Monsoon Man emerges from the scum of that big puddle
on North Main,
the one other there by Wells Fargo
across the street from KFC
it’s his favorite low spot.

Monsoon Man, he concentrates
on last year’s clouds.
He was around before time, back when time
was shameless
and shaped like amaranth.

Monsoon Man, he rises unnoticed,
webbed knees, shoulders
misty saffron-yellow flix weed.
A purple funk in his eyes
blinking like an ailing light bulb.
A mountain chasm of fog
pumping from the cracks between his mossy teeth.

Monsoon Man sometimes makes mistakes socializing,
just like you,
but his body is inside out
and covers the whole basin.

Monsoon Man says the aquifers are stacked,
he says they’re dominoes of water and light.
By his calculations the ganglion is 2,552 feet beneath
where Farney turns into Woffard.

Monsoon Man teaches Morse code to every stone
but you see the stones don’t reinforce it in their homes so…

Monsoon Man is the patron saint of puddles
after their gone.

It’s raining, he’s the drops splattering,
water balloons of testosterone, dust and soot.
His blood is galaxies of drizzle,
curtains of granite murk,
flurries of aggressive dew.
His is a private eye
in a cage of august rainbow.

Monsoon Man feeds the street cats and the tree birds
and the street cats kill the tree birds just for fun
and Monsoon Man is haboobing in Arizona
or catching some Zzzz’s on the Brazos.

Monsoon Man’s hands have rainwater on their breath.

Monsoon Man’s eyes are green like mine.

I like it when water tongues out from a crack in the rock face,
I like it when the desert sun is rough with it.
Monsoon Man doesn’t look at it that way.

Monsoon Man doesn’t tell water where to go.
Monsoon Man doesn’t get all mushy.

Puncture vines were brought here accidentally from Africa;
Monsoon Man received a memo.

The grasses explode–mosquitoes follow suit.
The rainiest August in decades, the lethal needle,
the basin has forgotten the yellow crinkle.

It’s raining on Mount Fuji; no one is haikuing.
Fog wrapping in the downy castaway of a dove’s feather
infiltrates a flower like white mold.

I reach my hand into the cloud.
I reach my hand hoping to find the stem.
My fingers found the lightning hot stem.

Monsoon Man uses a stick in the dirt
so the message can flow.


author’s note: this poem was commissioned by KTAL’s The Buzzman : Voice of the Rio Grande during Monsoon Season, 2022 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Fortunately paper money was too soggy to be exchanged so we made due with doubloons.


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