Start with the rain. The day starts with the rain.
The Sunday rain. Another Sunday rain.
Let it go on and on and on like pain.
Thus find your elemental theme in rain.
There is no business raining on the roofs,
and but one light that lights the horse’s hoofs.
Low to the ground, sink into earth to strain
the music of the sky opening its vein.
Without a sound, but wind that whips the leaves
and hammering like fingers on the eaves,
the day begins, the luckless lover grieves
sinister mysteries the mind perplexes,
the lifeless throbbing of the dullest flexes.
So what has happened to another year?
The eye scales brick and stillness plumbs the ear,
and there is no one there to truly hear.
The calendar with love has been cast out.
The vows and promises another route
have taken, not what might have been.
The soul is empty underneath the skin,
the faithless lover lies in naked sin.
Just so. With rain you let the day begin.
The streets are slick with memory’s reflections,
the many byways of the mind’s directions,
wet thick on brick,
where nothing in its mystery shall stick,
affording a proper end to introspections
that have no name, where no two are the same,
except in the unity of your dissections,
the fame of the eternity’s ejections.
Mankind is sick.
And comes up against naught but stone and brick,
not certain what there is he should atone for,
or what there is that he should truly moan for,
is there some reason that he is alone for.
He’s quite insane, yet know him by his name
and you shall know the most and least of pain,
the troubles he has opening the door,
what stretches forward, and what comes before.
There is nothing holding you together,
except the windy and the rainy weather.
Then turn the corner, you shall find there’s more.
Now for the story of the childhood kitchen,
the glass panes that tall skies and bare trees look in.
The highest branches whip in puzzling patterns,
the eye spins in, with orioles and terns,
from our perspective like a broken chalice,
the snow lies bloody just outside the palace.
The bowl steams, operatic in precision,
the child staves off the moment of decision.
The wind will whip, and snow melts on the ground,
at night the diggings of the silver hound,
elemental in his spiky collar,
from door to door his howling ghostly holler.
But here is safety, all well understood,
the mother symbol of maternal good.
Spaghetti swims with unity’s division,
and history is a preempted vision,
original, and scarcely known to one,
who finds this day the world has just begun.
Chaplin appears, the first time he is seen,
revealing flickerings of what has been,
and Caligari, tortured in oblong angles,
beer garden, mental institute, who mangles
memory. There is a lot to see
in first encountered shards of history.
After awhile the branches blue and thicken
with winter darkness, stillnesses that quicken
the senses, and an orange light comes on,
a single flare that signifies day’s gone.
Ben Mazer‘s most recent collections of poems are December Poems, just out from Pen and Anvil Press, and The Glass Piano, published in the fall of 2015 by MadHat Press. His February Poems will appear later this year from the Grolier Poetry Press. He is the editor of The Collected Poems of John Crowe Ransom (Un-Gyve Press, 2015), as well as the editor of The Battersea Review. He hails from Cambridge, Mass.