Hotel for the Soul

31 Jan


Hotel for the Soul


I’ve got my best rings on my fingers

My pinturas negras are drying on the walls

My dark lady sonnets are all written almost well

A cigarette case from a hostile relationship suits me fine

An immaculate vacancy for her expensive time

Tomorrow, I’ll take a dive unto another paradigm

Walk out of the water like a dead shaman weeping for his prize

With the ghost almost gone

With the sermon nearly done

Naked, with nothing but a shadow for a smoking jacket

I’ve got my best rings on my fingers

it’s all I’m going to need

Until she dyes her hair to match her shades again

and asks me “Jack, am I pretty enough to write about?”


I carved her face into a granite bible

and was damned and happy for a while

True to form – she was a worthy compromise

A doom decadent and sweet

but not lasting; a halcyon bereaver

an opiate shiver

So I grew my hair out like a divorced Samson

let myself get fat like Jim Morrison, and wobbled blindly from a desert to a bar

Slowly becoming a dusty noumenon of megalomania and misery

too broke to buy a drink, too proud to beg

But then I found it – a new obsession

a breath to borrow, a love to keep

a carcass in the vase standing beauteous before me

a memory: en sa beauté gît ma mort et ma vie*


There’s a room in the monument for us

A park bench at Patriarch’s Ponds where we will meet the man

Where I can confess

that I do not trust a woman anymore unless she openly deceives

You cannot expect a woman to love you for your art

only a climax or two and a place to rest

I scream joyfully: “Ophelia, Ophelia – go mad for me!”

And then the reality breaks

Then another unwanted, unwarranted criticism leads to introspection:

If Jonathan Franzen is the best writer working today

I will cut my hands off again

and find a quiet, institutionally-lit place to listen to Lord Buckley records

and wait to be alated


And now,

she has tried on the clothes of a young George Sand

but doesn’t write

No rue to take

No parlor tricks, no audience

I see a vision of wet amber in her eyes, no strict imperative

Just a craven wanderlust to pass the moment

I see a vision of a tenderfoot (M.) Platonov reborn to change his fate

And then there’s nothing

Until the gluttonous allurement of grey and gold comes back on

Rolling in, crested, like a movement from Shubert’s Unvollendete

I see eternity in short strokes, but my vision does not blur

not yet

I see her as I remember her, now as only words

and again I can put my cheap rings on

Patiently await a new creation



* Maurice Scève “Délie, objet de plus haulte vertu


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Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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