Monday, September 26, 2011

mercury's not in retrograde

I like to stand
outside in the rain
without a coat
let it trickle
down my skin
all the way to the street

where it curls up
in silver drops
at my toes
like mercury
from a broken thermometer

pools around my legs
and tickles electricity
through my lips and nose
till my float valve detects a flood

it's okay to forget the umbrella
yeah, even the new red one
you gave me on my birthday

because they say
there's 100% chance
of precipitation

Tess Kincaid
September 2011

Listen to this sexy reading by R.A.D. Stainforth:
(you can visit him at his excellent blog, Black Dogs)

To join Magpie Tales creative writing group click here.


  1. made me imagine how the rain falls down from the nose to the legs... Kind of sexy for me... LOL!


  2. I like your float valve and red umbrella! (And the "inject a few raisins of conversation" invite.)

  3. OH this one is perfection...I love the rain, often running out in the field at night just to get wet ;)

  4. This photo reminds me of one of my favorite music videos of all time - Madonna's "Frozen". Filmed all in blue/black, with ravens and black dogs of war, and wind and rain and long black hair and clothing.

  5. it's a good day to be a chicky

    yellow sort of clashes with red anyway

  6. [how it remembers me that jesus & mary chain's song:

    «and if i tell you something
    you take me back to nothing
    i'm on the edge of something
    and i'm happy when it rains»

    just standing outside, in the rain...]

    Great Hug,


  7. love your take.

    amazing take.

    PS: Tess, can you delete my entry named

    Norning, it meant to be M-orning, not Norning...I linked in using a title.


  8. Tess you write with an intimacy that has me taking things personally. Masterful, that.

  9. Nice! The coloring in the prompt does, indeed, remind me of mercury.

  10. Fireblossom, I haven't heard "tuff" since high school. I must start using it again...giggle...tuff...

  11. Amazing Tess, the poetry, the image, the reading!

    Art by Karena

  12. I love this one. Beautiful.

  13. love it,

    wet and romantic imagery.

  14. I like how you drop something as unsexy as a "float valve" into the middle of this romance.

  15. Oh, yes, indeed.
    Bear likes to stand out in the rain. Then give myself a great shake, and move on.
    Beautiful poem, too.

  16. This hit a nerve: 'tickles electricity
    through my lips and nose' and I agree about the float valve! haha!

  17. love the image of mercury pooling around my legs - powerful imagery

  18. You are becoming such a master at your craft. I especially like the imagery at the end - 100% precipitation. Oh yes, and does that bring back memories of Beijing summers - so living like in a fish bowl is its humidity. Well done, you!

  19. And humor to go along with it!

  20. Sweet! Have always loved standing in the rain... waiting for that feeling when it 'tickles electricity through my lips and nose'. Such a sensuous piece, nice play.

  21. Yup. This one's a keeper too. I can't wait for your chapbook to arrive!

  22. I like the first two verses in particular, Tess.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  23. Wonderful… I’m waiting for the next rain… Love the imagery, both shown and created by your words.

  24. So refreshing... I like the Mercury thermometer metaphor.

  25. You are one clever lady Tess Kinkaid

    "where it curls up in silver drops at my toes like mercury from a broken thermometer"


    PS: I am having a wonderful time reading Patina. Beautiful simply beautiful collection.

  26. Very refreshing poem. I never carry an umbrella. I'd rather!

  27. i like this image but i especially like the crow in the rain. he;s got lots to say!!! steven

  28. Where ever did you find this photo? Or did you take it? I love the addition of the red umbrella ...

  29. It's raining here now. Love everything about it...the smell, the sound, the way it makes the air feel. Yesterday, I looked out and thought...what a nice, dreary day.

  30. So visual, so really flows....lovely.

  31. I'm your bemused spectator in this scene, Tess. Love love!

  32. I would want to summon
    A magic carpet to hover overhead
    To keep the rain off

    Would have thrown
    A coat upon the ground
    For you to walk on

    As you make your way
    To a standing room only
    Concert hall
    Where your poems will be read...

  33. Thank you, Owen...this is lovely...

  34. Great photo to go with! I love walking out in the rain, too.

  35. nice tess...this has a great feel to it..i like playing in the rain and if it pools at my feet i have somewhere to jump...smiles.

  36. Gorgeous! Love the umbrella part.;)

  37. Lovely stuff, beautiful.

    Anna :o]

  38. Fabulous Tess - I think you should leave your beautiful red umbrella in the sun

  39. Marvelous, and wonderful reading too. I am so totally delighted by your bringing in the red umbrella here. It expands the sense of community....all of us carrying these images inside our heads forever!

  40. The problem with being late to the party and reading your beautiful poems is that everyone else has already used up all the superlatives! This, to me, was a very thought provoking poem since I am somehow unsure of whether it makes me sad or hopeful. Apart from that I can only chime in on what everyone else has already said: Amazing, like, beautiful, etc. etc.

  41. I like this very much. There's such freedom of spirit in it.

  42. Tess,
    It's a slow and sensuous progress slipping by the side! How nice!


  43. I like the feeling in this...the freedom...great job!!

  44. ah, I enjoy a good rain too
    nice Tess

  45. Oh do I love this? Yes, yes I do! Yes! Wonderful!

  46. I had been walking in the rain before I recorded this ... a warm rain, with promise of a fine twilight, and a misty morning ... a glass of whisky, a cigarette ... I took a breath and I was ready to go ... I repeat my assertion, given elsewhere, that you are the 21st century Emily Dickinson, Tess ...

  47. Mercury pooling up sounds quite ominous...a human thermometer perhaps. I have to read again.

    Haven't received my copy of Patina. Emailed Finishing Line. No reply yet. I'll follow up, anxious to read it.

  48. R.A.D., I blush...thank you for the charming manly ambiance you lend to my words...

  49. Tess, we could all do with a charming manly ambulance at our age ... you meant ambience ... even that looks wrong ... ambient ... ambulent ... amulet ... ambient snacking units are the next big thing in supermarkets, so I'm told ... a cabinet full of snacks that can be wheeled around the supermarket to make people buy the stuff ...

  50. I do hope this is included in your next book of poems!:)

  51. R.A.D., "amulet" fits nicely, too, since you add plenty of charm to Willow Manor...x

  52. Tess - I absolutely love this piece. It really feels very personal. Kristen

  53. I like the idea of silver drops curling up at your toes, like mercury.

  54. Red umbrella and float valve bring energy to this finely tuned atmospheric piece!

  55. Dear Tess: I'd forget the red umbrella too if there were 100 percent chance of precipitation! Mercury's sizzling tonight! And how does one get a sexy voice like R.A.D. Stainforth?

  56. Chicco, my guess is, that for one to get a sexy voice like Stainforth, one must be sexy...

  57. The 'she' of the poem likes rain on her skin and maybe a few other sensuous precipitations.

  58. I love it! And his voice is perfect for it!
    and ... Yay mercury it out of retrograde! :)

  59. Perfectly beautiful! I was touched by the poem and enjoyed the photos.

  60. This is wonderful. I did so enjoy it. I found it not just quietly amusing, but laid-back and slightly teasing. Above all, it's memorable.

  61. Almost like a soft song playing the background.... sensuous.

  62. What can I say. I have said it all before. Brilliant.

  63. It is interesting to read all the different interpretations of this picture Tess - I particularly like yours.

  64. Love this. I could really feel the rain.

  65. i love the way you've written bout raindrops trickling down your skin to the street.

  66. /pools around my legs/
    and tickles electricity/
    through my lips and nose/
    damn lady, you do take the
    pleasure of rain, and blend
    it with your passionate approval,
    and inject it with a Kincaid heat
    that nearly enflames the page;
    great poem. Although it is a
    terrific compliment to be compared
    to Emily Dickinson, her life was
    too repressed to compete with the
    beats of ardor you drop on us,
    share with us, as you stand drenched
    in the downpour, hands full of hot
    earth, radiating volts of poetry.

  67. Just today I was saying "If Mercury is not in retrograde, what can I blame all this sh*t on?!"

    Love each word, Tess... and love what this image prompt brought out in me.

    THANK YOU for giving this gift to me (and everyone) today.


  68. Wuuuunderful, Tess.
    As always.

    But I hate the echo.

  69. I think I ended up writing about her... the one in the poem. :) Beautiful poem...

    Arnab Majumdar on

  70. Great piece of art. Love the float valve, so out of the box in its use.

    Tale Spinning
    The Rain of Tears

  71. this made all the rain we had the last 8 days tolerable! I'm looking at it in a whole new light and may just leave my umbrella home for the next one! Great write :)

  72. Tess,
    the scene would be perfect if only Fred Astaire were there and you were singing in the rain.

  73. I can certainly identify with your take on this as yesterday we had a wild thunderstorm in Melbourne, which dumped 48 mm of water on us, making it the wettest September day in 100 years.

    I got caught out in the rain and after getting wet simply enjoyed it!

  74. excellent post - quite droll.
    like the little girl said: why doesn't God just keep the old people
    instead of always making new ones:}

    cool blog.

  75. A wonderful, sensual delight, with or without Mr. Stainforth's sexy voice (but his reading is gorgeous). Thank you.

  76. Tess, this is so melodic ... somewhat melancholic and sentimental. QuitelLovely really.

  77. Brilliant words/poem again, Willow/Tess. Love this man's reading of it too. Perfect. how did you get him to do that? Fun. Also, REALLY love the vintage video. fits so well with your upcoming vintage ball. ..

    makes me wonder if there isn't a way you couldn't do a black and white flickering video with vintage music to introduce the ball this year?

    WEll done!

  78. For some reason I am just finding this one. Marvelous!

  79. Gentle readers, your kind and generous comments keep my muse happy...she thanks you...and so do I.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)