Meeting the Bar: Lobby-ing

i dont mind writing poetry
in hotel lobbies

sitting with a heavy pen, soaked,
an atmosphere of homelessness
& mirrored in the words, floating
from leather couches to a polished bar

So play piano-man
as we sit listening and waiting
for the things that never happen

Play neither passionate nor shallow,
wrap us in your tunes,
make us feel,

we’re not belonging anywhere

We meet in clouds of sound,
leaned comfortably on the night

and we’re all homesick–

tiny parts of us fall
silently onto the floor
where an eager cleaning lady
finds them in the morning,

no one finds our loneliness–

so take your bag,
pour another drink
by the time the smoke clears
we’ll be gone

.
Brian and I have prepared this week’s Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft post over at dVerse Poets Pub together…it will be posted at 3 pm EST…make sure to check it out and enjoy our musical approach to poetry crit…smiles

I’m still on a business trip, so will return comments and make my rounds on Friday evening…looking forward to reading some poetry again..

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38 responses to “Meeting the Bar: Lobby-ing

  1. nice textures to this…all the touches about the hotel…just waking…and was excited to see a post again…so i will now get some coffee…then come back and give you some proper critique. nice to have you back

  2. IN THE GLASS

    Everyday is an hotel
    Because everywhere is a home
    For the travelers of the mind

    Paint the walls
    With an open smile
    Of total collapsing

    No need to belong
    Being is enough
    When all shades
    Have disappeared

  3. I haven’t been in a hotel in years but you captured every little bit of it, so at least now I can pretend I’ve been in one..haha..Great piece as always.

  4. Claudia – I especially like the line “we meet in clouds of sound”. The whole piece is nice, but that line in particular speaks to me.

    I like it! 🙂

    Sioux

  5. Clouds,
    Writing in a hotel lobby can be very inspiring as we watch the world go by. You’ve put in every bit of the observations in your verse most profoundly! A good respite from the heavy stuff usually associated with business trips. Excellent verse Ma’am!

    Hank

  6. The poem brought back a number of memories when I would travel to various conferences and spend time in those hotel bars “waiting for the things that never happen..”…great poem.

  7. Ah, Claudia I use to travel all the time and I do so remember those hotel lobbies, the places I used to stay at the most had free beer and snacks, some really nice plush couches and a fireplace- So I’d often hang out there writing- Great trip here back down memory lane- Really nice, thanks

  8. i dont mind writing poetry
    in hotel lobbies

    sitting with a heavy pen, soaked
    by an atmosphere of homelessness (change by to in for rhyme or just cut by)
    & mirrored in the words, floating
    from leather couches to a polished bar

    So play piano-man (cut so)
    as we sit listening and waiting
    for the things that never happen

    Play neither passionate nor shallow, (cut play, redundant)
    wrap us in your tunes
    and make us feel, (cut and)

    we’re not belonging anywhere

    We meet in clouds of sound,
    leaned comfortably on the night

    and we’re all homesick–

    tiny parts of us are falling (cut are falling and make it fall-less passive)
    silently onto the floor
    where an eager cleaning lady
    finds them in the morning,

    no one finds our loneliness–

    so take your bag,
    pour another drink
    and we’re gone when
    the smoke clears

    (an option on the last 2 lines

    by the time the smoke clears
    we’ll be gone)

  9. Oh, I like this. You’ve really captured that transitory feeling, and the opening is fabulous.

    The only suggestion I can offer is maybe looking at the last stanza. The tense feels somewhat inconsistent to me.

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  11. A business trip, eh? So you are a working lady, as well as a working poet.

    You captured Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and Happy Chapin’s “A Better Place To Be” in this.

    This poem is SO GOOD! SO FREAKING GREAT!! One of your best for me.

    xo

  12. A really good portrait of those public spaces that are lonely because they are crowded. Airports and museums and malls, no less than lobbies. (the tones of your illustration are just right)
    I wonder just a bit about the introductory stanza. It’s the only “I”, with the rest of the poem “we”. Maybe I’m missing something, but it’s almost as if the speaker is asserting something and expecting to be contradicted, but almost makes the opposing point.
    I like the mood of this, though. Really like the lines “mirrored in the words, floating
    from leather couches to a polished bar” and “tiny parts of us are falling
    silently onto the floor”.

  13. “We meet in clouds of sound,
    leaned comfortably on the night”

    i love that “clouds of sound” ~ only you could take a hotel lobby and turn it into a bluesy tale of loneliness. ♥

  14. Dear Claudia,

    The problem with taking the seat closest to the door on a night where poets offer critique to the link before and following is that there isn’t anyone on your other side! So, I came to stand next to you for a few minutes, occupy that space between the entrance and your poetry.

    I love your voice, how even the most mundane stretches of time become fascinating at the touch of your pen. I can’t offer critique because I don’t see anything to improve. I nodded my head with each line, knowing exactly what your easy to understand expression was capturing.

    Now, I’ll set you up with a drink, on me, and be on my way to listen to the other poets who linked. Have a wonderful evening and if that space starts feeling vacant, give me a shout.

    Beth

  15. claudia, there might be someone at the pub tonight who had a little too much to drink:) hey, i’m allowed! by golly…
    i like you poem a lot. i read a few times. i’m not rushing to your defense here (iswear!) but leading with ‘i’ sitting to write poetry in a public place feels like an ‘i’ moment. then it becomes ‘we’ after you are part of the scene. that’s what i get it.
    we’re not belonging anywhere, as the middle line, is a great internal lynchpin.
    what are you drinking?:)

  16. You know me–allergic to crit–but not your poetry, ever. This whole poem is suffused with that sense of place, of the authenticity that comes with being emotionally infiltrated by it–the image of listening to the always sad and tinkly piano-bar piano, of not belonging amid clouds leaning on the night is exquisite. Thanks for fitting in some writing time.

  17. I like writing poems the most when I am observing something. Writing while in the moment I am writing about helps me capture the feeling a lot better. Except when using a typewriter in public. Often people’s reactions tend to be a bit distracting. In a good way, I suppose. 🙂

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  19. Claudia, your words just absolutely own me.

    “So play piano-man
    as we sit listening and waiting
    for the things that never happen

    Play neither passionate nor shallow,
    wrap us in your tunes
    and make us feel,

    we’re not belonging anywhere”

    Enrapturing, almost completely melodic as it drifted into my thoughts of a cold winter night, trapped in the confines of a smoky piano bar, a few miserable souls adrift in their travels, hiding with me from the thought of braving the cold, snowy night air to find some other place to be nowhere…. But now I’m interested…. is the waitress cute? 🙂

    Claudia you are and remain one of the most absolutely talented poets that I know, and this poem, as all your others, confirms that with each syllable….. I am so glad that I found your lovely poetry.

    Brian has a good point but I think “so” belongs there … I think it absolutely enhances the thoughts and feelings of your subject… “Like you know what, I’m here. I’m just stuck. I’m not saying it’s miserable or ratcheting, but it’s not the comfortable hearth of home, or my lovers arms. So, play pinao man, take me somewhere where I can be nowhere, again.”

  20. Nothing to add here, except that I really enjoyed it. It had a distant yet familiar flow to it that goes well with the scene you decribe. Every hair in place. Another fine write.

  21. tiny parts of us fall
    silently onto the floor
    where an eager cleaning lady
    finds them in the morning,

    ….brilliant! From hearing the piano man ( and I don’t know if you meant Billy Joel as well as the hotel-less-ness music…)
    tiny parts…
    loneliness and missing something else

    Love it,
    deb

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  24. Love the way you capture music. Also love this stanza:

    tiny parts of us fall
    silently onto the floor
    where an eager cleaning lady
    finds them in the morning,

    Great poem!