Posted by Literary Titan
Stranded Wherever I Am is a collection of poetry that gives an interesting view of the transient residents of a motel. What inspires you to write?
Coffee alone. Wind singing around corners. Empty hallways. Strangers waiting for . . . something. And longing . . . for God, for others, for peace.
And I enjoy the layered meaning of poetry. While some of my poems are arranged logically in their line structure, others can be read two ways: following the punctuation and ignoring line structure or ignoring punctuation and treating each line as a phrase. In the second way of reading the poems, sometimes the two readings add emphasis and depth to each other and sometimes the one changes the meaning of the other.
My favorite poem from the collection is ‘hardscrabble’. Do you have a favorite, or stand out, poem from the collection?
Hardscrabble is certainly the most poetry-slam-friendly poem in this collection. 30 years after spending a night in a residence hotel, I searched online to find out how the hotel was holding up. The poem came out in about 10 minutes, bubbling from the rage I felt upon discovering an investment club had bought the hotel, kicked the residents onto the streets, and then folded leaving the building empty for a decade . . . and now a new investment group had bought the hotel and renovated it as a playground for the wealthy. The city newspaper was trumpeting this as a success story.
Readers might like to know what we’re discussing, so here’s Hardscrabble (if reprinting it won’t make the interview too long)
27 years after my time there
in two and a half decades
a lot can happen
without much change
and they tossed them
on the street
at the Elevator Hotel
like unwanted change
into a neighborhood that wasn’t a neighborhood
thrown where condoms, needles and popcorn
were handed out free
but anything else could be bought
or taken from old, wounded, poor
thrown beyond notice
of an investment club that bought that beatdown hotel
urban renewal to bring
more than change
to the partners who booted the residents
from a poor home to no home
with minimal notice
but what good is notice
but no one had noticed
them for decades
they weren’t noticed
the investment club died
and the hotel rotted
Completely opposite in tone, a poem I greatly enjoy but find relaxing, though it does hint of the difficulties life throws our way (and I think I like it primarily because it has a relaxed tone in the face of possible trouble), is:
Drift Inn Parking Lot
On the tailgate
smoking, watching clouds gather –
that girl with wind-burned eyes.
Where do you find your mind often wandering when you write poetry?
To long corridors, dark, empty – from my time as a janitor and late nights wandering labyrinthine motels. To empty highways haunted by wind – from my time hitchhiking. And to high plains highways barely paved, but lined by tall yellow clover, where meadowlark tones warble through open, thundering car windows.
Do you have plans to publish another collection of poems?
I’m still writing, so there’s a good chance. I have a number of poetry collections out already, from “Elsewhere” which is a collection of science fiction poems, to “Physicist at the Window” which holds poems about philosophy and science, to “holiday street” which is a collection of poems about Christmas, to non-themed collections like “frail as paper” or “Sketchbook 91.1.1”. And we shouldn’t forget my only limited edition chapbook: “Drive-by Cows”, which is about . . . cows.
Posted by Literary Titan
Stranded Wherever I Am by Steve Boint is a collection of poetry that gives an interesting outlook at the transient residents of a motel. The author gently expresses the harsh realities of the different personalities that usually end up living in these places. The battered woman, the addict, lovers, lawmen and simple travelers. He subtly brushes on the untold stories of the corridors, the parking lot, the closed windows, unopened doors and the cycles of time. The titles of the poems hint at the struggles of the phases those he observes go through. They include ‘Why Motels?’, ‘Night Manager Sleeps’, ‘Interesting Job’, ‘Too Far From Home’, ‘Late Night Musings’ and ‘No Sign Out Front’. Sometimes the poems border on haunting, pulling one into the undefined and seemingly aimless orbit of what motel life is like. Somehow, the author does not let it get too deep into that kind of low energy. It does continue on a similar spectrum but has a strong undercurrent of knowing, acceptance and strength. Somehow, contradicting ideas can exist together like the crushing loneliness and unquestionable acceptance and lack of judgement among similar people. There is a suggestion of danger but also a suggestion people choose these motels at times when they are getting away from something.
There is nothing overly flowery about the author’s words. His lines do not necessarily stick to convention but it is nevertheless an engaging read. He craftily uses the usual literary devices to get his point across. I highly recommend this collection of poetry.
Pages: 117 | ASIN: B085VSWXK9