The World Imagines Rain

My poem “The World Imagines Rain” appears in the March Issue of Ink in Thirds.  Here is the complete poem:

The World Imagines Rain

When I begin with you
I mention rain,
the taste of rain falling
in watered air.

If the weight that forms our lives
could be something the world
imagines, it would be a face
reflected in scarves of rain,
eyes wet with future.

We walk that maze forbidden,
the scarves invisible,
brushing against our lips,
our breath like small clouds
billowing and billowing down.

Notice the 2nd stanza.  Specifically, notice that I resisted the urge to continue to describe the rain.  Eight years ago, when I began writing poems in earnest, I probably wouldn’t have been able to stop myself. I would have spent two or three stanzas elaborating on that rain.

But it wasn’t necessary.  To make the poem better, more intuitive, and more creative, I simply went off my subject of describing the rain and posed a hypothetical idea about how the world imagines rain.

This is exactly what Rich Hugo famously suggested poets do.   Get off your subject.  However, I kept the tapestry of rain threaded throughout the 2nd and 3rd stanzas so that the poem’s associations weren’t completely random.  The result is (I hope) a poem that seems both fresh and inevitable at the same time.

It’s worth saying again–get off your topic, but keep your tapestry.  Poetry will follow.

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