Friday, September 16, 2005


looking down at sparks
desert summer loses grip -
eastbound train starts out

knows th'beatty speed trap,

lets caddy fly past, get caught -
small town, summer night


houses built angled
away from sun - 's why they call
it caliente

eastbound train from sparks
through cold desert summer night
chills us to the bone

th’mirror he took from
reflects th’blazing sun

outside enterprise
burning sun reddens the weak -
rock caves offer shade

he's brought the desert with him,

doesn't stop in vegas

unforgiving chill
desert summer night settles
miles still from elko

dusty old pickup -
campground host, in dunes sign's glow,
curses lost food stamps

august dust rises -
plane's wing turns toward vegas,
sun gets lost in haze

she’s ‘t th’neon boneyard

t’stop ‘t th’golden slipper

opp’site ‘f fame, she says –

desert camping, with th’soft glow


something ‘bout th’glitter ‘nth’sparkle

keeps her coming back

neon boneyard tale -
harvest moon stirs her mem'ries
of golden slipper

with a straight face, they tell us -
most ‘f th’strip’’s ‘n paradise

on cold desert train,
dawn brings empty fall stillness
somewhere near elko

watching guests throw coins

in strip fountain - alas, souls' day's

just like all the rest

vegas stopover
flight calls to snow belt towns fade
slots' whirrs take over

hits vegas for slots -
new years day he sees lake mead,
even quits drinking

delayed by new year
fog - vegas pilot's never seen
a ceiling this low

left his aging ma
't home on frigid plain - he rests
'neath th'old stardust sign

homestead dreams derailed-
toxic waste, never to thaw,
stay frozen, yucca

vegas pool tanner
tells of march cop convention -
he never went home

reno slots winner
cap full of quarters - stumbles
into march blizzard

came from basque country -
took a few blooming valleys
t'call nevada home

she eyes th'mountain man,
come down t'reno with th'snowmelt -
all life's a gamble



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