Grounded in deep and thoughtful awareness, this complex collection of poems combines history, sexuality, pop culture, and political experience with edgy, wry, often absurd humor and an underlying penchant for the macabre. Rachel Loden employs both strict and innovative forms in poetry that explores the post-Cold War unease that follows a century of harrowing conflicts. These contradictory elements flower in poems drawn from the ethereal world of pop myths and fairy tales that simultaneously unfold a reality full of absence and mystery. Speaking as intimately of the fall of the Soviet Union as they do of the cinematic crimes and misdemeanors of Woody Allen or the redemptive passion of Little Richard, their tone ranges from the furious to the elegiac, with a comic edge that borrows as much from the gallows as it does from the Borscht Belt. As rich in rhyme, music, and literary allusion as it is in multifaceted meaning, Hotel Imperium presents a surprising blend of sophistication, playfulness, and haunting truths.