Sunday, July 31, 2016

How Pleasant to Spend One's Vacation en la Casa de Popeye

From the little canoe/kayak dock in the backyard of the house ▲ we're staying in Tremont Maine. Had dinner last night at what the owners of the house call a local institution, a lobster pound. The soundtrack was patriotic hymns and Herb Alpert singles. Today is explore Acadia and tonight to plan the longer day hikes.

This is Earthgirl and my first vacation without Planet in 24 years. The last one Planet was alive, barely two months existing (and giving Earthgirl constant pregnancy queasiness). Earthgirl had rented a cabin near Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County Maryland. The ad and brochure promised a house in the condition of the one I'm sitting in now. It was a dim, dingy, only two electric sockets working, septic tank stank dump. That vacation sucked. Until I walked in the door of of this house that was what I was expecting, so yay! this vacation is already better than that one.

This morning at five ▼ from the bedroom window:

  • We bought coffee to grind at the hippie grocery in Ellsworth (along with local miso and kimchi and local veggie burgers - the clerk demanded we try them, she assures us they're the best ever and that she does not get a commission) and I've figured out the coffeemaker here (if I made it a bit too strong) and I'm looking at the lake and drinking coffee and here, the links I have not yet attempted to not look for and read and then, if I think them useful, give you, and will not begin to pretend to try to not look for, provided below. If they're not here per usual in days to come it's because I'm elsewhere, not sitting at the dining room table, that is, any absence will not be a self-imposed moral stance or fake attempt at a disconnection with the world. 
  • Jane Sanders on his husband Bernie.
  • More terrifying than anything coming out of the Trump camp.
  • The worse aspect of Lesser Evilism.
  • I'm not with her because I'm petty.
  • One big corporate bribe.
  • Everything is broken.
  • Three songs on our drives yesterday that came up on my iTunes shuffle:


John Ashbery

The first of the undecoded messages read: “Popeye sits in thunder,   
Unthought of. From that shoebox of an apartment,
From livid curtain’s hue, a tangram emerges: a country.”
Meanwhile the Sea Hag was relaxing on a green couch: “How pleasant   
To spend one’s vacation en la casa de Popeye,” she scratched
Her cleft chin’s solitary hair. She remembered spinach

And was going to ask Wimpy if he had bought any spinach.   
“M’love,” he intercepted, “the plains are decked out in thunder   
Today, and it shall be as you wish.” He scratched
The part of his head under his hat. The apartment
Seemed to grow smaller. “But what if no pleasant
Inspiration plunge us now to the stars? For this is my country.

Suddenly they remembered how it was cheaper in the country.   
Wimpy was thoughtfully cutting open a number 2 can of spinach   
When the door opened and Swee’pea crept in. “How pleasant!”
But Swee’pea looked morose. A note was pinned to his bib. “Thunder   
And tears are unavailing,” it read. “Henceforth shall Popeye’s apartment   
Be but remembered space, toxic or salubrious, whole or scratched.”

Olive came hurtling through the window; its geraniums scratched
Her long thigh. “I have news!” she gasped. “Popeye, forced as you know to flee the country
One musty gusty evening, by the schemes of his wizened, duplicate father, jealous of the apartment
And all that it contains, myself and spinach
In particular, heaves bolts of loving thunder
At his own astonished becoming, rupturing the pleasant

Arpeggio of our years. No more shall pleasant
Rays of the sun refresh your sense of growing old, nor the scratched   
Tree-trunks and mossy foliage, only immaculate darkness and thunder.”   
She grabbed Swee’pea. “I’m taking the brat to the country.”
“But you can’t do that—he hasn’t even finished his spinach,”   
Urged the Sea Hag, looking fearfully around at the apartment.

But Olive was already out of earshot. Now the apartment
Succumbed to a strange new hush. “Actually it’s quite pleasant
Here,” thought the Sea Hag. “If this is all we need fear from spinach
Then I don’t mind so much. Perhaps we could invite Alice the Goon over”—she scratched
One dug pensively—“but Wimpy is such a country
Bumpkin, always burping like that.” Minute at first, the thunder

Soon filled the apartment. It was domestic thunder,   
The color of spinach. Popeye chuckled and scratched
His balls: it sure was pleasant to spend a day in the country.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link (& the retweet)!

    Contrary to you, our first vacay with our eldest (now married) was to Maine. He was 7 months old, said his first legit/verified word (= cat) (and hasn't stopped talking since—but that's another story). Hiked Katahdin environs with him as my backpack. BTW: Watch out for moose if you're driving around on those backroads and logging roads. They appear out of nowhere & can damage a rental car. *the voice of experience*