Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why It Often Rains in the Movies by Lawrence Raab

Because so much consequential thinking
happens in the rain. A steady mist
to recall departures, a bitter downpour
for betrayal. As if the first thing
a man wants to do when he learns his wife
is sleeping with his best friend, and has been
for years, the very first thing
is not to make a drink, and drink it,
and make another, but to walk outside
into bad weather. It's true
that the way we look doesn't always
reveal our feelings. Which is a problem
for the movies. And why somebody has to smash
a mirror, for example, to show he's angry
and full of self-hate, whereas actual people
rarely do this. And rarely sit on benches
in the pouring rain to weep. Is he wondering
why he didn't see it long ago? Is he wondering
if in fact he did, and lied to himself?
And perhaps she also saw the many ways
he'd allowed himself to be deceived. In this city
it will rain all night. So the three of them
return to their houses, and the wife
and her lover go upstairs to bed
while the husband takes a small black pistol
from a drawer, turns it over in his hands,
then puts it back. Thus demonstrating
his inability to respond to passion
with passion. But we don't want him
to shoot his wife, or his friend, or himself.
And we've begun to suspect
that none of this is going to work out,
that we'll leave the theater feeling
vaguely cheated, just as the movie,
turning away from the husband's sorrow,
leaves him to be a man who must continue,
day after day, to walk outside into the rain,
outside and back again, since now there can be
nowhere in this world for him to rest.

(C)Lawrence Raab

It was supposed to rain today by Weam Namou

It was supposed to rain today,
but it’s warm and sunny instead.
I sit on the porch to have my
morning coffee, all alone,
with no one to call my name
to order apple juice or screach, “Boula”
the Iraqi word for urine.

I’ve taken one, maybe two sips of my favorite drink,
Nes Café, a dash of sugar and milk,
when I hear the laughing voices
of my husband and daughter echo from inside the house.
He comes out, carrying her over his shoulders
like a sack of rice.
She is still in her pajamies, holding onto her blanket.

He instructs me to sit elsewhere.
There are bees in the barbecue grill beside me.
I move the chair to another place,
then do the same with my coffee cup,
the novel I’m reading, the journal I plan to write in,
the cell and home phone
I’ve taken outside so that it will
not wake anyone up when it rings.

He removes the cover off the barbecue grill.
Inside a honeycomb has been built.
A bright yellow bee comes to it.
I take a deep breath, close my eyes to pray.
“You’re falling asleep!” I hear an elder warn.
I’m annoyed. It’s an elder who is staying with us for a bit.

He brings over a scrub brush
bangs the honeycomb, then the bee.
The honeycomb falls to the ground,
the bee is dead. A second bee flies away.

I pick up the honeycomb and observe there’s no honey yet.
I think… of the people whose plans are spoiled
due to them being an inconvenience, or for whatever other reason,
to another group of humans who are so mighty
they can, with one bang, change the outcome of the weak one’s future.

I throw the honeycomb, go inside to prepare a breakfast of cheese and bread.

(C) Weam Namou