Friday, July 24, 2009

raindrops (37)


for dee clark, ray charles,
smokey robinson & james cotton

delectus clark in ‘61 characterized
a particular strain of mangrief,
gave silky voice, swooping
falsetto & sundry other truth-
effects to a particular kind

of mentalizing, a mediated affect,
& episodic memory retrieval;
the engrammatic imagery of heartache
& pain coaxed into a blue metaphor,
into raindrops falling
from my eyes.

betraying an upward flow of air
in the head; air containing water
vapor cooling below the dew point
into a mighty cloud condensing
into raindrops falling
from my eyes.

ray charles robinson sang of it in ’56,
thru’ phlegmy & fey vocal chords,
thru multivalent performative effects &
oracular wilderness crying to warn
of raindrops falling
from my eyes.

falling so copiously, so prodigiously
that they threatened eminent inundation,
even drowning for those swept up
in the violent, unceasing torrent
of raindrops falling
from my eyes.

“smokey” bill robinson, past master
tunesmith, bade us look in ‘65 behind
the phoney smiles & laughter, pierce
masquerading gaiety to see the tracks
of raindrops falling
from my eyes.

see the flood damage, the aching hollows
that pockmark the heart’s bereft landscapes,
feel the rending agony of the fear of being
replaced scored on the soul
by raindrops falling
from my eyes.

james “superharp” cotton in ’96 dug up
murderous sentiment interred in billie’s
long gone blues; bluntly pointed to
abandonment, where it surely leads
with raindrops falling
from my eyes.

made me think of how closely i held u,
away from gawking eyes; how I bought
yr time & attention, even possessed u;
how I plotted yr demise when u left me
with raindrops falling
from my eyes.

but there is no cloud in my head, nor is
my heart a rock that gushes forth water
when tapped twice by a miracle staff.
i am just another lonely guy making up
about raindrops falling
from my eyes.

©Joseph McNair;2009


  1. We learn to hide our feelings over time. Since childhood, we are trained to control our feelings and hide them inside of us. Babies show their feelings without limitation and inhibation. But as they grow up, they are taught to put their feelings away and bury them very inside of them. Society demands people to keep the composture and balance, people that do not allow their emotions to take control of them. We must be perceived as strong, balanced and brave, even if circumstances are hard.

    Sometimes hiding feelings are necessary to avoid problems or achieve a specific goal. Some people hide their anger at work to avoid being suspended or fired. Others do not show their dislikes when they want someone else to sign a contract. Men are the ones who are more expected to be "tough". Crying, yelling or showing weekness are not accepted in many cultures. And some groups or societies go to the extreme by forbidding men to cry or ridiculizing them, in order for them to have a strong and brave image.

    But excessive control of emotions can have bad consequences. Feelings can exploit from the person one day, or they can manifest in other ways,for example, through physical or mental illness and through certain disturbing behaviors. Then, letting tears flow through our faces once in a while is not that bad.

  2. This is a pretty heart felt piece. This has to deal with how men grief whether you look at it from back in the early days or now in modern era. This explains further to my understanding that because society views men as being 'tough' they usually find a reason to hide pain or come up with an excuse to avoid showing their real true feelings.

  3. One of my favorite pieces out of the five read. It’s short, simple, and sincere. The piece deals with gender roles in this society, and more specifically man grief. An ailment many men suffer from, but must not speak about. In this piece, man grief is expressed as an act of natural disaster, something Mother Nature concocted to keep men from loosing face. Men don’t cry, but instead water the earth with the raindrops that fall from their eyes. A phrase made popular by Dee Clark’s song Raindrops. A song I am very fond of. In the song, Dee Clark sings that a man isn’t supposed to cry, a belief that many hold true throughout all types of cultural backgrounds. So what’s falling from his eyes aren’t tears, but instead raindrops. The piece supports this idea by comparing the intensity of the emotions a man feels to the act of a natural disaster, like a flood. A flood created by the “unceasing torrent of raindrops falling from” his eyes, a flood so powerful that if caught in the down pour you run the risk of drowning in it. A powerful piece, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the music playing in the background.

  4. Who says that men are not suppose to cry even when their heart has been broken into tiny pieces of glass...Being crushed by the one and only woman that they felt was the future miss’s. Now laying in pain and heartache and playing back the "good old days" bringing tears galore like the Mississippi river that keeps running as the thought of her. So many questions and answering himself back, filled with sorrow and pain; but most rage... So he realizes that he’s crying and realizes his ego... No he tells himself... I must stop these raindrops and MAN-UP...There are more fishes to come about!!

  5. The man figure represents strength,courage,and stabilty in the home. Yet, the tears of a man is like the raindrops from the sky. The man in the american society is "not suppose to cry" because the are percieved as weak and naive. Occasionally it is alright to cry as some may say,but emotions are something men,nor women can control;raindrops are the synonomn for tears.

  6. Lonliness and abandonment are scary feelings no person wants to endure. Delectus Clark speaks for most humans with this powerful, heartfelt piece, especially men. At the time the song was written, marriage and relationships were considered special sacraments that were to be respected and valued. A deteriorated relationship was looked down upon; reputations around the neighborhood were affected. Furthermore, negative emotions were not to be expressed, especially by men. Typically, men were looked at as the strong breadmakers and backbone of the family. Broken hearts were not to be expressed. Little boys were raised to hide emotions, crying was not an option. Dee Clark acted courageously by openly portraying his hurt from his broken relationship, even though he could only express "raindrops falling from his eyes."

  7. The poem depicts the hidden delicacies of a man’s emotion which is often suppress as a result of societal influences. It is often though that men should not cry or should not show emotion, but it should be noted that these suppression can erupt like a missile. The reality though is that men do cry and more often this is done as a result of broken relationships.

  8. Man grief is a mediated affect, imagery of heartache, and fear which causes a man to feel like raindrops are falling from his eyes. Men are supposed to be so tough they came up with a metaphor to disguise crying.

    There are many emotions as a human we experience. We can be happy, mad, sad, angry, anxious, and nervous. All of these emotions can lead any human to cry. Young, old, male or female, we all cry. It’s a shame some cultures thinks when a man cries they aren’t even considered to be a man because men aren’t suppose to cry. Men who cry can be called all kinds of names. If we accept a woman or a baby who cries, we should accept a man who cries too.

    Men should be raised with the fact that crying is an emotion that all humans convey. Researchers are coming to the conclusion that crying is good because “tears appear to reduce tensions, remove toxins, and increase the body's ability to heal itself….. and men who are able to cry may enjoy better physical and emotional health.”

    Raindrops can be symbolized in so many ways. Raindrops can be disguised as tears.
    I would like to think raindrops as a symbol of growth. Rain is water and it helps plants grow. When a person is able to release their emotion into tears, it’s a process, a progress to overcome a situation whether it is good or bad.

    For the people who are in disbelief, men do cry. For the men who have been raised to think they’re not supposed to, you can!!!!

  9. This writing was based on a song Dee Clark where he keeps referring to a metaphor which says that there is a cloud over his head, and the water on his face is raindrops. Basically what’s being shown through this piece are the feelings of a man who is grieving because he is hurt, so he is trying to express in words how he feels because every man knows it’s not manly to cry. This is a conception that almost all men live with, which in turn becomes anger in them. Since they are not allowed to grieve normally they withhold so much emotion inside and this causes an explosion when all the emotions are finally released.