october 23: fire

dear readers,

as a follow on my last post on the notion of “home,” check out a recent article i wrote on anti-gentrification battles by clicking here.

and speaking of home, oh home. 

san diego, my hometown, is ablaze.  fire, ash, sky burnt orange for days.  makes me wish I was there, to document the undoubted maze.  navigated by people of all walks, the headline today, is fire.

October 23, 2007 


a helicopter with water swerves across the ash strewn san diego sky

what are the disasters which remind us of war, in the smell of charred belongings, in the sight of a sky with no face mask, no screen from all that smoke, filled i am filled with a feeling of wanting to be there.  to document.  to repent.  to let go and hold on for dear life.  but i know this much, i will be back. 

Qualcomm Stadium evacuation - 10/22

a south asian extended family of fire evacuees takes refuge in quaalcom stadium, san diego 

if it wasnt for the chargers banner, where would you imagine this south asian family was?  what would they be fleeing?  how would their homes look like?  but this is san diego, and the areas where fire is getting close enough to singe back ache planted flowers, those areas got houses to die for.  sweeping scapes, rooms with 15 foot drapes, sand hues from rose to ocean blues, see this is san diego.  a small nation of many, many nations.  my mom called and said how anila auntie and other much loved family friends were having to evacuate their homes. 

i texted my homies in the 619 and 858 to see how they were all doing.  everyone is cool, but they seem shell shocked.  my afghani crew, they all texted back talking bout, “its crazy out here,” or “im rollin a blunt, you know how we do,” shit y’all, do you.  my african-american crew, they texted back like, “im good, its all in north county, so its still far away,” or “im still at work,” and “did you know your old high school is an evacuation center.” 

my persian sister was like, “they told my parents to evacuate but they won’t go, it would be soooo much easier if my parents would just listen.”  and the indian fam is spreading news like telegraphs down rivers, so and so family went here, such and such family went there.  shit, when i was growing up out there, i swear we were less than 100 south asian families in town.  but now there are so many south asian people in san diego, because the industries came which held us.  science, engineering, pharmaceuticals.  this is who we are to them.  and so be it.  it means for some beautiful sweeping homes.  much of the south asian population lives and works in the affected areas.  so my thoughts are with them.

like when my newly immigrated cousin found herself running from world trade center of september 11.  i just felt like, damn, came all the way here, set up shop despite it all and everything, and now you gotta bear the brunt of something so tragic.  but this is the america i know.  an america made up of so many nations.  im keeping my thoughts and prayers with you all down there in the 619 and 858, may you stay healthy and safe.

 stay tuned for more of all the news that’s fit to flip, by political poet, naxal.




One thought on “october 23: fire

  1. Much respect to you and your work. Would love to connect and build with you. I’m out here in the Bay via LA…

    and when you get a chance peep the tunes, i think you’ll be surprised.



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