14x21 cm, 36 pages, 250 gsm Blue Strata card cover with colour illustration,
black endpapers, hand sewn with light blue twist.
ISBN 1 903090 44 X
See below for a biographical note and extracts from The Richard Nixon Snow Globe. (Or click on the highlighted poems in the contents list.
Click here for Rachel Loden's home page. Click here for the Hotel Imperium home page. Click here for Kent Johnson's interview with Rachel Loden in Jacket 21.
Rachel Loden was born in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Hotel Imperium (Georgia), winner of the Contemporary Poetry Series Competition. Loden has also published four chapbooks, including The Last Campaign, which won the Hudson Valley Writers' Center prize. Her work appears in The Best American Poetry 2005, edited by Paul Muldoon, The Pushcart Prize XXVI, The Iowa Review, and Jacket (online), the latter two also publishing interviews with Loden. She lives in Palo Alto, California, where she is completing her second full-length manuscript.
from The Richard Nixon Snow Globe:
If I have to be a playmate
In my time on earth
I want to be the girl
Of drifting leaves, cold cheeks
And passionate regrets.
I think Hef loves October best
Because although he cannot
Say so, he is this close
To death. December
In its stealth has hung
Long spikes of ice
Around his sagging ears, his
Sex. So in October
I'll be the centerfold of gay
Pretense, the girl who says
We're at our blondest
And most perilously beautiful
Right before we check out
Of the manse.
Soon all Hef's dreaming
Will be ash, his favorite pipe
And smoking jacket,
Last vial of Viagra
Safely under glass
At the Smithsonian.
When my shelf life here
Is done and all the damp
Boys stealing glimpses
At the newsstands
Are old men, I want them
To remember how many
Are gone, how many rooms
Stand empty, shutters
Drawn, the last girls slipped
Away in bright October.
IN THE GRAVEYARD OF FALLEN MONUMENTS
Moscow, near Gorky Park
Sometimes I like to think about Leonid Brezhnev
whose white marble torso stands here dreaming
in the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments. Leonid,
I say, it's Dick. Where are your goddamn legs?
Seems like yesterday you broke out the Stoli
at your dacha, and we laughed about détente.
Those were good times. The world on a razor
of our mutually assured destruction, and yet
comrade! you remember we felt strangely free.
Today not a single statue of Dick Nixon
stands astride an American city, but there are
National Guardsmen at the glittering bridges
and Citizen Corps tipsters behind each tree.
Leonid, they miss me. And the impoverished gray
pensioners in Gorky Park, endlessly pining
for "The Kuznetsk Metal Workers' Supper,"
they carry a wild red blowtorch for their Leonchik
too. So dosvidan'ya, you sweet old bastard
I'm late to catch an Elks convention shambling
through my Library in Yorba Linda, California,
laden with cheap "Elvis Meets Nixon" keychains
and a queer uneasiness they cannot place.
Second fitting with tutu, sequined crown, pink parasol. Tightrope across the laboratory. Singing: Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal.
Small contretemps. Ambulance to the Med Zentrum in Bad Ragaz. Subject tearing at bandages.
Sits up in bed at last, stares blankly at the Alps. Disconsolate.
Says only “All the kittens are still blind.” Meaning?
No change. Tear vials: one centiliter.
Can she see me behind the two-way mirror?
Subject spends day at Rosenklinik belting out the Volga Boat Song. Then shyly asks to see “Monsieur Jolie.” God help me.
Subject belligerent, attempts to provoke fisticuffs. Nightdress torn in brief struggle. Experiment halted till noon.
Must not let on that my feelings are increasingly inappropriate.
Cake flickering with candles on subject’s “birthday.” Trembles wildly, refuses to make a wish. Cake wheeled away. Repeat Tues-Fri.
Subject will not speak. Working furiously on crayoned “manifesto.”
Manifesto found in the Krankenhaus torn to ribbons. O my soul.
Demonstrators wrap the Institute in banners. Almost pretty. Subject oblivious, reading Heidi and talking disjointedly about goats and pie.
Police everywhere, but funding doubled! Subject relocated to the Advanced Laboratories, where we will continue our confidential work.