love, I have dragged my hand

Through those cities

And pulled you from the walls and streets.

My love, I have

Pulled you from the dirt of those cities

And I do not have to hold your hands

For your hands to be in my hands.

 

Who is it now that rubs their hand against my cheeks

When I am crying?

Who is it now that rubs my cheeks

When I am crying?

 

And if they wilt,

Your hands,

If they wilt

Then they wilt like the flowers wilt.

They wilt like the flowers wilt.

Becoming more, turned against themselves

And pulled away from the light and

Given to the darkness again.

 

What is taken from the light

Is given to the dark

And whatever is taken form one

Is given to the other.

 

Your long neck

Does not wilt.

Your long neck and side

Does not wilt.

But if they do

Then it is like a flower

That has crawled back inside itself.

If they do

Then it is like the flower.

 

Then it is like the dawn

That is taken from the night.

Then it is like my hand

That pulls you from the walls of a rich city.

And wherever I have gone

I have not come back from completely.

And wherever I am

I am not there completely.

Because I cannot,

Because I cannot stop.

Mirroring

 

 

 

 

1

Wind

Leaning

In

Touching

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Touching

In

Leaning

Wind

 

 

2

Wind

In

Moving

Trees,

Leaves

In

Light

 

Then

 

Light

In

Leaves,

Trees

Moving

In

Wind

 

 

3

In

Turning

Trees

Leaves

Fall

 

Then

 

Fall

Leaves

Trees

Turning

In

 

 

4

Leaves

Fall

Through

Autumns

Fog

Curling

 

Then

 

Curling

Fog

Autumns

Through

Fall

Leaves

 

 

5

Around

All

Shadows,

Gray

Air

Breathes

Sky

 

Then

 

Sky

Breathes

Air

Gray

Shadows

All

Around

 

6

Moving

Clouds

Gathering

In

Rain

 

Then

 

Rain

In

Gathering

Clouds

Moving

 

 

7

Rain

Falling

Through

‘Evering

Black

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Black

‘Evering

Through

Falling

Rain

 

 

8

Rain

Puddling

Under

Slowly

Moving

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Moving

Slowly

Under

Puddling

Rain

 

 

9

Water

Moving

Slower

And

Slower

Still

 

Then

 

Still

Slower

And

Slower

Moving

Water

 

 

10

Knives

Forming

In

Bending

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Bending

In

Forming

Knives

 

 

11

Snow

Falling

Through

Reaching

Branches

 

Then

 

Branches

Reaching

Through

Falling

Snow

 

 

12

Nothing

Moves

Around

All

Still

Air

 

Then

 

Air

Still

All

Around

Moves

Nothing

 

 

13

Still

Moving

Trees

In

Light

 

Then

 

Light

In

Trees

Moving

Still

 

 

14

Grass

Growing

From

Drying

Ground

 

Then

 

Ground

Drying

From

Growing

Grass

 

 

15

Leaves

Unfolding

In

Branches

Covering

Light

 

Then

 

Light

Covering

Branches

In

Unfolding

Leaves

 

 

16

Wind

Dead

In

Slowly

Turning

Leaves

 

Then

 

Leaves

Turning

Slowly

In

Dead

Wind

 

 

17

Leaves

Growing

Heavily

From

Tall

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Tall

From

Heavily

Growing

Leaves

 

 

18

Tree

Leaves

Flowers

Grass

Wind

 

Then

 

Wind

Grass

Flowers

Leaves

Tree

 

 

19

And

Again

Soft

Petaled

Wind

Falling

In

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

In

Falling

Wind

Petaled

Soft

Again

And

 

 

20

Round

Sun

Follows

Flower

Bending

Down

 

Then

 

Down

Bending

Flower

Follows

Sun

Round

A Coming and a Gone (A Short Play in Four Acts)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characters:

 

Melina, a very old wife.

Roman, a very old husband.

 

 

 

Early fall

 

A kitchen and yard.  There are birdfeeders hanging throughout the yard.

 

 

 

 

Act One

 

            Melina appears (up right) coughing some and rubbing the back of her neck.  She is holding, against her chest, two large pickling jars of very green beans.  She begins laboriously braking down a large pile of dirty dishes.  She rubs her fingers and hisses, then reaches through the curtains above the sink (right center) and closes the window that leads to the yard (center to left).

            Roman (left center) is carefully wading around the crisp yellow daisies that surround a large oak tree (up left center).  Melina can see him from the kitchen window.  He is holding a thin gray stick in the air like a conductor chasing a stray note.  He looks at his feet, and then taps a full birdfeeder, which is hanging near the trunk of the oak tree, with the stick.

 

Melina.  Lord, move…Why don’t he move?  Don’t he use the sidewalk? 

Roman.  (tiptoeing around the flowers).  I’ll not break one stem of these flowers.

 

            Roman taps the birdfeeder again.

 

Melina.  (throwing the window open and yelling).  Roman, you get yourself out of those flowers right now.

Roman.  Hell, Melina.  There’re bird feeders here.  They need checking.  Don’t you see there’re birdfeeders here?

 

            Melina huffs inwardly.

 

Roman.  (jostling the red liquid of a birdfeeder around in its tube).  Not a drop drunk, Melina.  Of course not…ever a drop drunk and never a bird to drink.

 

Melina begins wiping down the counters around her.

 

Roman.  (Half stepping, more jumping over the vulnerable daises and onto the grass).  What’s wrong with these things?

 

            Roman stands (left center)  staring at the birdfeeders for a long time.

 

Melina.  (from the kitchen) So what’s the problem?

Roman.  God knows.

 

            Roman sighs and licks the sticky sugar water from the tip of his long finger. 

 

Melina.  Well, there it is…ain’t it?

Roman.  Yep, Melina.  There it is.

           

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Melina is standing (right) in a small bath room, in front of a running sink, leaning into the mirror.  She lifts her thin fingers and drags them down the long length of the side of her face.  She lights a long white cigarette and blows a mouth full of smoke and a gentle cough into the mirror.  She turns off the faucet.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Melina is setting (right center) in a big chair in front of a television searching intently for its remote.  When she finds the remote she holds it in both hands and points it at the television.   

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            The yard and all the birdfeeders hanging down, but Roman is in a different section of the yard at the rear of the house which is indicated by a large wall.  There is one large window beyond him and the oak tree is now upper right. 

             It is not exactly dark…yet.  There is some vague sun (up right) at the edge of the yard.  Roman is bent over with his hands on his knees.  He seems to be listening to something. As Roman is edging (center to right center) closer to the edge of the yard a bright light explodes from the window and falls on him.

              As if suddenly awoke, Roman, starts gathering all the twigs and leaves that have fallen to the ground and prepares to burn them in a sharp brown bundle in the center of the yard.    

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman is setting (left center) in a chair in the yard staring at the distant tree tops which are moving in the wind.  He grips the arms of his chair and leans in closer.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Melina is setting (center) on the side of a bed staring down at Roman who is buried in the sheets on the other side of the bed.

 

Melina.  I slept in the thin line of sun that came in under the blinds and that at first touched nothing, but soon shown on the dresser’s edge.  A thin line of light that didn’t fall on him, but maybe where he had been and would be soon. Light that played with last night’s wine in glasses of its own unbroken light, like maybe his soft fingers running the thin edge of my lips. And that crossed the floor as he did, quietly and slowly at first, touching the scattered sheets and  I might try to move away; but that warm light, as him, would come toward me still and fall through   my hair like a thousand soft ribbons uncurling down my cheeks and spreading like a smile if I looked at it as I did him.  So that, on those mornings, if that bright air reached my lips, it brought about a change in the room, as sudden as pulling curtains back.  And then, everything the sun touched did not reflect its light, but  somehow contained an inner, somehow blonder light. And, as quietly as the sun came, it drew to a line just above my bed and was not a line of sunlight anymore, as he was not just a man; but some perhaps form of hope that is as mysterious and as fleeting as clouds at night can sometimes be. 

           

             She takes a lighter and a cigarette off the nightstand and walks across the dark stage and turns on a light revealing a bathroom (right). The lights fade to black in the bedroom.   She pulls her nightgown up around her waist and sets on the toilet.  When she is finished she walks out neglecting to turn off the light. 

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman (left center) in the yard.  We can see the birdfeeders hanging around and Roman appears to be listening to the wind at the edge of the yard.  

 

Roman.   She is laying there…just there, through the slow brown trees crumbling round.  But her body isn’t there anymore. She is only chalk and clothes have crawled away from her. And now the sunken ground has come over her and it has dragged her into oblivion…but if I could come to its edge and reach in, I’d pull her from the darkness to me and we’d fall back into the yard and laugh like bears at fish; But I can not reach into the darkness and the yard has swallowed even her name.

           

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Melina is standing (down center) smoking a cigarette.

 

            Pause.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman is setting (down right) up in bed and staring at his feet which are very blue and sticking out at the foot of the bed.  He falls over the side of the bed and drags himself up center.  As he leaves the bedroom it fades to black and the kitchen (right center to center) lights come up.  We see Melina preparing breakfast.  Roman pulls himself up into a chair and turns on a small space heater and begins warming his feet. 

 

Melina.  (walking over to Roman). Don’t move.

 

            Melina cups her hands on Roman’s shoulder, as if catching a fly, then rubs them together.      

 

            Eating?

Roman.  (pouring coffee into a cup).  A little.

 

            Roman starts buttering toast.  Melina wipes her hands on her apron and turns toward the sink (center). 

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Melina is in the kitchen (right center to center) and standing over the sink (center).

           

Roman.  (reaching past Melina and taking a glass from the dish rack beside the sink). You lose something?  You’ve been standing there lookin’ down that thing forever.

Melina.  (looking at his glass now).  Use that same one all day.

 

             Blackout.

            Lights Up.

           

            Melina is standing (center) at the kitchen sink.  She pulls the curtains back above the sink and we see that it is a very bright day outside.  She shields her eyes against the sudden glare of the sun and begins cleaning up around the kitchen.  She is wearing a long pink robe that is dragging the floor behind her. 

            Suddenly she makes a grimacing face as if she smells something rotting.  She follows the smell to the floor.

 

Melina.  A dead mouse…I think.

 

            She crawls on her hands and knees searching for the source of the odor.  Finally, she follows it to the refrigerator (right center).  She puts her face to the floor and looks under the refrigerator.  She gets up quickly and takes a fly-swat that is hanging by the refrigerator and fishes under the refrigerator for the dead mouse.  When she finds it, she pulls it out.  There are two deep black mice stuck in one trap.  She holds the trap up to the light and we see that the dead mice form a sort of mushy, burgundy heart with their noses and tails touching.

 

Melina.  (dropping the mice on the floor).  It is me.

           

            Pause.

           

            And that is Roman too.  We are wrapped ‘round each other and dying, sinking into another’s selves. 

 

            She quickly wipes her eyes, turns to the sink and begins washing her hands.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            We see Roman standing (down center) and Melina setting (down left center) in a chair.  There is a bright light on Melina.

 

Roman. Can you smell that?

           

            Roman moves up center.

 

Curtain

 

Act Two

 

          The stage is in darkness.  We see Roman (left center) and Melina (right center), only when they are talking and only sequentially.

 

Roman.  She’ll not part with a thing…and all of it going to waste.

Melina.  He doesn’t help me a bit.

Roman.  She never looks up anymore.

Melina.  He regards me with slights.

Roman.  It runs its course.

Melina.  It’s me and that is Roman too.

Roman.  You lose something.

Melina.  …coming apart in my memory.

Roman.  I am here.

Melina.  Bag of bones.

Roman.  Her hands are covering her face.

Melina.  Well, there it is…ain’t it?

Roman.  Can you smell that?

Melina.   He is holding me up to the light.

Roman.  She feeds me to the laughter.

Melina.  He pulls dust into him.

Roman.  Her wrists are cold.

Melina.  I can see his thin gray rhythms pulling on the candle flame. 

Roman.  She holds me above her mouth.

Melina.  And all day and all night a coming and a gone.

 

Curtain

           

           

 

 

Act Three

 

 

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman is standing (up center) in the doorway of a large room.  The room is empty.   There is a small rubber plant down right.  The walls are whitewashed and the floor is a dusty white, not painted, almost like the whitewash ran into the floor. 

            We can hear “Mild Un lese” by Paul Lansky being played somewhere far off.

            Roman begins (up right center) feeling the walls’ textures.  He is walking slowly around the room facing the wall with his arms and hands stretched out on them.  He follows the walls to the baseboards and back up again.  He follows the walls to the floor and on to his hands and knees, feeling the floor’s texture. 

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            The stage is in darkness, except for Roman who is setting (right center) at a table eating.  It is raining heavily on him.  We can hear mumblings of thunder.  Every now and then Melina steps out of the darkness and into the light of the table and serves Roman.  Roman’s head is bent to his bowl and he is pulling small sips of watery soup off his spoon.  His bowl is overflowing and small rain-soaked chunks of bread are coming apart and running off the table and into the floor.

 

Roman.  I was listening to the traffic.  Outside a young woman was struggling with a closed, but very big, umbrella.  She kept looking at the sky, but it was already raining and everywhere.  When I moved closer to the window I could see that the umbrella was not going to open.  She walked a few feet and threw the thing in a trashcan.  For a second, I imagined it opening there with a round airy POOF. 

            When I found her again she was clutching her coat and hurrying through a hurrying crowd.  My heart sank a little when I imagined kissing her, when I imagined her warm hands on me; or, oh God, my cold hands on her.  I remembered what it was like to be as young as she was then, but I could not imagine myself with her.  I could not see a younger me with her.  And what was I  then, but a shadow in her peripheral; a ghost on the edge of things.  If anything I was nothing at all; which was fine.  I had no intention of introducing myself to her. 

            But the rain and the ease with which she moved in it worried me.  The rain and   the long nights it might mean, at my age, if I got wet at all.  The horribly long nights in bed with a scarf tied tight around my head.  Again I imagined kissing her, but suddenly sneezed.  I was afraid of getting sick, Melina.  This cold unending rain that she was pulling herself through so easily, so effortlessly, meant death to me.  I could not imagine myself with her because I could not imagine her out of the rain that she seemed so much a part of.  Without the rain and her oversize umbrella she would be the ghost, she would be the shadow moving among shadows moving.  

            I was absorbed by the traffic which sounded like a thousand different things. I imagined her in her room pulling long canes from drawers and listening to the rain.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            The stage is in darkness, except for Melina and Roman who are setting (right center) at a table.  Roman is rubbing his fingers against the glare of a candle and Melina is starring at him violently.

 

Melina.  What are you doing here?  

Roman.  I am here, because you are here.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman (left center) is tapping a full birdfeeder with a stick.  He appears to be thinking deeply.

 

Roman.  There are no birds is why or none that I remember any.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman is coughing, almost choking.  He is setting (down left center) on a couch close to Melina, who is knitting (down center) in a chair under a lamp near him.  He leans his head back and pulls a long gray hair from his mouth.

            Melina pulls the knitting up into her lap, to keep it from falling, and her head falls toward Roman’s.  She is sleeping.  Roman gets up and walks over to her.

 

Roman.  I can see myself in her. (Roman walks around Melina) We smell the same.  I have stayed in the house and slept beside her for a thousand years and we do not know each other.  She has filled the air around me and stepped over me in floors and pulled doors behind me. 

           

            He leans over her and turns the lamp toward her face.

           

            I can see long purple veins that pulse slowly beneath her.

           

            Pause.

 

            She is moving some.

 

            With the fingers of his right hand he follows the edge of neck to her shoulder and pulls her nightgown down around it.

 

             I can smell the clinical vapor of Vaseline and see the hot reflection of the lamp on the warm gathered skin around her.

 

            Pause.

 

            He pulls the gown down passed her elbow, exposing the top of her left breast.

 

            I can see the huge dark purple/red bruises that cover her. 

 

            Pause.

 

            He lifts her left hand.

 

            Her wrists are cold.

 

            He presses his right hand to her belly.

 

            Her womb is cold. 

 

            He pushes her nightgown up around her thighs and follows the length of her right leg with both hands, then lifts her ankle to his knee.  He removes her tattered old pink house shoe and long gray sock, and holds her dark blue foot in his hands.   

 

            Lord.  I’ve fished her from the wanton mouths of strangers and pulled her into me like a breath. 

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman is setting (left center) in a chair in the center of the yard staring at the trees moving in the wind.  He grips the arms of his chair and leans in closer.  He gets out of the chair and slowly crawls (right) to the edge of the yard and listens to the wind in the bushes that surround the yard.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Melina is standing (down center) smoking a cigarette.

 

            Pause.

 

            She finishes the cigarette, drops it and steps on it.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            The stage is in darkness, except for Roman who is dragging himself left to right.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman and Melina (center).

 

Roman.  Bury me in the floor with the dog…as close to the fire as a log.

Melina.  You are leaning out over the candles.

Roman.  …As close to the fire as a dog.

Melina.  You are folded in curtains and pulling sunrises into sleep…

Roman.  The room moves around us…

Melina.  …And we are pushed to the center of the floor.

 

           

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

 

            Melina is standing (left) in the bath room, in front of the running sink, leaning into the mirror.  She lifts her fingers and drags them down the side of her face.  She lights a cigarette and blows smoke into the mirror.  

 

            Pause.

 

            Blackout.

            Lights Up.

 

            The entire stage is in darkness, except for a two foot space that runs left to right.  This space is under the house.  There is ductwork, cobwebs and pipes everywhere.  Roman is crawling (left to right) on his belly, making his way through this area.  He is holding a white cloth to his nose with his left hand and his right hand is in a black trash bag.  We can see that he is making his way toward what looks to be a dead animal (right).  

           

             Pause.

 

            He gets to the animal, takes hold of the tail and starts moving backwards the way he came.

 

            Pause.

           

            He turns his head to the dirt he is crawling on and chokes some.

 

Curtain

 

 

 

Act Four

 

           

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman and Melina (center).

 

Melina.  You’re a dead man.

Roman.  I’m a dead man.

Melina.  You’re a dead man.

Roman.  I’m a dead man.

Melina.  You’re a dead man.

Roman.  I’m a dead man.

Melina.  Off with his head.

Roman.  Off with my head.

Melina.  Off with his head.

Roman.  Off with my head.

Melina.  Off with his head.

Roman.  Off with my head.

Melina.  You’re blushing

Roman.  I’m blushing.

Melina.  You’re blushing.

Roman.  I’m blushing.

Melina.  You’re blushing.

Roman.  I’m blushing.

 

           

            Blackout.

 

            Lights Up.

 

            The stage is divided into two equal parts by a large wall.  On one side (right center to center) there is a short stool with a long noose hanging above it.  The other side (left cent to center) is the yard.  Hanging from a branch of the tree is a noose, under it is an old chair. 

 

Melina. (Off stage) I am here because you are here.  But I am not here and you are not here anymore.

 

            She appears (right center) under the noose.  She steps onto the stool and puts her    head in the noose.

 

            I am here.  Come now; let us walk with our hands made like bowls.  Let our lips touch.  Let us undo what we have done to each other.  Let us undo somehow…It’s just that I am standing here and you there and you are not listening.  It doesn’t sound like it does when I am not here.  Let us pay close attention to each other now.

 

 

            She hangs herself.

 

 

            Roman appears (left center) in the yard.  He looks up at the noose. 

 

Roman.  My love less love is a perfect mess

            My love is a mess my love is perfect

            My love my perfect love less love is

            Perfect love is a mess my love less

            Love is a mess my love is less love

            My love is a perfect love my love

            Less love is perfect love is my love

            Perfect my love is a mess less love is

            My love a mess less perfect love my

            Love is love mess less my love less

            Love is mess less my love my heart

            Is a muscle that pumps blood my love

            Is blood less love perfect my love less

            Love is perfect love blood less love my

            Heart is perfect love is a mess my love

            My heart less love is the heart a muscle

            That pumps love my love less love is

            Blood less love perfect love is a blood

            Less heart a perfect muscle my love my

            Love less love is my heart a perfect mess

            My love my love less love my heart less

            Love that perfect mess is love my love my

            Love less love

 

            Black out.

 

 

 

Curtain

 

            Lights Up.

 

            Roman and Melina (center).

 

Melina.  If you will, then I will.
Roman.  And I will.
Melina.  Then we must.
Roman.  We must.
Melina.  Until?
Roman.  Until there is nothing left between us but us…
Melina.  …Turning in the light of the window we go and go.

 

 

Curtain

 

The End