my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?

9.10.2005

Bethany Sent the Perfect Seattle Poem:

Black Umbrellas

On a rainy day in Seattle stumble into any coffee shop
and look wounded by the rain.
Say Last time I was in I left my black umbrella here.
A waitress in a blue beret will pull a black umbrella
from behind the counter and surrender it to you
like a sword at your knighting.
Unlike New Englanders, she'll never ask you
to describe it, never ask what day you came in,
she's intimate with rain and its appointments.
Look positively reunited with this black umbrella
and proceed to Belltown and Pike Place.
Sip cappuccino at the Cowgirl Luncheonette on First Ave.
Visit Buster selling tin salmon silhouettes
undulant in the wind, nosing ever into the oncoming,
meandering watery worlds, like you and the black umbrella,
the one you will lose on purpose at the day's end
so you can go the way you came
into the world, wet looking.

by Rick Agran, from Crow Milk © Oyster River Press

10 Comments:

Blogger Laura said...

Oh my word, this is a GREAT poem!! I read it getting more open-mouthed in wonder by the minute and then came that last delight-inducing,Ah Ha-creating line. Thank you SO much for sharing this, M!

2:22 PM

 
Blogger clearing said...

::::weeps::::


I am so homesick. What a lovely descriptive piece, evoking many memories.

I like:

"she's intimate with rain and its appointments"

XXX

3:13 PM

 
Anonymous Lulu said...

Oh, lovely, but such bad timing for me...rain is the Enemy today. Yesterday we had a freak storm; it only lasted 40 minutes but there was so much water that it flooded the basement of the building where I live. It was pouring down the stairwell from the roof as if someone had turned two bath taps on full, and there's not supposed to be water there so it went in the lift shafts and the electricity column. The lifts and the boiler fused and we have no hot water, and the electricity company say the area has to dry out before they will restore power. But it keeps raining, and raining, and raining, and the inside of my flat feels damp through and through and I keep going to look and touch the walls because I keep thinking water is getting in somewhere else it shouldn't, and I have started wondering why exactly rain doesn't go through walls and feeling not safe, as if the outside is getting in. It's becoming an obsession - water where it shouldn't be is my main floating anxiety - and I am driving my nearest and dearest crazy with it. I want to live in a motor home. Or a hotel. And have a well, not piped water. (It occurs to me that the daily TV pictures of a flooded New Orleans, which I think about all the time, have not helped my rancid imagination.)

But it's true about the black umbrellas - every cafe, every station, every theatre cloakroom has one that was left behind. There is a world of black umbrellas available for temporary use, like those communal bikes they have in Copenhagen.

3:18 PM

 
Blogger mireille said...

oh Lulu, that's truly awful. The best part of being wet is getting dry and warm. Somehow, get dry and warm. So we can keep being romantic about Seattle. *which I now think is wonderful. My first decade here, I wasn't so sure.*

3:32 PM

 
Anonymous Lulu said...

Seattle is one of the main places I would want to live if I could live in America. For sure. My image of it is from Frasier, of course. New York is probably too much noise and craziness for me these days, and I don't like heat so that rules out a whole bunch of places. I've only been to the USA once, to Madison in Connecticut on a short work trip. It was cuter than cute and there was a real diner with bacon and refillable coffee and all the old men from the town having breakfast with their mates (where were the women?). And a bookshop with a cafe and readers' evenings. And modern artworks around the town, and a supermarket full of interesting stuff and a drugstore where I bought some melatonin because it's illegal here and that is still standing me in good stead. And WHITE PICKET FENCES. Like a David Lynch movie but without the subtext. I loved it. I even loved that Newark airport had white rattan rocking chairs in its waiting lounge, under a hexagonal arbour of fake greenery.

3:55 PM

 
Anonymous janeys said...

What a lovely poem. It has such a sense of place. I feel like strolling over to the Cowgirl Luncheonette on First Ave. Guess I'll have to settle for a ride over to the Green Owl on Atlantic. Nice isn't it how every town has a place that makes you feel like home.

4:27 PM

 
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Ah yes, 'the coast'. When I was a Victoria-ite, there was always a bumbershoot in the car, in the backpack, in the purse, over my head.

What a great poem.
Hopefully it won't rain next Saturday but I won't worry if it does. Nothing will be able to diminish the joy of meeting you!!!
xoxo

5:03 PM

 
Blogger clearing said...

Laura!!!! You beat me to it!! Dang.

I wish I could be there to have that walk, that coffee, that chocolate, with both of you.

Have so much fun!!!!

7:19 PM

 
Blogger Urban Chick said...

what a wonderful poem!

the summer in london seems to be breaking now and we've had rain and i LOVE it

when i wanted to get to know mr chick (before i was mrs chick), i *forgot* my brolly at his place and then just had to come back to fetch it and the rest, as they say, is history...

but s'not fair! i *want* to have coffee with you and kyahgirl in seattle next saturday!

**stamps foot petulantly**

4:55 AM

 
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

dear clearing and UC, we will take a special moment to think of you both!

Laura

iwrgnlp= I will really grasp neurolinguistic programming.

6:40 PM

 

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