A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World
The haunting and crystalline poems in Adam Clay’s A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World examine the moment when solitude slips into separation, when a person realizes he can barely see the place he set out from, and must make his way back to the present.
Imagining the return to daily life as a negotiation between an inner world and the natural one, this collection tracks the subtly shifting tenors of thought that occur as the landscape around the speaker changes. In this journey, reverie can be a siren’s song, and Thoreau’s “border life” between civilization and wildness is realized in all its possibilities and difficulties. The resulting poems live somewhere between those of James Wright and John Ashbery: they seek wholeness even as they acknowledge that “a fragment is as complete as thought can be.”
Thoughtful and subtly complex, A Hotel Lobby at the Edge of the World is a collection filled with a generous gentleness—an attention to the world so careful it’s as if the mind is “washing each grain of sand.”