the weather channel

My friend was watching the fire on TV today, a static shot of a dark hillside burning.
At first they showed the path of the fire as slivers, later the slivers became blankets.
Outside, it's warm, summery. I went to the beach, saw the ocean. The sky was mottled, then matted, with purple and grey.

clarity sometimes comes.... 6 in the AM, drinking whiskey and eating seaweed outside in the dark near-wintry morning.

For better or for worse, that clarity is: hey, you could be in Iraq. Things really are going pretty well.

heard in the casino today....

...from shoeshiner master Don:

"This game, dommah, (the Vietnamese cuss word, not me. -ed.) crazy, huh? Evil and ghost, evil and ghost.
They want to come evil is evil.
They want to come ghost is ghost, dommah."

....OK, maybe he was saying "good" in his strong ESL brogue, but it seems like much more mysterious wisdom this way.

there should be a word for....

....that thing when you're talking to someone you don't know very well and they're all cagey and cold, until they find a way to drop the words "my boyfriend" or "my fiance" into the conversation, and THEN they start talking to you. Usually it's women, who are understandably worried about getting hit on, but guys have given me the same tipoff, because, I dunno, I have a gay-looking upper lip or something. Most stange women, or women strangers, have no way to know that I am So Ridiculously Bad at hitting on people, and am actually relieved when they oh-so-subtly mention their attachment, because it drops the expectations even lower and affords the chance for a real conversation. Recently in a bar I was chatting awkwardly with someone, and after she got the "my husband" name-drop out of the way, she really opened up, rambling stories, expressive body language and everything. So I think there really should be a word for this little anti-pickup maneuver. There probably is one in some dating book. Just like there probably is a single word for "politely dropping the hammer on your dreams."


And then there is nothing
but at work and asleep
loud and quiet
here and home.

There is no tomorrow
on which to worry
because it is tomorrow.

No one judges you
they already are sentenced.

At this hour when no one lives
it is not what you make,
what you lack, or what you should be doing.
You could not be doing anything else.
This is the brilliance of grave shift;
it kills the imagination.

4 AM is my favorite hour:
it always feels like
a strong possibility.