STONED IN STAIRWELL,
‘In July 2016, HOTEL asked me to make a recording of my poem, “#2 [elegant toplessness stoned in stairwell],” which is an excerpt from CAMP MARMALADE, to be published by Nightboat Books in 2018. And so, while seated at the piano, in my apartment's living room in New York City, I recited my poem and spoke-sang into my handy ZOOM recorder. Sometimes, to punctuate or accompany the reading, I played fragments from pieces by Robert SCHUMANN, Sergei RACHMANINOFF, Isaac
ALBÉNIZ, Vincent PERSICHETTI, and David DIAMOND. At other moments, I improvised rudimentary melodies upon which I could string the text’s syllables. None of this mélange—except for the poem’s words—was planned. I am grateful to HOTEL for giving me the chance to improvise.’
—W.K., July 17th 2017.
Wayne KOESTENBAUM has published eighteen books of poetry, criticism, and fiction, including Notes on Glaze, The Pink Trance Notebooks, My 1980s & Other Essays, Hotel Theory, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, Andy Warhol, Humiliation, Jackie Under My Skin, and The Queen’s Throat (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist). He has had solo exhibitions of his paintings at White Columns (New York), 356 Mission (Los Angeles), and the University of Kentucky Art Museum. His first piano/vocal record, Lounge Act, was issued by Ugly Duckling Presse Records this year. He is a Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and French at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.
KOESTENBAUM’s poem ‘#2’
appears in Hotel #2.