Sleepless . . .
Ever sit up late
and listen to the sound of rain
falling against your roof?
I tell you there’s something about this sound.
There’s something about the sound of angry raindrops,
teeming, crashing down
like a thousands little foot-soldiers
landing after leaping from the sky
and then running down the roof –
There’s something about the sound of rain
or the feel of it or the notion that for now,
all is quiet and hushed and, for the moment,
everything is being washed away;
all the crazy sediments,
all the dust which kicks up from our commotion,
and all the static between us
is hushed to nothing else
but the sound of steady raindrops
falling against the roof.
One could say this is romantic
One could say this is cathartic
or maybe even pastoral.
One could say a lot of things . . .
But I can say this –
I tell you, I don’t mind the rain.
I don’t mind the sleepy silence,
even if I can’t sleep.
I don’t mind the ideas of water
running down the side of the street,
collecting like pools into a run-off
and then flooding up at the corners
where the streets drain
and push the waters
into the underground tunnels.
I don’t mind the ideas and the remnants of youth;
in which case, this comes to me
in tiny memories and old notions
of a time when I was alone
and watching the rainfall
and sitting by myself at my bedroom window.
I watched the cars drive by.
I could hear the sound of the cars
slashing through the watery streets
and moving fast
across the wet pavement on Merrick Avenue.
I remember the double yellow lines
which lined the center of the street
and how they seemed
to glisten beneath the grayness of the sky.
I remember the empty fields across from my home –
which was on a main road –
and I recall the stillness of tall-grassed fields
and how they seemed to wither beneath the rain,
all the grass had been tanned from the autumn wind,
old and dying yet standing like a bent-over reed
half at attention and half weak,
softly moving in the rainy wind.
This was my view from the window
it was a tiny fragment of suburbia
or, if at all;
this was a quick little section
of my young suburban life
before I jumped ship
and looked for the fast life
and big-city highlights.
This memory leads me to a time when I had to seek shelter,
hiding away as a crazy teen with a razor blade life,
brave enough to dare the edge without remorse
and yet, I was hiding myself away.
Hiding from who I was (or am)
or what I thought or how I felt.
I can remember being beneath a bridge,
sitting near a stone and tucked away from the rest of the world.
I watched the cars pass by,
aware, awake, and wondering what it would be like if
I grew up at the same time and in the same body
or maybe even with the same family . . .
but on the other side of the country –
or maybe even the other side of the world.
(Ever wonder this?)
I have other dreams about the rain.
I have other pictures in my mind such as
an old cabin near a lake in the mountains,
somewhere Upstate where, of course,
I’ve been here before yet
no one has ever really been here because
this place is only a place in my mind.
This is a mix between a real bungalow
and a dream
The cabin is small with a little porch in front
where a roof hangs over.
White log pillars hold up the overhang
with a log-like fence across the porch.
The siding is white and the molding is green,
like a place I saw in my youth –
I’m not sure where I saw this
or if my version of this is accurate,
but I know the origin of this dream.
I know the origin of all my dreams, which . . .
maybe this is why I never seem to mind the rain
or the sound of angry raindrops on my roof –
They put me in touch with an ongoing lullaby;
one that I’ll never get tired of
or want to be without.
It’s raining still and shortly
I’ll be passing through the streets of Manhattan
which is where kamikaze taxis swish through intersections
to assassinate the ground
and move from the Uptown side to the Down
or from East to West.
Ever see someone on the sidewalk
get annihilated by a puddle
when a cab rushes through it?
Yeah, well . . .
Come to Midtown –
watch the streets from an office window
You’ll see lots of things
I promise . . .