Excerpt from Things We Do and Don’t Say of the Rain by Robert Carnevale


This poem was published in our Fall 2015 print issue and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Single copies of the issue are available for purchase.

Listen to an interview with Robert Carnevale.

We say light, steady, driving.
We do not say deep, do not say dead,
we do not say the rain is down.

And all the while,
whatever we say, the rain
is not even here.
Where the rain is
there is no here.  That is
just one of our schemes.

But once you are here,
rain is here with you;
once there, you are
there with the rain.

We are of the same place
as the rain, we hear it,
and it is true.  Sometimes
we even see it –
if not so plainly as Hiroshige.

Speak for me too, rain,
and I will listen.

Robert CarnevaleROBERT CARNEVALE was born in Italy and grew up in Paterson, NJ.  He worked in several capacities on the Voices and Visions film series on American poets and was Assistant Coordinator of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poetry Program for six years.  He teaches in the graduate school at Drew University and in the college at Kean University.

Aside from Tiferet, his poems have appeared in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The Alaska Quarterly, The Literary Review, Sidereal Times and other magazines, and several have been anthologized.  His translations, with Carol Ueland, of Russian poet Aleksandr Kushner are collected in Apollo in the Grass, published this year by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

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