Thursday, May 8, 2008

It's Raining Again

All morning I have found myself plagued by a Supertramp song running through my head. The song has hovered just below the threshold of my conscious awareness for most of its infestation, but several times it has broken through and forced its way to the front of the attentional line that forms in my head each morning. It is not a song that is particularly well-crafted. Nor is it one I liked much when it was hit twenty-some-odd years ago.
What the song has going for it is relevance. It is indeed raining again. Seems like it rains a lot here in the Spring. But what I want to know is, of all the rain-related songs stored away in the recesses of my brain, why did THAT particular song bubble up through the grey and into the light? Why not Dylan, the Beatles, or Blind Melon? Why not CCR? Why not Counting Crows? Why, oh dear God, WHY Supertramp?

More Than a Woman
Billy Collins

Ever since I woke up today,
a song has been playing uncontrollably
in my head--a tape looping

over the spools of the brain,
a rosary in the hands of a frenetic nun,
mad fan belt of a tune.

It must have escaped from the radio
last night on the drive home
and tunneled while I slept

from my ears to the center of my cortex.
It is a song so cloying and vapid
I won't even bother mentioning the title,

but on it plays as if I were on a turntable
covered with dancing children
and their spooky pantomimes,

as if everything I had ever learned
was slowly being replaced
by its slinky chords and the puffballs of its lyrics.

It played while I watered the plant
and continued when I brought in the mail
and fanned out the letters on a table.

It repeated itself when I took a walk
and watched from a bridge
brown leaves floating in the channels of a current.

In the late afternoon it seemed to fade,
but I heard it again at the restaurant
when I peered in at the lobsters

lying on the bottom of an illuminated
tank which was filled to the brim
with their copious tears.

And now at this dark window
in the middle of the night
I am beginning to think

I could be listening to music of the spheres,
the sound no one ever hears
because it has been playing forever,

Only the spheres are colored pool balls,
and the music is oozing from a jukebox
whose lights I can just make out through the clouds.

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