Tag Archives: Washington DC

Out of Sight? Not Quite

I lived in Washington, D.C., for 11 years and loved it. All those years I hardly ever thought about where my drinking water came from or where my trash or sewage went. All that changed after I landed on Martha’s … Continue reading

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The other day word went round that a friend’s sign had been stolen from its accustomed place at the end of his road. This wasn’t just any sign: it’s unique, hand-crafted and -painted, and big enough to be legible from … Continue reading

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The Key Sestina

This poem came back to me while I was writing yesterday’s blog. When I lived in D.C., my keys wore holes in the hip pocket of my jeans. On Martha’s Vineyard I carried no keys at all. This might have … Continue reading

Posted in Martha's Vineyard, writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments


When I moved from Washington, D.C., to Martha’s Vineyard in 1985 — just for a year, mind you — I expected some culture shock. D.C. is a big city. In the mid-1980s, more than three-quarters of the population was black. … Continue reading

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Hot Ts

It’s been hot. How hot? Usually I do laundry when I run out of underwear. Yesterday I did laundry because I’d run out of tank tops and muscle Ts. There were only two regular Ts on the line, and no … Continue reading

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Mayday & Mary

I. May 5, 1971 Just over a month shy of my 20th birthday, I got busted on the Capitol steps along with about 1,200 other people. It was the third day of the Mayday demonstrations against the war in Indochina, … Continue reading

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The Privilege of Pique

This is by way of a sequel to “Compromise,” in which I listed a bunch of things I don’t like about WUMB-FM, the public radio station I listen to when I’m listening to the radio, and then explained why I … Continue reading

Posted in Martha's Vineyard, music, public life | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments


An islander who knows whereof he speaks recently noted that for some people the Vineyard off-season is one long meeting. In the last eight months I’ve been to a bunch of meetings. Not all that many compared to what, say, … Continue reading

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Death of an Indy Bookstore

Earlier this week I learned that Edgartown Books was closing for good at the end of February. I’m sorry, yes, not least because Edgartown Books took enough interest in my novel, The Mud of the Place, to keep it in … Continue reading

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When you live on an island, going off-island is a big deal. I live in West Tisbury. It’s about nine miles to Edgartown. It’s only seven miles to Woods Hole, but Woods Hole is much, much, much farther away than … Continue reading

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