In Portland the competition at the Walt Whitman look-alike contest must be fierce.
In Portland you can be standing on a corner and discover moss growing in the creases on your neck.
In Portland every smile comes with a speck of wheatgrass on a bicuspid.
In Portland every grizzled wife beater comes with an extra two inches of trail mix infused sideburns.
In Portland every cargo-panted computer programmer comes with an extra tab of velcro on his titanium bush poncho.
And the rain in Portland does not care about any of it.
The rain in Portland does not give a damn.
The rain does not care about the legions of whining singer/songwriters who clog the doorways of every coffeehouse in eddies of talentless human sediment.
The rain doesn’t bother to drown out the sound of all those overwrought break-up ballads and fender bender laments that drench your ear holes like wet leaves in a storm drain.
Clearly the rain in Portland does not give a shit.
Nowhere on Earth does the rain come down with such a desultory gracelessness as it does in Portland.
And what about the thousands of runny noses dangling above steaming bowls of organic fennel leek soup?
The rain does not care about them either.
Yes, in Portland a shaft of sunlight might scrape its way through the normal dismality
Turning the common cedar into a living, bouncing showcase of treeitude- flushed and quivering in the sudden spotlight-
But wait three minutes and the gray mitten of the Portland sky squeezes hard and muzzles the light like a lumberjack’s sock soaked in chloroform.
And Portland submerges back into its smell of wet leaves.
And wool socks.
And sodden dreadlocks.
Portland is a Buddha dangling from the rear view mirror of a monster truck
Driving through the careless rain.
published 27 May 2012