Thursday, April 1, 2021

And Turnip Fields Became Just Another Highway

I dreamed two nights ago that US highway shields in Florida are not just black and white, each route number had its own designated color. I remember them from trips to Florida with my parents as an elementary aged kid, there are those who read this that can vouch about me and maps and highway shields. I asked a digital bud in Florida if they still were and he said, Huh, no, and when I think back to when I had to Gainesville and Crescent Beach a week with the mother-in-law each summer twenty or more years later I looked for but only saw one, as in a singular one, Route 1's red in Bunnell, but they did exist once!


To get to the property we just bought in Michigan the fastest route is 23 north from Toledo to Ann Arbor, I can vouch. We were on 301 in Maryland the day I got my second shot and we drove to the Prince George's County Park on the Patuxent River. 301 ends in Fart Delaware. 19 ends in Erie Pennsylvania. 29 is the carotid artery of East Moco, ends ignominiously at Maryland 99 insultingly five miles west of Baltimore. 41 ends in Cooper Harbor Michigan, the Upper Penisulas northern most point into Lake Superior though I've only driven on it in Chicago Illinois. 1 is 1, and when you leave Mt Desert Island you necessary must drive 1. Earthgirl and I hiked Sky Meadow Tuesday, you can't get to Sky Meadow without 17, ten miles east of it's end in Winchester Virginia. Never been on 27, 90, 92, 98, 129, 192, 221, 231, 319, 331, or 441

US Route 41, which starts in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, terminates further east in Florida than US Route 1, which starts in Fort Kent Maine at the Quebec border, 1250 miles apart east to west via the Trans-Canada Highway, which I have not yet driven

Reminder that 355 was 240 before 70S changed US 240 to MD 355. It deserved at worse a two-digit designation when demoted from the second branch route of US 40, and stranger, US 140 was renumbered MD 140, 240 is a better route number than 355. 9 was available, as was 37, 44, 48, 52, 54, 61, 69, 83, 87, and 89 (I understand not using available 70s and 90s because interstates 70S and 95). Three digit state route numbers for third tier state routes, 355 an insult. When eight years old I posted route numbers on telephone poles in the residential streets of Deer Park, Gaithersburg, Rolling was 1, Woodland 2, Hutton 3, Oakton 4, Tulip 5, Gaither 10, Dogwood 20, Peony 100, Holly 200. Yes I changed my twitter avatar and banner, I am banned from changing format here, and yes Earthgirl bought me dozens of new objects for tree knob installations, we'll drive US 240 to today's hike

The dilemma over how to reproduce the elite
Requiem for the American CenturyRice and beans in the Outer Darkness
Fear of fairy talesObscene it all
Liberalism and classGlobal police state
To get to the building I work in a take old 240 as far as Mass Ave
I workin aBrutalist buildingmost people on campus think it's ugly, I think it's gorgeous
Gaddis' failureThe long friendship of Elizabeth Bishop and Jimmy Merrill
This is the third timein two weeksI saw mentionof Agustín Fernández Mallo'sNocilla Trilogy
Luckyfor methe brutalistbuilding I work inis a library


John Ashbery

Not the smoothness, not the insane clocks on the square,
the scent of manure in the municipal parterre,
not the fabrics, the sullen mockery of Tweety Bird,
not the fresh troops that needed freshening up. If it occurred
in real time, it was OK, and if it was time in a novel
that was OK too. From palace and hovel
the great parade flooded avenue and byway
and turnip fields became just another highway.
Leftover bonbons were thrown to the chickens
and geese, who squawked like the very dickens.
There was no peace in the bathroom, none in the china closet
or the banks, where no one came to make a deposit.
In short all hell broke loose that wide afternoon.
By evening all was calm again. A crescent moon
hung in the sky like a parrot on its perch.
Departing guests smiled and called, "See you in church!"
For night, as usual, knew what it was doing,
providing sleep to offset the great ungluing
that tomorrow again would surely bring.
As I gazed at the quiet rubble, one thing
puzzled me: What had happened, and why?
One minute we were up to our necks in rebelliousness,
and the next, peace had subdued the ranks of hellishness.

So often it happens that the time we turn around in
soon becomes the shoal our pathetic skiff will run aground in.
And just as waves are anchored to the bottom of the sea
we must reach the shallows before God cuts us free.


  1. Isn't that mermaid married to Rupert Murdoch now?

    1. If you call "having secured a position with a well-defined severance" as 'married', then yes.

  2. some have argued that brutalist buildings should be rebranded heroic

    Byrnes, Mark. "The Case for Calling Brutalism 'Heroic' Instead". CityLab. Retrieved 1 June 2020.