Michael Hofmann – Nights in the Iron Hotel, Faber & Faber 1983
Nights in the Iron Hotel
Our beds are at a hospital distance.
I push them together. Straw matting
on the walls produces a Palm Beach effect:
long drinks made with rum in tropical bars.
The position of mirror and wardrobe
recalls a room I once lived in happily.
Our feelings are shorter and faster now.
You confess a new infidelity. This time,
a trombone player. His tender mercies…
All night, we talk about separating.
The radio wakes us with its muzak.
In a sinister way, you call it lulling.
We are fascinated by our own anaesthesia,
our inability to function. Sex is a luxury,
an export of healthy physical economies.
The TV stays switched on all the time.
Dizzying social realism for the drunks.
A gymnast swings like a hooked fish.