This week’s poem pins its hatred of our current president right at the top of its one long thin stanza. It might seem easy to dismiss it, then, as “merely” a political rant, especially if one disagrees with its politics, but then this poem, with its one long sentence full of syntactical turns and lyrical surprises meant to be read aloud at least a few times, demonstrates something larger about the nature of this hatred and the current political discourse.

The speaker in this poem chooses not to dilute her hatred with anything that might make it easier to take, like “the crumpled honey of taking / a deep breath” or “how very long the long road is.” She prefers “things / with a little bite” and wants her hatred to be felt, again and again, maybe even at her psychic or physical peril. She wants herself to not become inured to that hatred, perhaps as a way to stay awake to what’s happening in this country.

In the lines “war is peace / & freedom is slavery & ignorance is strength,” Blevins is quoting George Orwell’s “1984,” a book about a society that is always at war, in which people are controlled largely through the control of language and the constant revision of history and the news to match the desires of the ruling party in the present.

Adrian Blevins teaches literature and creative writing at Colby College and is the author of several books of poetry, including “Appalachians Run Amok,” which won the Wilder Prize from Two Sylvias Press and will be out next spring.

Kitchen Confession

By Adrian Blevins

If I could put my Trump hate

in the Cuisinart & cut it with

a little basil & dill & my

semi-retired Bush hate & my

hate for war in general & for

when babies die in cribs &

for black lung & other maladies

like the president of that college

in Danville, Virginia who said

tobacco built them a building

so please don’t mock it,

I really would not take out

the old mortars & pestles

to add to my Trump hate

the crumpled honey of taking

a deep breath or the old-time

molasses honey of waiting

things out or add even just

a tiny dash of the salt of mulling over

how very long the long road is

or throw in some of the basic

redneck nerve you get

from being around things

with a little bite like

the vinegar & the pepper

in the barbecue sauce

because apparently this poem

needs to be about how I like

my Trump hate pinned right here

to my sad American breast

in this sad brooch I made

for the express purpose of opening it

so it could leak down me

like whatever bleach or mercury

or acid or Hemlock or Cyanide

President Manbaby is trying

to make me & poor America sit in

a huge pool of such as war is peace

& freedom is slavery & ignorance is strength

& all that other anachronistically fascistic

this & that that has got me

all messed up here at the dawn

of what feels like the bona fide

dirtied end of the broken world.

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is Portland’s poet laureate. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2017 Adrian Blevins. It appeared originally in the Jung Journal, June 2017, and appears here by permission of the author. This column is accepting submissions through Oct. 31. Poems must be written by Maine poets or about Maine. Submissions must be made online. For more information go to

filed under: