east koenig and hell

the spectral transience
wavering through the hotel
felt like sliding sideways
from the filthy metropolis
into a fifteenth dimension
the woman behind the counter
seemed freshly plucked
her too close eyes stared
with a half dead stupor
down her beaklike nose
as a short man stood too closely
behind me yelling about how
he was in the south
(you know) the south
a woman sat on one of the
oddly shaped turquoise couchs
reassuring someone on
the other end of the line
that she most certainly did
(in fact) have a psychiatrist
which eased my tired mind
as i watched the long aquarium
devoid of fish yet filled
with clear stones and an
eerie red light amidst bubbles
i began to question
if i had been killed somewhere
between bastrop and austin
my soul still rocketing along
to the purgatorial check in
a group of four women
ranging from ancient to
somewhere south of thirty five
happily talked about
the free beers they could enjoy
once five o’clock came
the short man still yelled
he was in the south (you know)
and the chicken faced woman
passed out free beer tickets
as i waited to get my keycard
and hide away until
the worst of this flashback
swept itself from the cobwebs
littering my hollow skull
the woman on her phone
was lamenting the difficulties
of a life without a kitchen
(she has a psychiatrist)
and i began to question
had i ever truly been in
(you know) the south
i don’t have a psychiatrist
(i assure you)
but in this oven baked
hellstorm of fluctuations
tearing the fabric of reality
i began questioning
do i have a kitchen (you know)
the desk clerk began pecking
at stray gravel on the counter
i was screaming i was here
i was in the south too
no psychiatric consultations
an imaginary kitchen
a family of women watching me
and talking about free beers
the chicken demon slid
the little envelope with
two sanitized keycards to me
explaining carefully
that my room (you know)
number four twenty
was the only one without
a number on the doorway
the short man laughed loudly
and slapped me on the back
congratulating me on this
holiest of numbers as the water
in the aquarium boiled over
i was checked in
despite a medical professional
not being on speed dial
and to the shock of the
gaggle of onlookers
i declined the free drinks
as i walked toward the stairs
the short man explained
in far too great of detail
that he needed maintenance
and a cleaning lady
apparently the toilets in
(you know) the south
were not prepared for
the reckoning he had brought
if i was truly dead and gone
hell was living up to the hype

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