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Motel Seedy Analysis

Author: Poetry of Thomas Lux Type: Poetry Views: 221

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The artisans of this room, who designed the lamp base

(a huge red slug with a hole

where its heart should be) or chose this print

of a butterscotch sunset,

must have been abused in art class

as children, forced to fingerpaint

with a nose, or a tongue. To put this color

green--exhausted grave grass--to cinder blocks

takes an understanding of loneliness

and/or institutions that terrifies.

It would seem not smart to create

a color scheme in a motel room

that's likely to cause impotence in men

and open sores in women,

but that's what this puce bedspread

with its warty, ratty tufts could do. It complements

the towels, torn and holding awful secrets

like the sail on a life raft

loaded with blackened, half-eaten corpses . . .

I think I owned this desk once, I think

this chair is where I sat

with the Help Wanted ads spread and wobbling

before me as I looked for jobs

to lead me upward: to rooms

like this, in America, where I dreamed

I lived . . . Do I deprive tonight

the beautician and her lover,

a shower-head salesman, of this room?

He is so seldom in town.

I felt by their glance in the hallway

that my room, no. 17, means

something (don't ask me to explain this) special

to them. Maybe they fell fiercely

into each other here for the first time,

maybe there was a passion preternatural. I'm glad

this room, so ugly, has known some love

at $19.00 double occupancy--

though not tonight, for a dollar fifty less.


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