The colour scheme, all of the fittings, even
the rectangular reproduction,
above the bed, of an abstracted landscape
that might be desert or water, sunrise
or dusk reflected in the wardrobe’s mirror
were exact replicas of all those
he had already seen in all the rooms
he had stayed in the centre of cities,
on the edge of towns, at all compass points.
There was always, however, one difference –
the view. Through the sealed, double-glazed window
he could see an empty office block
with one blind still drawn on the sixth floor.
As always, he searched meticulously
for other differences – and found two.
On the green carpet between the bed
and the bathroom door was a tiny stain.
In the narrowest gap between the landscape
and the wall was a sheet of white paper
with black italic word-processed text.
Tunnels and wells and spirals
I have come out of the adit
of self- absorption and self-distrust
into the view and light of landscapes
and stretches of water…
Why did I not credit achievements,
accounting defeats only?
Hell was a locked and windowless
suite in an erstwhile Grand Hotel
become Secret Police Headquarters…
having too much to say,
I have found myself in silence.
'Huis Clos''In Camera'Grand HotelPremier InnSartreSecret Police