I’ve just listened to a radio programme presented by Paul Farley, which examined the link between hotels and writing. It prompted me to look up my own ‘hotel’ poem, one that was absent from both my pamphlet and my book. I’m not sure why- I think my editor thought hotel themed poems were ten a penny.
The poem came from my experience of traveling for work. I took a couple of those ‘airport- hotel- airport’ trips and the supposed glamour of travel revealed itself to me for what it was. A version of this poem appeared in Iota 90.
In the Hilton Hotel
I left my heart in the Hilton Hotel,
a throb in a twist of night wound sheets.
Other trips had been marred by loss;
the credit-card in Prague, missed
when gin infused tonic at 20000 feet;
Dad’s slim gold watch, sunk into the dust
shed by 4000 guests
behind a bedside lamp.
And the ring on a soap-dish
when I handed back the key;
unintended gratuities, found in the wake
of hung-over departures,
kept by those on scant wages.
My wife noticed the pallor and torpor
as she greeted me. Later, when she laid
her ear to the vacant room of my chest,
the game was up for good.