Sunday, March 10, 2019

I Needed Very Badly to Take Refuge in Mediocrity

  • I sit in the living room of the B&B we're staying in Easton as I type this sentence
  • Earthgirl attending a workshop, she's here three nights, me, no
  • she likes B&Bs and I like my wife 
  • Driving the long deadend peninsulas of tidewater Maryland remind me of the long deadend penisulas of downeast Maine
  • Hummingbird Inn on Aurora, as much as I can like a B&B I like this one, and the Szechuan Brussel Sprouts for one appetizer and Baked Beets with Roasted Peanuts and Feta for another at Out of the Fire on Goldsborough last night, this does not suck
  • Flint Michigan does not have potable water
  • While she painted I drove south of Cambridge to walk the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, it more than not sucked
  • Driving Maryland's Eastern Shore makes me think of Barth's *Sotweed,* it's been at least a decade
  • I do understand birders though slap me if I ever buy binocs


Tom Sleigh

I wanted first to end up as a drunk in the gutter
and in my twenties I almost ended up there—
and then as an alternative to vodka, to live
alone like a hermit philosopher and court
the extreme poverty that I suspected lay in store for me anyway—
and then there were the years in which
I needed very badly to take refuge in mediocrity,
years like blunt scissors cutting out careful squares,
and that was the worst, the very worst—
you could say that always my life
was like a patchwork quilt always ripped apart—
my life like scraps stitched together in a dream
in which animals and people,
plants, chimeras, stars,
even minerals were in a preordained harmony—
a dream forgotten because it has to be forgotten,
but that I looked for desperately, but only sporadically
found in fragments, a hand lifted to strike
or caress or simply lifted for some unknown reason—
and in memory too, some specific pain, sensation of cold or warmth.
I loved that harmony in all its stages of passion,
the voices still talking inside me . . . but then, instead of harmony,
there was nothing but rags scattered on the ground.
And maybe that's all it means to be a poet.


  1. As someone who lives on a long deadend penisula in downeast Maine: if you drive down my road y'all always have a place to stay!

    1. We're in the Acadia house Saturday July 27 through August 3 but will be flying into Portland at least three days before that, let's yap early July about your long deadend Down East peninsula then!

  2. rags scattered on the ground

    this reminds me of a question on jeopardy last night - a cuban dish with a name meaning "old clothes" -

    Ropa vieja, or "old clothes," describes the shreds of meat, peppers, and onions resembling a mess of colorful rags. Robust stews such as this Cuban specialty are at the heart of West Indian cuisine.

    ropa vieja

    i came across a vegan recipe that uses jackfruit