Hotel Hoarder

Paris Rosemount

I wish to remain anonymous

in this confession of compulsive

hotel hoarding. It fills me

with such shame – though not enough

to stop me from stuffing my pockets

with random bits of contraband

I don’t even need. Eagerly tearing open

sachets - thrill of the rush

as though they were condom wrappers

with their promise of a good time.

Little packets of coffee, tea, sugar,

Equal – I can’t even

explain the Equal – I never use that stuff;

take it anyway. Can’t leave behind anything that isn’t

bolted down. The bathroom sweep nets

tiny tubes of toiletries and more vanity

kits than I would ever need in a lifetime. Why?

I hear my mother’s voice whisper ‘Because

it’s FREE. Your grandparents struggled through the war.

They would have wanted you to take

what they didn’t have’, as though that explained

everything. And so, armed with this warped logic, I stockpile

little offerings to appease my ancestors:

in spiritus sanctus to the Goddus Hoardus.

Amen.

But lo! One day I check in

to my hotel to find the horror

of change. No more miniature

bottles on the faux marble vanity.

Instead, great ghastly pump dispensers

affixed to the wall: for the sake

of the environment, the label decrees, to cut

down on plastic waste. Cut down on costs

more like it, I scoff to myself, sweating

like an addict deprived of a hit.

I momentarily consider

whether I should subvert the system,

decant some of the soapy

goop into my own empty shells

of tiny toiletries past.

But no! It is time to change

with the climate. The cycle

stops.

With.

Me.

Paris Rosemont is an Asian-Australian poet who combines her love for poetry and theatre into the exploration of the art of performance poetry. Her poetry was selected by Red Room Poetry for publication in Upswell’s anthology ‘Admissions’, alongside established writers, musicians and notable public figures. Paris’ poetry was also longlisted for the Joyce Parkes Writing Prize 2022 and will appear in the Heroines Anthology (vol.4.). Paris is a WestWords 2022 Academian, in-house writer in residence and a Frontier Poetry scholarship recipient. She was also on the judging panel for the Living Stories Competition 2022. Paris recently won a Varuna National Writers’ House Emerging Writers’ Residency as well being awarded a place in the Arts Access Australia Mentorship and Professional Development Program 2022