Tapdance on Glass

by | Nov 14, 2020 | November 2020 Writing | 11 comments

I wish it was raining.

I wish there was the tapdance of droplets on the window panes and the chase of beads across the glass.

I wish there was the sluice of water on streets and the noisome heat held in the chest by a good coat and a sense of adventure.

I wish I was in the woods.

The smell of wet wood battling with the rot.

Pine and Mud.

Water and Blood.

I wish I was out in the midst of it all — feet wet, collar damp, water trickling down my cheeks feeling wholly and completely alive.

But I’m here.

Wishing for the rain.

And staring out the window.


  1. John Steines

    Corey, this is very effective. I love the ’round’ feeling, off into the wood then back to a glass view, assuming you are looking out, away from…. It doesn’t matter, and then it does. The away from – the wish for rain. That’s what I read. This is so beautiful in it’s brevity. (FEELS LIKE I’M WALKING IN THE RAIN

  2. Rogan


    Your rhythm and sound is pitch perfect. You’ve captured your subject entirely. I’m in it. I would look at the framing of this. You could box it into a prose poem and I bet the sonic quality would remain intact. You could look for enjambment opportunity in the longer lines. And create a lined poem that presents a greater sense of framing. But I’m not sure your current structure is serving the poem. I will add, I’m not sure the coming around back to the beginning or the telling at the end that you’re inside wishing for the rain is a necessary close. You’re opening line gives us all we need on that. I think looking at what’s on the page, your close is “trickling down my cheeks.” And I would cut the feeling wholly or completely alive” because you’ve delivered on that feeling — you don’t have to tell it or telegraph it. It’s expository and proves condescending to your reader. Truthfully, it’s a compliment to how you delivered in the poem. The sonic pop of this is already delivering on the feeling of alive. I would also consider moving the line, “The smell of wet wood battling with the rot.” beneath “water and blood” to create further separation between the words “woods” and “wood”. It’s a good title and so I would cut “tapdance” from that second line and substitute “sound” so that you maintain the power of the word in the title. I know I’m giving you a lot of edits here but this is a gorgeous draft and I don’t want you off the hook — there’s a publishable poem here but you need to dig a little more.

    • Corey Holzman

      Thanks for the super detailed read, Roga! I’ll take another look at it and dig a little deeper. I’ve never really wrote poetry seriously. Just a bit here and there, so this one was a surprise to no-one as much as myself when I wrote it. I’ll go back over it this weekend and see what I can pull together. Appreciated!

  3. Robert Vaughan

    Hi Corey, there is beauty in simplicity and pared down imagery. And nature, or natural elements. I love how you encapsulate mood, and therefore emotion with the wetness. John Steines mentions the Ronettes, and also Grace Jones, too, has a song called “Walking in the Rain” which your piece evoked for me. I like the depth of suggestions from Rogan, and feel as if this might benefit by coming back to it perhaps a week or weeks from now. Slight and subtle tweaks (perhaps not needing to end where it does?) will benefit from this. A terrific first draft. Bravo!

    • Corey Holzman

      Thanks, Robert!

      I’ll be giving it another gander in a little bit, here. And I can look at that ending again!

  4. jennifer vanderheyden

    I’m listening to the rain as I write this! I just read Sara’s piece, and this goes nicely with its organic feel. The steadiness of the rain and all of the raw smells and feelings that go along with being in the woods are comforting and life-affirming, which you capture wonderfully. I agree with Rogan and Robert about the ending. Thanks for sharing.

  5. David O'Connor

    Great image… tapdancing rain, and love the minimalism… my only thought/idea is (so slick and easy to read–but that’s just a compliment) is what would happen if took the “I wish” out? Remove the hypothetical and just keep the stark objects/truths. That’s what I’d explore on the next pass… thanks for sharing. Good job

  6. Sara Comito

    Hey, Corey. Nice mood here. Good suggestions above too. I misread one line, and thought it was “a good coat with a sense of adventure!” It might be fun to inject some personification and more metaphor into the poem. Make us suspend disbelief a little? And I wonder if being in the rain/woods/etc represents a deeper wish, a more magical contrast with the “now” of wishing. Well, you got me on team rain!

  7. Martha Jackson Kaplan

    Coey, Loved getting caught up in the wish for rain, and the imagery of it. As Sara noted, good suggestions above as well. I have a few to add, but in giving, I want to note that this poem is definitely worth further drafts. I think the turn at the end deserves a stronger punch. For example, but I’m here…. and then some contrasting dry imagery or some such. I would also look at your use of articles, when do you need them, when not. For poetry, compression works well. For example, “the smell of wet wood battling with rot,” or compress further by putting two lines together, “wish I were in woods, smell of wet battling with rot.” Bring me to the grammar nazi within me. Wish implies the subjunctive tense (so forgotten in so much of American diction)… “I wish I were” instead of” wish I was.” For me it just sounds stronger. Do what you will. I am so glad to see poetry emerging from you– and I did love reading this. You caught the sense of rain. Congratulations.

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