November Rain

November Rain in the 4 a.m.

the chorusing rain so ravishing
they rush out of the house to make love
a before-dawn silvery love
the cupped radiance
streetlights bright as up-swelling joy

the rain so glamorous they light up two cigarettes
their backs puddled in boulevard grass
under bare trees they study the miniature tear-drop
blow collapsible smoke into felled funnels of wet

the rain so clamorous their hearts break
their breathing slows as though
they have started to live underground

this soft fizzley falling     this night    rain insistent as pins
the contact so unmistakable
murmurous    cool    the undertones
the universe falling again and again

Questions and Answers

Is there a specific moment that inspired you to pursue poetry?

I started my writing career as a novelist. I use that term loosely; my first publication, Paper Trail, was a mixed genre book, with both poetry and prose. But before the book was published, I had joined a writing group. I was still working full time, and I realized I didn’t have the time to write chapters every month, so I started to write poems to bring to our monthly group meetings. Poems were shorter to write than chapters and soon the first novel that I had started, fell away entirely and I became a poet. I suppose you could say I was “inspired,” but really, I was mainly trying to balance my life, to optimize the little time I had.

How/where do you find inspiration today?

I find inspiration in the many details of the world immediately around me. For instance, right now I am working on a collection of poetry about the street where I live.  So many details!  So much to write about on this street. I prefer to write themed collections, so this works well for me.

What inspired or motivated you to write this poem?

November Rain happened because it was November and of course, it was raining, torrentially, at night. The sound was hypnotic and beautiful and I got up and started writing. Imagination did the rest.

How did your writing process unfold around this poem? How did you write, edit, and refine it?

I wrote most of it that night, as the rain cascaded into the street and against my window, but I edit incessantly.  I believe it is so important to edit as much as the poem can bear.

This poem “November Rain” originally appeared in Literary History. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 233 (Summer 2017): 50.

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