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From the Hotel Vernon

From the Hotel Vernon

9781912561476
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The poems in this book grow out and around the Hotel Vernon, built at the turn of the 20th century in Worcester, Massachusetts. Once an elegant place for local politicians to make their backdoor deals at the edge of the city, it slowly fell into decline each decade following Prohibition. Despite this, it has always been a space where artists, newspapermen and neighbors gathered at the bar or, after the late 1940s, in its Ship Room, a room purportedly modeled after the second berth of the Mayflower. In its barroom is a 1940s mural of ?The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,? painted by the owner?s son-in-law bartender and his friends, including the cartoonist, Al Capp. In these poems, oral histories are poised between and among flagrant sexuality, humor and abject poverty.  Patsy Cline, Babe Ruth, WWI?s ?Sacrifice Division? and Roy Orbison inhabit this space alongside the local residents: the Baker, Maurie, Charlie and Stosh.  Names of neighborhood places?Rizutti?s Goodnight Caf‚, The Nines, The Greyhound?are recited as both proof and pride in a neighborhood that was diminished through the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, cutting off foot traffic to local businesses by 1970.