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We Ain't Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain Analysis

Author: poem of Charles Bukowski Type: poem Views: 5

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call it the greenhouse effect or whatever

but it just doesn't rain like it used to.

I particularly remember the rains of the

depression era.

there wasn't any money but there was

plenty of rain.

it wouldn't rain for just a night or

a day,

it would RAIN for 7 days and 7


and in Los Angeles the storm drains

weren't built to carry off taht much


and the rain came down THICK and

MEAN and


and you HEARD it banging against

the roofs and into the ground

waterfalls of it came down

from roofs

and there was HAIL



exploding smashing into things

and the rain

just wouldn't


and all the roofs leaked-


cooking pots

were placed all about;

they dripped loudly

and had to be emptied

again and


the rain came up over the street curbings,

across the lawns, climbed up the steps and

entered the houses.

there were mops and bathroom towels,

and the rain often came up through the

toilets:bubbling, brown, crazy,whirling,

and all the old cars stood in the streets,

cars that had problems starting on a

sunny day,

and the jobless men stood

looking out the windows

at the old machines dying

like living things out there.

the jobless men,

failures in a failing time

were imprisoned in their houses with their

wives and children

and their


the pets refused to go out

and left their waste in

strange places.

the jobless men went mad

confined with

their once beautiful wives.

there were terrible arguments

as notices of foreclosure

fell into the mailbox.

rain and hail, cans of beans,

bread without butter;fried

eggs, boiled eggs, poached

eggs; peanut butter

sandwiches, and an invisible

chicken in every pot.

my father, never a good man

at best, beat my mother

when it rained

as I threw myself

between them,

the legs, the knees, the


until they


"I'll kill you," I screamed

at him. "You hit her again

and I'll kill you!"

"Get that son-of-a-bitching

kid out of here!"

"no, Henry, you stay with

your mother!"

all the households were under

seige but I believe that ours

held more terror than the


and at night

as we attempted to sleep

the rains still came down

and it was in bed

in the dark

watching the moon against

the scarred window

so bravely

holding out

most of the rain,

I thought of Noah and the


and I thought, it has come


we all thought


and then, at once, it would


and it always seemed to


around 5 or 6 a.m.,

peaceful then,

but not an exact silence

because things continued to


and there was no smog then

and by 8 a.m.

there was a

blazing yellow sunlight,

Van Gogh yellow-

crazy, blinding!

and then

the roof drains

relieved of the rush of


began to expand in the warmth:


and everybody got up and looked outside

and there were all the lawns

still soaked

greener than green will ever


and there were birds

on the lawn

CHIRPING like mad,

they hadn't eaten decently

for 7 days and 7 nights

and they were weary of



they waited as the worms

rose to the top,

half drowned worms.

the birds plucked them


and gobbled them

down;there were

blackbirds and sparrows.

the blackbirds tried to

drive the sparrows off

but the sparrows,

maddened with hunger,

smaller and quicker,

got their


the men stood on their porches

smoking cigarettes,

now knowing

they'd have to go out


to look for that job

that probably wasn't

there, to start that car

that probably wouldn't


and the once beautiful


stood in their bathrooms

combing their hair,

applying makeup,

trying to put their world back

together again,

trying to forget that

awful sadness that

gripped them,

wondering what they could

fix for


and on the radio

we were told that

school was now




there I was

on the way to school,

massive puddles in the


the sun like a new


my parents back in that


I arrived at my classroom

on time.

Mrs. Sorenson greeted us

with, "we won't have our

usual recess, the grounds

are too wet."

"AW!" most of the boys


"but we are going to do

something special at

recess," she went on,

"and it will be


well, we all wondered

what that would


and the two hour wait

seemed a long time

as Mrs.Sorenson

went about

teaching her


I looked at the little

girls, they looked so

pretty and clean and


they sat still and


and their hair was


in the California


the the recess bells rang

and we all waited for the


then Mrs. Sorenson told us:

"now, what we are going to

do is we are going to tell

each other what we did

during the rainstorm!

we'll begin in the front row

and go right around!

now, Michael, you're first!. . ."

well, we all began to tell

our stories, Michael began

and it went on and on,

and soon we realized that

we were all lying, not

exactly lying but mostly

lying and some of the boys

began to snicker and some

of the girls began to give

them dirty looks and

Mrs.Sorenson said,

"all right! I demand a

modicum of silence


I am interested in what

you did

during the rainstorm

even if you


so we had to tell our

stories and they were


one girl said that

when the rainbow first


she saw God's face

at the end of it.

only she didn't say which end.

one boy said he stuck

his fishing pole

out the window

and caught a little


and fed it to his


almost everybody told

a lie.

the truth was just

too awful and

embarassing to tell.

then the bell rang

and recess was


"thank you," said Mrs.

Sorenson, "that was very


and tomorrow the grounds

will be dry

and we will put them

to use


most of the boys


and the little girls

sat very straight and


looking so pretty and

clean and


their hair beautiful in a sunshine that

the world might never see




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