Oh, Manila Airport Hotel! Though the Fates
To us mere hours did allow, forever will my breast
Bear the bruises from your venerable boxsprings.
Even now, though a thousand miles do distance me
From your Spartan embrace,
Can I smell the sweet damp emanating from your carpets.
Wherever on this Earth I roam, I can promise this:
I will carry with me, imprinted on the eye of my mind,
The supernatural glow of your parking lot
Through the bottommost inches of the window--
Left uncovered, in your infinite wisdom,
By the yellowed curtains, once-white.
How could I, mere mortal, ever hope to sleep,
In the presence of such luxury
As a twelve-inch television
And a shower giving water both hot, and--yes!--cold?
Lo! There is nothing left for this poor wanderer
But to steel himself against the day
When he can hear the sweet song of disdainful silence
Ringing out from a reception desk,
And secret himself away in peaceful solitude
Above the teeming midnight KFC.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
An Ode to the Manila Airport Hotel
The Manila Airport Hotel is a lot like Manila itself: shabby, inexplicable, but somehow endearing. On my last night in the Philippines, as I lay awake waiting for MacArthur's next Return, I composed an ode to the Manila Airport Hotel. It goes something like this: