El Cortez Never Slept Here, I'll Bet

El Cortez Motel, Serra Vista Arizona

10 April 1975



Gas pipe clock

ticking, popping

and hissing.

The heat seems like an extra.


I am not unfamiliar to this place,

this cave from the wind and sun.

A bed for tossed sleep.

Two doors.

One for exit.

One for sewer.


Not ugly.

Not pretty.

Petty maybe

and oh so barren.


I am here now

and I am everywhere I have every been

or will be.


It comes when I need it.

Does it talk of home. Yes!

Home with paint,

color and warmth.

But is the skin the difference

or it the shape, the texture

of the living,

the smile I can see

and not look into the mirror

to get?



Inside the body.

Inside the mind,

there is the deepest longing

for love.


Am I a man in want

of companionship?

A TV mate?

An after 5 ear?


How many dimensions do we live in?

How many separate lives?

How may joined?


See-through curtains

and a yellow walk light outside to welcome.

Mail slot in a wooden door.


Could this place be?

Has it been someone's home?


Solitude and gas pipes.

Faint mumbling through the walls.

Neighbors perhaps?


Two pillows for one man.

A bed badly slept in and unmade.

Lusting for sex,

cats scream outside and fight.


Solitude and lust.

Are they the day of night love?

Is love something to fill a vacancy?

There is always vacancies here.


Without a clock,

there is no time inside.

The sun comes before you see it,

up over the window sill,

across the chrome faucet

and into the room.


"Sunlight will renew your pride"

comes to mind

but the voice is from the inside.


Books collecting on a counter top.

A stone collected adds some charm

but no Marvin Gardens is this.


A sore lip.

The insides wishing their way out.

Visibly, a fever inside my mind.


Longing for home, I know this is a part of my life

I should not condemn.

I see wanting and needing are two separate things.


Wanting love?

Wanting to touch you?

Wanting to love you?

Filling voids

or needing?

Needs, what are they?


To drink so as not to thirst

or to drink so as not to perish?

To love and be loved to fill

or only to make whole?


Clothes thrown in floor corners.

Shoes stepped out of still tied

by the single couch.

A carpet the color of dust and dirt.


A blue fringed bedspread.

Non fitted sheets.

Light switches that control nothing and

a door bell on number 12.


Refrigerator hum

cooling its insides.

Farting out the heat,

I get weary of being here.


Maybe sleep will release

and transport.

Dreams that don't know what I look like inside

my white walls.


No food odors.

No cooking grease.


Somehow it all fits together, this room and I.

I am glad I have seen it.

Do not hate it,

but heard its silent,

low ceiling echo.

It's one thing

and make no attempt to be more.


I wonder if it loves me

or even notices I am here?

Do I fill its holes,

its needs?

Or am I only using it like some parasite?


Love and the future.

Looking out for more

or at least

a steady supply.

Addicted to addictions.

Needing a familiar face

to reassure that the world has not changed

and left me behind.


One sitting chair occupied,

pushed up against the dresser,

empty. Beside the wall box heater,

next to the pile of dirties,

feet shoed, pushing the blue fringe.


I am here,

legs crossed

"Entertainment for Men"

a desk top.

Writing on soldiers form.

Eyes to the paper.

Eyes through glass windows,



No time has gone since I started to write.

The heat is "On".

The heat is "Off".

I must decide what to do

and the room,

now my third arm

or me the extra furniture doesn't care.

Gas pipe clock

ticking and popping

and hissing.

The heat seems like an extra.


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