Tropical System

San Diego on a tropical system day. Gray. Warm and heavy like a syrup’s been poured over our oddly angular downtown. This after St. Ana had her irritating way last weekend. Now it’s a southern tropical soak, cold Guinness like heaven’s milk and someone in the pub goes ‘Raining outside, hey where did those car-bomb boys go?’.

The Global Economy

For Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Global Economy

the Chinese want to live like us.

all billion of them, seething, breathing
breeding –
the Indians and the Africans
want to live like us.

commuting to cubicles
in farms in skies,
skimming through phones
the hugest cauldron ever stewed
as it simmers towards its boil –


froze last night, ice
in my nalgene bottle.
camping on a bank
of the Fraser River Hope BC
I thumbed a ride here
in a kind girl’s SUV.

you can’t hide from economies
painting poems on a macbook.

each day’s deals struck
by plundering pirates
I’m funding, mutually,

when storms come
we’ll raise our tents
while the sun shines
we smear our oils all over.


I’d wake too early to the rattling. Water in our metal gutters. A rain!

I hated the rain. On a weekend it meant no outside play. On a school day it was worse. There’d be the slog there, followed by a damp sit in a sniffling classroom. The senseless drift between mathematics, grammar, social studies, etc – the wealth of human knowledge served cafeteria style, too much glop dropped lovelessly on our little plates. No recess either – or there was recess but it was inside which was no recess to me. Then more soulless studies. Finally, for dessert, another soggy march.

I probably would have loved the rain if it weren’t for all those restrictions. If we could have had the day off from school – maybe mailed in our lessons. Or just sat in front of a fire and spent the day deeply considering one thing. Studied Baudelaire’s Le Confiteor de l’Artiste for example, or the pythagorean theorem, or one little smidgen of the history of our town. That would have been a childhood.

This morning I woke again to the rattling. So many years later that the intervening time bruises like a pinch too big. Too early, too – I was up until midnight last night watching the baseball. It’s our annual October rain, the detritus of a decent Pacific storm reaching us way down here in our sheltered mega-cove. I got up, went to the porch, watched it drip and drizzle. The old man Rain God having a tinkle. Hah! Then I put my jacket on and went for coffee.

The lipstick neon HILL CREST through a drizzle. Our sunshine-world, suddenly and ‘shockingly’ (according to the girl in the cafe) gone green and grey. This is something that happens elsewhere – Seattle weather, Portland weather, East-coast weather, Europe weather. But no. Here it is in Sunny D. That’s our city and our lipstick neon ensconced in a northern gloom.

These are the beauties of October / November – the first rain, that sad afternoon light – and both are so beautiful you want to shriek – to ‘crie de frayeur avant d’être vaincu’ as Baudelaire put it in that poem we should have spent at least one day studying. Well, this is one long-ago mistake worth rectifying. Today, mes amis, I wrap myself in Baudelaire –

Another Meal!

One of the most pleasant discoveries I’ve made is how a fantastic meal can have a transformative effect. Last night we had a fantastic five-course affair at Market :

  • chilled prawn / daikon amuse-busche
  • starters : Jen had an african-spiced squash soup, I had a mini tomato-based cassoulet
  • salad in 3 parts : apple salad, soft nutty cheese, hot walnut struedel
  • mains : Jen had pork ribs, I had duck 2 ways which was the breast and a leg confited
  • for dessert : Seven ways of making love to the quince, from cookies to a splash of soda

Throw in a few well-paired glasses of wine and you have one hell of a meal! And today? I feel tremendous. Clear head and relaxed musculature. Enthused but satisfied too. Not to mention still stuffed.


An autumn walk around the block

the burble of a big sycamore
the tail of an orange tabby
the old barrow left mid-lawn
the punchy roar of a porsche

when you’ve spent enough summers
to’ve seen a twig sprout limbs
become a tree that whooshes in winds
only to fall one winter
leaving us a withered stump –

when you’ve laid by a fire
sketched the ideas on napkins
acquired stock certificates
deeds and leases
when you’ve drank the wine reading the label
and known what that juice represents –
the years, the lives, the craft
when you’ve laid nets and
when you’ve cried when one got away
then you don’t need wine or weed but
just to go on an autumn walk.


Against entropy

water always finds the lowest point
but so does wind
or rather the ether
that we breed –
my front door crashes open
on this October afternoon

‘the most stable state of a system
is that of lowest energy.’

– masses of gasses
coursing the land
atmospheric rivers
flowing from points of pressure
the big system, God, Gods,
vary your vantage and view
all – world squared, our way
of pulling against it.