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The Blues Hotel

Two Jacksons or
Four sawbucks
Up front—$40.
No credit cards, no I.D.;
Beyond, beneath,
Battered neon lights
The Blues Hotel
Weathered time’s ravages
Struck cords of commerce as
Hookers dispense advice
Like ATM machines—
Service for a price.

Soiled linen, wafer thin sheets, feel and
Look like pillow drool on flax
A ceramic throne, standard toilet,
Sits on splintered two-by-fours,
Wax ring smashing like a plum
Slightly sinking like a rock in thick mud when seated.
Yellow halos ripple over textured ridges,
Plaster summits, on the
Sparkling stucco ceiling where
Snow seeps through the roof
Dripping tears into a closet
That seldom houses luggage

Here on Colfax, cops draw down on
Wendy’s customers—mistake naive
Travelers as “King’s Table” players—
Denver’s whorehouse clientele,
Crack den magistrates.
One’s next-door neighbors’
Fists pound paper-thin walls like
Meat tenderizers pummeling flesh or
Jack hammers cracking concrete;
Rattling door handles twist, turn
Voices chant incantations, grunt outside
Demand immediate admittance—
Ready to fix a need, a place to
Tie down before daylight resumes
Kickin’ flop house reality,
The Blues Hotel’s legacy, above,
Below, and on all sides of every room.
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Submitted on July 30, 2019

Modified on March 14, 2023

55 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,211
Words 186
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 12, 12, 17

Sterling Warner

A Pushcart Prize Nominee, Sterling Warner’s poems and short fiction have appeared in dozens of international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies such as FLATBUSH REVIEW, SCARLET LEAF REVIEW, and STREET LIT: REPRESENTING THE URBAN LANDSCAPE. Additionally, Warner also has written SIX (6) collections of poetry: WITHOUT WHEELS, SHADOWCAT, EDGES, MEMENTO MORI: A CHAPBOOK REDUX, RAGS & FEATHERS and SERPENT'S TOOTH: POEMS (2021). In August of 2020, he published MASQUES: FLASH FICTION & SHORT STORIES. more…

All Sterling Warner poems | Sterling Warner Books

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