Randi Israelow
        I first heard Randi’s work not long ago at the Barnes and Nobel reading in Encino. Randi is a gifted spoken word artist who writes work that transcends genres and is infinitely performable. Randi describes herself as an “upstart” in this world of poetry. Her essay, “Aglow with Gratitude” recently won a grand prize and was published in A Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families. She has lived and worked in New Mexico and Tennessee. Randi has written: “As for what I am working on now, honestly, I think of what I write as photographs more than anything else, pieces that have a central image in them somewhere that began with that instinct: Oh that would make a great photograph.  I just add the emotional context.”

Chelsea Hotel: Room 402

That maddening Truman Capote! Dead, yet still gossiping, over there, in the corner, while I’m trying to sleep hot as hellfire in this here hotel bed. What, do none of the chatty ghosts in this room have manners? Look at him. Hey Truman! I see you! I see your still small, still balding, still wicked self, slurping up all the gossip that ghost lady in the red high heels next to you is shoveling in your direction as you sit there beside her wearing your beige suit and light blue bow tie, your mouth moistening with the ever-increasing lusciousness of wordsecrets that she’s leaning in and feeding you as if they were pastries dipped in sugar glaze. I see your lips curling into the shapes of each letter of each word that you will try to taste again later when attempting to write all those delicious secrets down. But hey, Truman, guess what: You’re still dead! You can’t write, unless prose can be scribbled into the air with faint gray swirls of smoke from that long, skinny cigarette of yours – probably be nasty stale swirls at that, just rising toward the ceiling and smelling up the joint before disappearing, and what good is that? No, no, no, get out of that corner! Go back to Alabama where you were raised, go back to where you flew your kites and baked your fruitcakes with your Aunt Sook, and tell that lady talking to you that I said, “Snazzy pointy red heels there ghost lady!” but that she still has to get out, too. And tell that other lady, the one floating above me and pressing her hot breath down onto my cheek like flatiron steam that she needs to just sizzle her scary self right on out through the cracks in that there windowsill. I mean, my god, is there no appreciation? Why, not more than three hours ago, I bought all of you damn ghosts that happy bunch of yellow daisies over there. Yes, those daisies, there, floating inside those pudgy hotel glasses scattered across that round black tray on the dresser. I bought them for you because I felt your anger at my still living feminine body carving apart all your cloudy thickened dead bodies when I first walked into this here Room 402 and across that dirty hardwood floor. I felt your instant scheming, so I purchased those daisies as tokens of a binding 24-hour détente - but I never agreed to an all night party! So everybody, listen up now but good: You, Truman, and You lady in the red high heels, and You heavy breathing lady pressing down against me from above - and anyone else dead and still checked in to this here hotel room – all of you just quit, quit, and I mean Q-U-I-T keeping me awake! It’s 2 a.m., it’s a sweaty night, and this is by god big-mouthed New York City. What, it’s too quiet around here for you?

© 2010 Randi Israelow
Randi Israelow was a Featured Poet who read his poetry at the Novermber 2009
Second Sunday Poetry Series.