sunday scribblings: hotel stories

this week’s prompt. it spawned a poem, which I wrote in my paper notebook and edited a bit before copying it here.

the sxsw poem

I dropped my suitcase
my black wheeled bargain from Goodwill
as it strained at the seams
because I didn’t know
what to bring
or not bring
turned the dial on the air conditioning
with a gasp
of relief
pulled open the blinds onto Texas
or at least a smallish square
a parking lot
an american flat
a texas flag
a bit of freeway
two hills, holding the freeway
between their sides
with the most vivid green
on the darkest near-black bark
I’d ever seen or could imagine

that hotel room: my home
base for a week
the tiny kitchenette
mostly-emtpy fridge
stock dishes, two burners
a microwave replaced the first night
the table where I plugged in
my laptop
tossing words a little bit
like these
out onto the carrier wave
a television
with no remote

oatmeal and a banana
a cup of tea
saranaded by an unfamiliar
radio station
not wanting television
or a big breakfast
only simple nourishment
to fortify days of complex
thoughts, emotions, wants

a week and a bicycle
the ride over the river
on a narrow concrete track
carved out from the freeway
morning solitude
just as I crave it
watching the river/not watching the river
dawn over rippling water
and the fear of falling

much later collapsing into bed
teeth brushed
face scrubbed
medicine taken, reducing my dose
while I’m here/gone
seems unlikely in retrospect
but that was what I’d promised
and determined to do

sleep in a strange bed
just as deep
the roar of the freeway
the same sound
as the tides of traffic
I hear faintly from my front yard