Sooo, at first I hated the syllabic frame on this piece, but it works really well. It's broken up, like you ability to sleep, to relax, to find something enjoyable to do.
The last stanza hit me like a brick. My bedroom window is literally 15 feet from a major six lane road, and even in my livingroom- the point farthest away- I can hear the drone of older cars, the high-idled pitch of the Honda's and VW's the squel of every siren on every ambulance that goes past, and the wonderful BOOM, doom-doom-doom, BOOM from the woofers of the rich kids' cars.
Jason, I like that you're working with a self imposed form that implies the restless breathing of the speaker of the poem. I have a suggestion, though, for the last stanza. Would it be possible to make the 2 syllable lines one word... like in the other two stanzas. perhaps the 'cars pass' could become 'autos' or 'sedans' or something... And maybe 'the sound' could become 'echoes' or something like that. I don't know.... It just seems the poem would LOOK more finished with single words there, but that's just my take. The poem still works well as it is.
Would this be before, or after a lewd and sweaty act? lol. I'm just kidding. Seriously though, I can picture you lying there sleepless, the bright pink neon glowing through the seams of the cheesy motel curtains that hang over the window, the smell of stale sheets, a flat, plastic covered pillow crackling under the pillow case below your head. The sound of the light switch as you flick it on and off in complete insomnia.
This brought me to exactly where you wanted the reader to go. Great write.
It always catches You in the end, and Sometimes Right in the middle. Motel Neon keeps my head Swimming all night long.
I noticed you had the syllable scheme down...this piece flows brilliantly from thought to thought and line to line.
What catches you? the neon light, curiosity, uncertainty?
"head swimming all night..." will probably draw some friendly fire but I feel it's often good to throw in some common language and in this case I think it works well because it is familiar.
Strange people arrest My attention for Hours, Even after their Footsteps Have faded from the Dim-lit corridors.
I love the use of "arrest" it suggests the dark side of life. The observation in this stanza is great since we are often captivated, curious, uneasy etc etc etc around people we don't know and in new environments that aren't quite home. I like the way the stanza brings all these things into my mind.
Absently, I flick The lights off and on. Cars pass, Off in the distance, The sound Rises and falls like The Highway breathing.
I was thinking here that the light flicking was a way of being in control if only on a subconscious level...the sound of the highway is all the possibility that we aren't so aware of in our comfort zones.
Blah blah blah...the poem works on the surface and below the surface as well.
I'd delete the 2nd "off" in the final stanza as that was the only place I stumbled.
WHOA! That last line! WAS [censored]ING AMAZING! That is such a great line! This whole poem is AWESOME! I don't have any actual criticism, so I think I'll just go on about what the poem means to me. The first few lines are a little bit vague- I know you weren't trying to spell it out what you were trying to say. Was it the distraction of the neon lights that catches you? Or sleep? But I don't actually have a problem with the ambiguity. The line: Strange people arrest is simply amazing. Because it's a play on the word "Arrest"; as you said, arrest your attention- but also you're at like a seedy motel... and the word arrest has a violent, seedy, connotation to it... And I have already expressed my joy at the last line.. I think you captured the feeling of the isolation of travel- of being in a foreign place (and not even a nice foreign place, like a fancy hotel in Paris!) and being alone and lonely. Because the newness of travel can dazzle the senses, but at nighttime it ebbs down and... well, your poem referring to the rising and falling of the highway's breath, describing it as you would a sleeping lover next to you, just... wow.
Hey, this is me right now and has been for the last thirty days as well as the next to come. Could you have explained motel hell living any better? This actually has a beat to it as if there is music in the background. And The highway breathing is a nice touch. Gives life to the emptiness of those long sleepless nights and footsteps on the sidewalk outside the window or the footsteps on the above floor. The sounds of the trucks passing in the night and an occasional horn blowing in the distance. No matter what hotel you stay at, no matter what rating it is. The feeling of drowning in that endless highway of sounds and neon lights.
Still exploring simplicity in the short form (and handling it quite well, I might add). Perhaps you're sleepless because the noise overwhelms the senses like the rustle of heavy draperies (or perhaps your mind is more restless than your body and the background static only compounds the insomnia). Either way, the highway breathes steadily in sleep, the neon metronome beats out a steady pulse, the body of the earth reclines in darkness, and you stare out the window wishing you could rest. Feels like a scenario from a seedy film noir screenplay. Nicely done again, Jason. Take care. Bill.
Alright Jason! This was one I was doubtful of the form and meter at first, but it worked really well here. You realistcally brought to mind a stay at a hotel room, where there is non stop noise, yet loneliness all around you if you are alone in that room. I think think your simple use of imagery was the right touch for this. And the way you kept it impersonal as well by not focusing on one point only. The reader is drawn to all sorts of things to ponder over and invision. I have to say you did a great job here. You inspired me to write my own poem about a stay a motel room, that really did happen to me. Powerful, even with the wording being simple. Great job.