Saturday, May 23, 2015


fountain spray ‘n th’dry heat
you’d think this alone would serve
‘s entertainment

dead eyes, whirring ‘f th’slots,
‘n’ th’casino announces th’show –
gone right through th’solstice

came from th’big city,
near reno, hiked th’canyon ‘n found
th’truly wild horses

lazy ‘n th’summer heat –
back ‘n hawaii, bad dreams ‘n th’tides,
here – only th’sound ‘f th’slots

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

steep rugged hillside –
no rides ‘cross th’parched desert – down
b’low, th’train rolls through sparks

through vegas ‘round th’fourth,
she found th’slots ‘n’ got that glazed look,
been here ever since

can’t see th’wash from here,
says th’caliente mom, food ‘n th’oven –
th’boys got th’m-eighties

squints ‘t th’vegas neon –
just back from spirit mountain,
th’shim’ring heat hurts th’eyes

miles ‘n’ miles, sun-baked road
hit austin hungry, instead,
mormon church, silence

austin’s mormon church,
shade ‘n’ silence – it’s locked against
th’loneliest highway

neon boneyard bound –
washed up performer wants t’camp
‘n th’glow ‘f th’golden slipper

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

some cash from working –
through reno t’ th’rockies ‘n summer,
enough t’get t’alaska?

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

desert train’s ‘t lovelock
even in july, chills th’bones,
makes you want th’coffee

th’mirror he took from
th’liberace museum
reflects th’blazing sun

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

fountain spray ‘n th’desert –
coming from th’dusty campground,
he knows his face’s streaked

a week in black rock -
he's brought the desert with him,
doesn't stop in vegas

black rock desert tale –
th’burner who rushed into th’fire,
lost in th’spirit ‘f th’burn

unforgiving chill
desert summer night settles
miles still from elko

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

smell ‘f desert sagebrush
campground host warns of th’perils
‘f winning at th'blackjack

down from burning man,
stops ‘t th’casino t’use th’bathroom,
‘n’ th’mirror seems t’mock him

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

she’s ‘t th’neon boneyard
after th’blackrock fest’val, had
t’stop ‘t th’golden slipper

smell ‘f desert sage ‘n th’breeze,
at th’neon boneyard she’ll cry
at th’golden slipper

opp’site ‘f fame, she says –
desert camping, with th’soft glow
‘f th’boneyard stardust sign

smell ‘f desert sagebrush
something ‘bout th’glitter 'n' th’sparkle
keeps her coming back

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


harvest moon ‘n vegas
you came t’love th’new desert life,
he altered th’weapons

town ‘f austin, silent –
harvest moon, empty streets, back
t’ th’loneliest highway

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

vegas interstates –
going eighty just t’get t’school,
not his kind ‘f gambling

behind th’mandalay,
study break t’go watch aldean –
he hears th’commotion

loneliest highway
even on th’night of th’first frost,
he swerves ‘n’ saves th’rabbit

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

bare ‘n’ sleepy mountain,
on th’elko road on souls’s day -
is there life up there?


lost ‘n th’cowboy christmas
million dollars ‘f western clothes
seem t’block all th’exits

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

hears th’sound ‘f th’basque language –
th’old man ‘n th’winnemucca bar
sheds tears at th’countdown

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

near winnemucca,
th’old basque shepherd’s new year song -
wants th’news from back home

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

new year near mesquite
lost’t all ‘n vegas, back ‘n minot,
he’ll d’clare bankruptcy

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

back on th’frigid plain,
left his fam’ly – now he rests
‘t th’gate ‘f th’neon boneyard


night train through elko
blizzard in th’empty streets, then,
miles ‘f empty desert

blizzard hits elko
we have some tol’rance, she says,
f’r folks who’re different

mormon peak trekker
tells how th’dry rugged winters
tend t’make folks extreme

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

loneliest highway
goldfish ‘n th’desert spring play tag
in th’june morning sun

fragrance of sagebrush,
golden slipper ‘t th’boneyard – th’fame
didn’t amount t’much

wildflowers ‘f tahoe
high in th’mountains, she finds one
called th’wooly mule’s ear


finds th’wooly mule’s ear –
like th’mountain flow’r, th’tahoe lass
feels ‘t home in th’high glade

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

restaurant’s full ‘f slots –
reno waitress gambles on th’ride
up t’where th’snow’s melting

spring’s come down th’mountains –
th’mountain man wins th’reno slots,
looks more int’resting


Post a Comment

<< Home