Here’s What People are Saying About My Latest Book

“The poems in Shawn Pavey’s Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6 examine the seasons in the author’s life, broken down into days and then into moments, whether it’s a warm Kansas City wind, drinking on 39th Street, or a moment of quiet contemplation filled with the uncertainty that comes with just being alive in the 21st century. Pavey’s poems are straight and honest, taking the time to just live now and put it all down on paper, something that the rest of us usually put off until tomorrow. His words are as spare as bone, leaving the wind and taking nothing for granted.” John Dorsey, author of Appalachian Frankenstein

“Shawn Pavey’s poems capture the longing we feel when we lift the needle from a record album. In the turntable’s wishwiswish between Stratocaster riffs, there lies hope and resignation, Bruce Springsteen and hungry cats, maple leaves and ‘plastic blasted into space.’ Pavey’s poems give voice to our hunger for life, a medieval song heard through 21st Century earbuds.” Al Ortolani, author of Francis Shoots Pool at Chubb’s Bar and Waving Mustard in Surrender.

“In Nobody Steals the Towels From a Motel 6, I was reminded of how a gifted poet like Shawn Pavey doesn’t try to convince his readers to have things we don’t need but to slyly persuade us to open our eyes to the presence of the treasure of those things we cannot live without. In this book we have love, surprise, death, angels and more pictured for us in a flow of language both ordinary and extraordinary gracing us with a dancing vocabulary’s most lyrical and unforgettable choreography.” Chuck Sullivan, author of Zen Matchbook and Alphabet of Grace.

Wings of Desire

Damiel’s Lament: A Prologue
after Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire

I know no thing –
if I lift a stone, the stone remains in place.
What I hold is an idea of stone,
an abstract of stone.

Through all of my time,
I carried this weight of not weighing,
watched every thing,

from before the arrival
of humans, rising from the valley on their two legs,
shouting to no one and every thing at once
Ah! Oh!

to now, this city and this dust
and this dirty air, this Berlin.

There he is.
The old man who walks with such strain,
such purpose, there by the wall,
the multi colored painted wall
stretching for miles through the heart
of this city, creating two countries
out of one place.

There he is.
The old man from before the old war.

Stories – he thinks these thoughts
and I, listening, hear them —
stories spill from his old pen to his white page.
He thinks and he writes
and the thinking and writing become the same
and I, listening, always listening, hear

Why am I here and not there?
How can it be that I, who am I
wasn’t before I was
and that sometime I, the one I am
no longer will be the one I am?

I hear these thoughts, all thoughts –
his, hers, all –
every one and they are not mine.

I am no thing in this body.
This body is nothing.

© Shawn Pavey. All rights reserved.