Really Hot Soup

by James Norcliffe Issue: Spring/Summer 2019

Really hot soup is a change in the statistical distribution of soup patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time (i.e., decades to millions of years). Really hot soup may refer to a change in average soup conditions, or in the time variation of soup within the context of longer-term average conditions.


Warmer soup is caused by factors such as calorific processes, variations in hot plate conditions received by plate tectonics, and volcanic over-flowing. Certain human activities have been identified as primary causes of ongoing really hot soup, often referred to as over-spicing.


Scientists actively work to understand past and future soup conditions by using observations and theoretical models. A culinary record—extending deep into the kitchen's past—has been put together, and continues to be built up, based on evidence of hotplate temperature profiles, bench top stains and other analyses of soup layers, and records of past warm soup levels.


More recent data are provided by the instrumental record. Future patterns of potentially really, really hot soup based on the physical sciences, are often used in theoretical approaches to match past warm soup data, make future projections, and link causes and effects of catastrophically hot soup.


People seem not to appreciate the very real dangers of really hot soup, not even when they’re in it.

James Norcliffe

James Norcliffe, a New Zealand poet, has published nine collections of poetry including Shadow Play (2013) and Dark Days at the Oxygen Café (VUP, 2016). Recent work has appeared in Landfall, Spillway, The Cincinnati Review, Salamander, Gargoyle, and Flash Fiction International (Norton, 2015). In 2010 he took part in the XX International Poetry Festival in Medellin, Colombia, and in 2011 the Trois Rivieres International Poetry Festival in Quebec. Last year, with Michelle Elvy and Frankie McMillan he edited Bonsai (Canterbury University Press), New Zealand’s first major collection of flash and short fiction. A new collection Deadpan (Otago University Press) will be published this year.