A little more on Creeley

creeleyLast night Larry said he had forgotten Creeley’s rain poem, and how much he loved it. I was surprised, because Larry has often said he thought Creeley was mostly a faker.

“Well,” he explained, “The early work was great. But then he just kept writing. And the cult of Creeley was obnoxious. One of his devotees once told me in all seriousness that ‘One day he will write the perfect poem, and it will be one word.’ A direct quote.”

I heard Creeley read in the late 60s at Harvard. He wore an eye patch and a beret and was a true showman–maybe a bit of a faker, but the poems were powerful. Perhaps he suffered from his fame, trying to imitate himself in his later work. I’m not well-read enough to say.


rainThis is our first real rainy day this year.How delicious to be inside, watching the earth soak up, at last, some moisture.  In its honor, two rain poems. And also the rain room at LACMA.

Rain Effect

A bride and a groom sitting in an open buggy
in the rain, holding hands but not looking
at each other, waiting for the rain to stop,
waiting for the marriage to begin, embarrassed
by the rain, the effect of the rain on the bridal
veil, the wet horse with his mane in his eyes,
the rain cold as the sea, the sea deep as love,
big drops of rain falling on the leather seat,
the rain beaded on a rose pinned to the groom’s
lapel, the rain on the bride’s bouquet,
on the baby’s breath there, the sound of the rain
hitting the driver’s top hat, the rain
shining like satin on the black street,
on the tips of patent leather shoes, Hokusai’s
father who polished mirrors for a living, Hokusai’s
father watching the sky for clouds, Hokusai’s father’s son
drawing rain over a bridge and over the people crossing
the bridge, Hokusai’s father’s son drawing the rain
for hours, Hokusai’s father rubbing a mirror, the rain
cold as the sea, the sea cold as love, the sea swelling
to a tidal wave, at the tip of the wave white.

Mary Ruefle (from Cold Pluto)

And this old favorite, by Robert Creeley


All night the sound hadScreenshot 2015-11-09 09.29.53
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.

What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? Is it

that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
Be wet
with a decent happiness.

Continue reading “Rain”

Sorting through the boxes

Have you saved every letter you ever got and every photo you ever took? It seems we have, boxes and boxes of them, moved from house to house, stored in attics, garages, rented storage spaces. We moved 21 times in the last 40 years, although we did spend 23 years in one house. We’ve discarded so much in the process, but these boxes moved each time, with the idea that… Well, it’s hard to remember the exact idea that made these items worth saving.

Going through them now, discarding letters from people I can’t remember, wondering what to do with letters from the dead, I do find random pieces of our history, like this, the receipt for $25 the first month’s rent on the first place Larry and I lived together, a moldy, decrepit and perfectly wonderful float house on Cowichan Lake in Youbou, BC. We rented it from Mr. and Mrs. Gold.

Youbou recipt_optLooking at this receipt brings back that month, March, 1969, living on practically nothing in that drafty cabin with its smelly oil stove and gorgeous setting. I remember the shyness of first living with someone, listening to Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Cream, the Chambers Brothers, Dylan–all new to me, learning to add cinnamon to French Toast, friends visiting from California, various adventures and misadventures.

1942 Float House at Camp 6_opt Continue reading “Sorting through the boxes”