At the Surprise Hotel
by Barry Wallenstein



A collection of lyric poems is divided into four parts. The first, At the Surprise Hotel, is a sequence set in an international hotel; each of the 19 episodes turns on a surprise. The surprises are emblematic of the various eccentricities of the denizens of this hotel, many recognizable. The second part is Events, where each narrative is a short fragment of a story. The third part, Encounters, contains love poems, primarily erotic. The final section, Departures presents variations on the theme of mortality. Each section of the book also contains performance poems and song lyrics, which were written with the intention to be read aloud; many have been recorded and performed with jazz collaboration.