Diane Elayne Dees: At The Beach

(The Sylvia Beach Hotel on the Oregon coast
features many writer-themed rooms.)

I checked into the Sylvia Beach Hotel
in a room that was tailor-made for Tennessee.
Knocked out by the sweet Magnolia smell,
and the essence of minty drinks and iced sweet tea,

I sought a restful night, despite the setting.
I fell into fitful, dreamy sleep,
while wrapped up in the vast mosquito netting;
the sound of cat paws on the roof would keep

me up most of the night. Like an iguana,
I longed to bask in warm and quiet surroundings,
instead of in this bourbon-infused sauna.
Outside, upon the Poe door, I heard poundings,

and next door, some cats in hats meowed in glee.
In Fitzgerald's room I heard some bottles smashing,
while Mrs. Woolf stared at the wall and had her tea.
Meanwhile, outside, the giant waves kept crashing.

I blame the front desk people for my gloom –
If only they had kept my reservation,
I could stay in solitude in Emily's room,
and escape this Southern Gothic brief vacation.