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Issue #76, October 28-November 14, 2003. Roof Woes - I propose: Haiku Staff writer Jonathan Machen brings you poetic insight into the transition from October to November, an old to a new roof, and another brand new start!

it started with the roof debacle
and the whole weekend when the holy grail
told me the barefoot boogie crowd
heard an ominous thump on the roof

the wind was howling that night
and he even mentioned it - but
he was too scared to look
and the next day
i peeked in horror
at the rubber roof tossed
like a wet rag back on itself,
the skylight holding it in place,
water already gathering around
the new folds

my mind already speeding
to the whole roster
of room renters scheduled
for the coming weekend,
along with the first moisture in weeks,
snow and rain seeping to the
low end of the roof,
dripping into a fine array of

i become the bucket brigade,
an organic counter-process,
adjusting to drips
at three in the morning

bidding the insurance agent god speed
the first renters of the weekend
arrive to set up their
expansive new-age vibratory
good times musical workshop,
wrinkling their noses
at the musty damp odor and
the dead mouse in the corner.
i cross my fingers,
hoping the rain will stop.
it does not.

during a moment of trance
and healing
a portion of the ceiling falls
on a dancer's head,
moist bats of insulation
exploding wet drywall
on to the carpet.

i quaff wine
with paige and her girlfriends.

all answering machines
lead to a dead-end.
i get a cell phone.

throughout the
roof drama
my thoughts swirl
with the ebb of promise
should i marry paige?
i think so!
what should i do?
am i not a man preoccupied
with wet carpets and
insufficient tarps?

thinking thus,
drinking heartily
at the water fountain,
my eyes come to rest
on a hook
skewering a silver band:
it's a mood ring,
connecting my inner state of mind
to the outer world,
a symbol
i am apt not to forget.
like gollum,
i instinctively reach for the precious
casually bringing it out
the next morning at dot's,
while we eat omlettes
and talk about housing.

mood ring turns purple
face turns red
did i hear what i just said?

paige heads
to california for the weekend,
announcing everything.

she comes back
wearing her grandmother's ring,
one that
her grandfather bought
with three mules
back in 1918.

i finish brewing beer
with the guys,
siphoning to avoid
spongy lumps of yeast
floating in the carboy.

we inspect bottles for scuz
cleaning each empty bomber
with bristly ninety-degree
bent-scouring bottle-scrubers

packit talks of hospice
his own emotions triggered
by his volunteer training

soon i am mentioning
that maybe we should call this batch
nuptual ale.
we get to work bottling.

i speak to paige
on my brand new
cell phone

she says
my parents know
my parents are happy

what happened in between
the roof disaster
and this cell phone conversation?

beer bubbles away
like my thoughts giving rise
to weddings and rituals

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen