The Clown Plaza Hotel

Editor’s Note: I have travelled extensively around California with Arthur Reznik. However, prior to October of 2011, Arthur had never been to Northern California. During that month we set out on a sojourn that I now refer to as The Bad Hotel Research Tour. Ostensibly, we had headed north from Los Angeles to search out places from my youth or associated with my ancestry. This took us to strange and foreboding towns like Dinuba, Tracy and Mountain View where, forced by necessity and egregious lack of planning, we stayed in a series of truly awful inns, motels and hotel chains. The last place we stayed in, before heading south through Big Sur, was the Red Roof  Lodge near San Francisco Airport. Giddy with lack of sleep and baffled to find ourselves in lodging where suicides where not only frequent, but almost de rigueur, Arthur became intrigued- if not pathologically obsessed- by the possibilities thereof. He returned home in a fevered state, and fueled by coffee and a sense of mission, penned the following verses.

Arthur Reznik. Poet.





The Clown Plaza Hotel

by Arthur Reznik



Trudge Land

Midnight hour, I was finishing up a tumbler of thoughts

Nothing sour, felt thirsty-tired-tried to rest my bones

Crawling through the cities never satisfied much

Hunch backed and verbally smacked, I left

Had been walking for mountainous days

Hot desert hours, wet and cold mornings

My compass said “fuck you. find love”

I heard a scream..or was it a shout?

Front Desk

Pleasure or pain? I tread towards it in fatigue

There I stood at the front.. “The Clown Plaza Hotel”

Sped in softly, machete hugging my thigh

The front desk had no desk

Nor was it at the front

An old man greeted me, stuck in the 50′s with a fur coat

He offered me grain, grass and whiskey with a smile, chuckling

I demanded moonlight, tobacco and a room, spit flying from my dancing mouth

Down the hall and to the left of the still pay phone

Chernobylistic PoodlesThrough the loud bangles and depressed chains

Past the Chernobylistic poodles spewing neon

Past the angel that whispered “Camels, cowboys, straws & spoons”

The vital 6th sense was beginning to fade

No regrets in my rearview, I kept walking

It was all wasted, copy and pasted the devil’s upside down frown

I bit into a piece of it and tasted nothing but Sinatra’s vinyl ashes

Shrieking flutes and tables turning on a counter under an unwise clock

Time lied, the tall tale dragged its tail for endless moons telling us

Telling us the world will end…but it never began

Hotel Bed

I kept walking..

I approached the room, eyes teary, mouth melting, ears humble

The room was Tolstoy’s last breath

I had set the controls.. but missed the heart of the sun

Melting walls, distorted mattress, angels fluttering by

Warning me of my ideas and colours

There I lie, melting without melatonin

The sudden urge covered me like a swarm of politicians

I stepped out the chamber room and towards the patio for a smoke


I walked passed a clown humming

Militarily standing there, eyes crossed, humming an Uzbek national

Oh they probably told you about me didn’t they?

I continued out

Stepping on stars, gazing at the sand

I existed for minutes

The thin line between faith and delusion

I said “God take my hand, I only need 1″

The angel appeared, she smiled, I laughed

“I don’t want a kiss, I want your nerves”

An opposite, the white rose queen of the concrete

No god damn big city salamander princess for me

I lit my cigarette, slowly and happily burying the smoke in my lungsTV Dark

I felt something gliding it’s slimy fingers against my neck

I turned around

A screen, with a clown on the channel, speaking in a tongue I could not

Suit wearing, tongue flipping, reading from pages and pages and pages

I began to disorient

The night was being sucked into the screen, screaming high frequencies

No more stars, sun sprayed rays violently onto my skin

Sitting, nothing

I sat quiet, as glass continued to break and rearrange itself and break again

The observer, no one has ever heard her

Touched or perceived her

It was mother nature, taking her seed back

Punching, kicking, snatching it from us needy slacks

I blacked out…..came to

Then I saw it, found it, solved it

Drenched it in Einstein’s blood and gave it to her as dud

As a present, wrapped in prescriptions and indefinite misgivings

Its the wait, I think it might be the deadLeaving

Its the truth digging out of its grave to enslave those that bludgeoned it in the head

I was finished, radiating with philosophies, my machete hugging my thigh

I’m young and they say the world is my oyster

But they don’t see how many shells rest on my shoulders

The sun was setting down as I left town

Never to come back here again

I had to leave

But then again

I was never there

Original photos by Barry L. Young &  Alisa Resnik 

A Splendiforous Dichotomy

The Common Ground & Ground Rules that Allowed Hunter S. Thompson to Not only Interview but Also Bond With Richard M. Nixon on theCampaign Trail in 1972



Nixon and Hunter S. Thompson had a historically noteworthy conversation in the back seat of the presidential limo on a ride to the Manchester, N.H. airport. Thompson was on assignment for Rolling Stone. Nixon was rolling back into the White House, about to crush McGovern in the election.  During the hour and a half drive they had an in depth conversation about… football.




And that’s okay. In my book anyway.  In fact it is oddly charming. It’s like Axis and Allied troops pausing to sing carols on Xmas Day in the waning days of WW2. All partie involved knew the crisis was coming to an end. All is, or soon will be forgiven.






George W. Bush was much more evil than Nixon


I personally think that George W. Bush was a much more evil president than Nixon. (I know I’m right about this). I also predict that Bush fils will go down in history as the worst, most malevolent and toxic, the most damaging president we have ever had. This simultaneously clueless AND unjustifiably self-assured prick was so detrimental to our future that no one can or will recognize or admit it for another fifty years. His was a legacy of shame beyond all historic proportion. He made the world so much more dangerous that can ever be calculated.




Nixon?  He belonged to a former America that was either naive or innocent or just gullible beyond words. He is forgiven or at least commuted in my book because he got caught and also got caught out (The Frost Interviews- wherein he gave voice to the hubris that we could never again tolerate- “If the president does it isn’t wrong”!). This chastised and diminished and has somewhat chastened him in history’s eyes. It’s like, “[we] were so much younger then”, you know? And in a very real sense he did us all a great service because he not only tested but also defined the limit of how much political abuse anyone can ever commit again- at least publicly, sans well plotted “plausible deniability”.


Few in my generation either forgive, and certainly no one reveres, the tragic Nixon persona americana.  But what is terrifyingly closer and fresher and much more raw in my tortured memory, is this; as recently as 2004 a majority of American voters held with G.W. Bush,  and returned the fucker to office. That it is much more frightening than anything else in modern history.  Yes, worse than 9/11 because the myopic, corrupt shit-for-brains escalated the jihad.  He so played into the fanatics hands that Osama was still chortling in his compound right up to the moment his brains painted his bedroom wall.


Because of the Bush family self righteousness and/or total servitude to corporate- specifically oil- interests, we will be at war forever. The idiot, the asshole, the presumptuous prick created enemies that will never cease to hate us, and conflicts that can never end. Oh did he ever fuel, then fan the fires of intolerance. He guaranteed a future of terrorism and environmental despair. The latter predicated on his virulent campaign of denial, avoidance and subteuge re: global warming. Oh Lord, did we ever lose precious time by his resistance to addressing our real problems. Our poor, poor children. God forgive us.