Tuesday, 19 June 2007
I'm thoroughly enjoying my latest read: The Best Australian Poems 2006 Edited by Dororthy Porter (Black Inc). It's another Sydney Writers' Festival purchase. A few times I've dropped the book in my lap on the bus and penned a few lines about last year's trip to New York. I wrote one poem about a stay at the legendary The Hotel Chelsea. It tags itself as a “rest stop for rare individuals”. It’s one of those places where rock ‘n’ roll types walk around the lobby in black skinny jeans and a hat-wearing artist paints behind an easel near the front desk. The corridors are filled with artworks of residents – many people are lucky enough to live there – and each room is decorated with quirky touches. William Burroughs wrote The Naked Lunch there, Leonard Cohen wrote songs about it and Sid Vicious allegedly killed Nancy Spungen in one of its rooms. Other writers to have lived or stayed at the Chelsea include: Thomas Wolfe, Tennessee Williams, Mark Twain, Dylan Thomas, Sam Shepard, Vladimir Nabokov, Arthur Miller and Arthur C Clarke. It’s a real New York kind of place.