A Pantoum for the Rain Man

Dylan in the rain

Well,I am back from California and soon I will post an account of my many adventures there. Meantime here is a poem which seemed to make lots of connections when I read it at my various poetry readings in San Francisco. Bob Dylan’s 70th Birthday celebrations were still stirring my dull roots with spring rain, mixing memory and Desire, so the echoes of his voice, and the exigencies of the Girton Poetry Group stirred me on to this. For more information on the ever-intricate and wonderful poetic form which is the Pantoum check out this site. I would enjoy it if any fellow Dylan enthusiasts would like to let me know which refrences they spotted, though I hope the poem works without their all needing to be reeled in. Rimbaud  gets a look in too. As to who the singer is, who asks the question, I merely observe that tho Dylan sang “Is your love in vain?” on Street Legal, the album that chronicles the brink of his conversion, before the event, it is a question that might equally be asked of him, or of any of us, by the Christ he had yet to meet. As always you can hear the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button. if it appears, or on the title of the poem.

A Pantoum for the Rain Man

We heard him singing  ‘Is your love in vain?’
But one too many mornings held us fast
And so we stood inside, inside the rain,
Buckets of it, buckets filling fast

And one too many mornings held us fast
And when you cried your tears were like rain
Buckets of it, buckets filling fast
But I cried like a fire in the sun

And when you cried your tears were like rain
The rain man gave the two of us two cures
But I cried like a fire in the sun
Your tears drowned mine and mine were burning  yours

The rain man gave the two of us two cures
So we became each others antidote
your tears drowned mine and mine were burning yours
Two drunken lovers in a drunken boat

so we became each others antidote
When we made love and then made love again
Two drunken lovers in a drunken boat
Expecting death or else expecting rain

When we made love and then made love again
That Eastertide in Juarez in the rain
Expecting death but drinking in the rain
We heard Him singing ‘Is your love in vain?’

3 Comments

Filed under imagination

3 responses to “A Pantoum for the Rain Man

  1. tears like rain “I Pity The Poor Immigrant”
    When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”
    Is your love in vain? “Street Legal”
    Everybody is making love/ Or else expecting rain “Desolation Row”
    fire in the sun “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”
    also: some of your phrases remind me of “Ain’t Talkin’ ”
    drinken boat bateau ivre of course is Rimbaud’s title of his masterpiece poem
    Malcolm, I expect there is much more — you are quite learned in Dylan lyric lore.

    • malcolmguite

      Excellent Carl, you re right with all of those, there’s still a few more tho, think “stuck inside of mobile” and a great song from “blood on the tracks”!

  2. Oh, yes!
    “Now the rainman gave me two cures
    Then he said, “Jump right in”
    The one was Texas medicine
    The other was just railroad gin”
    The song from “Blood. . .” is “Buckets of Rain.”

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