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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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 published four collections of poetry: WITHOUT WHEELS, SHADOWCAT, EDGES, and RAGS & FEATHERS, as well as a chapbook: MEMENTO MORI: A CHAPBOOK REDUX. more…

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"The Blues Hotel" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 10 Apr. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/49104/the-blues-hotel>.

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