Poems From

Ode to Hotels


In every can of fruit cocktail
with diced apricots, pears and pineapples,
bows of apples and nets of gooseberries
soaked in sweet sauce,
there is always that one plump crimson cherry
with an unexpected robust bone inside,
forgotten, frightened, frantic, foolishly in love.

Show Up On A Lover’s Doorstep, Unexpected

Show up on a lover’s doorstep, unexpected.
Nothing but a pair of high heels underneath a fur coat.
Ring the bell, scratch the door, daze and rapture.
Hot love in the hallway against the wall.
Close-up of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”,
All to the music of La Boheme.

So simple in the movies.
In life, details get in the way.

spit out hesitation onto the sidewalk
like a piece of chewed-out gum.
Borrow a fur coat from a gold-digger Nancy
sleeping with a married Antonio
who owns a Laundromat on 86th.
Undress, shave, shower, perfume, lace up black boots,
doublesqueeze each button of the coat, brush the fur,
fall into a taxi, streetlights in the winter bite,
roadbumps, and shivering cigarettes, bounce, shake.
Avoid the driver’s prying eyes,
dollar bills rustle in numb hands.
Slam the door, fix your hair, dry mouth, mint gum.
Grab the banisters, so slippery,
skim through tenant names, comas, initials, numbers,
four wings of a twenty story building; bells don’t ring.

Try to remember, was it 6T, 3H, 1B, 1U, 2G, 13L?
Never happens in the movies.
Fish in the archives of the mind, nothing but dust.
Index finger in a leather glove
gliding on 300 intercom buttons,
knees so weak, someone holds the door;
vestibule, fake fireplace, big mirrors, gnarled plants.
Examine mailboxes; tenants change,
not mailboxes, not too often lobby listings.
What to do? Stand in the lobby, wait for him to come out,
die of awkwardness?
Funny, how life is all about details.

Fly out of the building,
race for three blocks without turning,
catch your breath, clutch your purse.
No money in the wallet, no time to look for the ATM,
hate the movies, smoke in your eyes.
Walk towards the train station,
down deserted streets, past the sleeping buildings,
naked, in Nancy’s fake fur coat,
frozen toes, homeless cats,
clattering teeth, empty cans,
trembling belly, Gustav Klimt,
all to the music of LaBoheme.


13 days until I leave for Paris.
By that time,
everything will be resolved, known and played out.
I’ll be jotting down credit card and passport numbers
and wrapping up my toothbrush and Q-tips in plastic.
Maybe, tears will be falling on my leather suitcase,
maybe, I will be overjoyed and feverish,
or perhaps, I will just be silent and aloof,
mumbling to myself that all the best is still ahead.

Written in confessional style, imaginative and fiercely whimsical, Ode to Hotels chronicles the poets' journey from Communist Russia, through Italy and Austria, to the final destination of the United States. This is an ode to childhood, family, friendship, immigration, willpower, and the search for the essential self.

This is the second edition, the first edition of Ode To Hotels was released in October 2002 by Watermark Press.


Paperback 52 pages
Publisher: Wasteland Press: 1st edition (March 11, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1932852190
ISBN-13: 978-1932852196