visiting the chelsea hotel

entry picture

visiting the chelsea hotel

we walk along the hudson river climb
onto the highline where monarchs swarm
purple verbenas and dry grass
cross block on block heart in mouth
walk don’t walk yellow taxi traffic horns
count down the numbers on west 25
spot the red brick high rise one time
‘world’s tallest building’

ventilator shaft intubates basement window
the building pegged by scaffolding breathes
like an asthmatic old man
tarnished plaques eulogise counter culture heroes
burroughs thomas cohen warhol

we search for traces of patti and janis
find only these damp bones
silt of cockroach wings stink of hooch
then glimpse awkwardly from fenced off steps
in corridors soaked with yellow light
pale shapes on walls where art once hung



Profile image

pauline sewards

Mon 2nd Apr 2018 14:11

Thanks Hazel, I agree re the pale shapes
and thanks Martin as well, for your comment

Profile image

Hazel ettridge

Mon 2nd Apr 2018 09:56

I'm sure that if I were Patti or Janis, I would rather be a pale shape on the wall than a tarnished plaque. Crumbling dreams. Very much enjoyed.

Profile image

pauline sewards

Mon 2nd Apr 2018 03:11

Thanks for these comments and the link to the Arena documentary
Sorry for slowness of reply
Write out loud is such a freindly and supportive community X

Profile image

Martin Elder

Sun 28th Jan 2018 17:33

This really is a marvellous poem. I think I am inclined to agree with Frances in that my favourite stanza is the second. In particular the line
'scaffolding breathes like asthmatic old man'

Frances Macaulay Forde

Sun 28th Jan 2018 12:55

Atmospheric. The second stanza is my favourite.

Profile image

pauline sewards

Sun 28th Jan 2018 09:10

Thanks Colin and Wolfgar, really appreciate the feedback
and thank you Colin for the link to the Arena programme

<Deleted User> (13762)

Sat 27th Jan 2018 21:22

a sense of claustrophobic mounting excitement to this poem which makes me want to reach for my inhaler as we are dragged through the busy streets of NYC. Exhilarating. Thanks for posting Pauline.

for anyone interested in the Chelsea Hotel the BBC iPlayer is showing this quirky Arena documentary from 1981:

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message