Showing posts from September, 2011

Do You Remember?

Do you remember? I’m sure you remember That night when we walked to the shores of the lake To look at the moon – and nobody came (Though I feared that they might), And the light from the moon was so strong I could see the white fire in your eyes... And I lay in your arms and absorbed you Into my blood, and into my bones And I prayed you would never forget...
And do you remember? You must remember! How, on the way back, as we walked through the woods, The desire came upon me to tell your sweet name To the trees... And I searched for the one as we walked through the dark... I saw her – we stopped – I ran from the path and embraced the rough bark, And I cried out your name in the wind and the wild And she answered me deep, deep in my heart.
And I stood with my arms stretched around that dear giant, My feet in the earth and my head in the sky And the wet running down from my eyes Then, trembling, I ran to the heart of the wood, And I saw, in your face, the desire and the love And the hunger ablaze in you yet... …


You know, he was right; we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy.

Diamond-encrusted Soda Stream

I wasn't expecting to hear the phrase, 'diamond-encrusted Soda Stream' ever, in any context, and especially not in this.

I know a poor guy's life was cut tragically short, and the problems he had to cope with dwarf my own, and to badger him beyond the grave with half-arsed wit, would be in extremely poor taste, but can't someone come up with a better headline to put to this story? The ingredients are all there surely.

Of course it may be that the story is just made up - which looks likely as the origin appears to be The Sunday Sport, which gave us (among others) the legend 'Lovesick gardener marries lettuce' - in which case the badger-baiting Snow White-shagging celebrity chef doppelganger is probably fair game.

Japan: a kind of madness?

My recent return to Japan put me into the usual fog of fatigue, through which, in horrifying glimpses, I felt my mind being drawn back to a previous passage here. Not the first time I arrived – my memories of that time, many years ago now, are the memories of a happy holiday in a strange land; warm, fresh, smiling days of bewildering fascination – but rather the second adventure; a more permanent and yet less certain migration altogether.

Two, maybe three days in, following a ridiculous row about even less than usual, Ma-chan asked her pensive husband how he was feeling. My reply, lengthy, impassioned, confused, melodramatic, tearful even, is very clear in my memory. Clear too is Ma-chan’s response. Some empathy to be sure, but little more than half a spoonful of sugar mixed in with the prescription that I climb out of my own backside, relax some, and then get on with it. As always, her honesty a real match for my self-obsession.

Honesty not enough on this occasion, though, to prevent p…


It was good while it lasted, but the summer is drawing to a close. I'll miss the light, but maybe not the heat.


Before I was exiled I lived in London. I'm not from London, but that's where I'd gravitated to. From there I did my stuff: read my books, played my sport, watched my films, listened to my music, followed my team, drank my beer; lived the city life and laughed hard with my heart on my sleeve.

Now, I live on the other side of the world. I still do all that shit, but I do it through the filter of a different city. In some ways it's the same, I mean the city is the city, right? But if you can't say anything else about it, what you can say about Tokyo, is that it definitely isn't London. No, it's different: it's bigger, brighter, gaudier, busier, noisier, and more fragrant. Well, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it's a tight and a dark place; still and deathly quiet, and sometimes the only thing you can smell is the salty bay, or the sickly sweet approaching rain. Tokyo is chaotic but ordered, obvious but impenetrable, sophisticated …

Sunset now

Mount Fuji; geographically and culturally iconic, but essentially a dull mountain. It's dullness can in fact induce headaches. Mind you I still went to look at it and took this photo, and it doesn't look too bad, does it?.

The first person to tell me exactly where I took this from, wins 1.5kg of sourdough pretzels. No, really.

Endless Hope

Endless hope nourishes my bones And makes them flex as I reach for more. It gives me warmth as my power fades, Lights my dreams like a flame in the dark: Fills my head with the world of my heart.

It fills my heart with an aching fear, And fills my head with its endlessness; Snuffing out my untouchable dreams, And stealing my warmth with its deceit. Leaving my bones icy and brittle.

Endless hope, for all its promise, Saves us not from a hopeless end.

The narrator is waiting for a lover to return, while knowing how pointless the waiting is. It weighs the desire to recapture the joy of the memories, against the bleakness of the future (its cold hard reality) and sees the way the balance tips.