Archive for Bill Bryson

travelogue in the afternoon…

Posted in Bill Bryson, J. Maarten Troost, Poetry, thoughtful trips, travelogue with tags , , , , on November 23, 2010 by Caribbean Fool

travelogue in the afternoon

it’s hot inside,
& the only thing
worth stabbing is a
dying cigarette
against the bottom of
a mostly empty ashtray.
i’m watching gray clouds
through the window
take on the color of
cigarette ash: mimicry
across the sky.

spread out amidst
such expansive days,
watching the world
go by in scenes of intense
frenzy with nowhere
to go & nothing
to do. i’d kill to sit
under flickering
lights in some
dingy hotel room
by the beach or
for a lungful
of beach wind;
daydreaming only
gets you so close.

“look at me” says
a memorized voice.
nothing important,
another puzzle piece
fragment already
forgotten moments later.
i’m looking towards
waves lapping cars
in the parking lot
wishing for palm
frond shadows
on sand instead of
dry asphalt capped
under low slate

by the time sounds
of thunder
rip me from
oceanic daydreams,
ashed out skies
begin to spit upon
the car park.
i abandon my window
post as rain
voyeur so i can feel
the raindrops fall. if this
is as close as i’ll
get to wave & tide,
may as well grab
for the replica. i’d
wanted waterfront
this must be it.


Listening to Joe Henry and watching the clouds build towards rain was salvation personified. (Shit, how many times can anyone say that?) It is possible to miss the ocean for the raindrops, as if density was the sole measure of success when it comes to water. Are there any Caribbean islands looking for poets? (It worked for Daniel Wilson, though not for a Caribbean island, rather for Kiribati in the South Pacific. Lucky SOB. (If you haven’t read ‘The Sex Lives of Cannibals’ or ‘Getting Stoned With Savages’ by J Maarten Troost, do yourself a favor and check them out. Both great travel stories and tremendously funny to boot. Is he as good as Bill Bryson? Just as entertaining, but hasn’t written as many books. Besides, Bryson is everywhere. ‘Notes From A Small Island’ is awesome and made me want to hike England until I remembered I was crippled. Anyhow, both are great writers and if you like snarky travelogues, you’ll dig either one. I’m going out to play in the rain, you should come too.