Vegas Kills Me
Every trip there, every time,
this feeling of being an outline catches me.
Familiar as it’s become, it still takes me by surprise.
It's always late, and I’m drunk, usually alone for a moment,
shuffling through any casino,
with some lump of coin rattling against my leg.
The slotbanks doodle out their simultaneous quasi-music,
sound, smoke and perfume pack the air tight
and the spangled room--carpets, walls, ceiling--
contain me in this ever-tilting state of fatal, fascistic party
My body saturated in and out,
smoked, marinated, pickled, sautéed
in cheap fat, oil, dog, dog weariness:
& I am the outline of myself.
I’ve been emptied and filled again.
It’s just this full flood of meaningless noise and energy
that even enables me to walk;
it fills me up, and I’m empty otherwise.
I don’t walk; I blink.
I’m a neon sign.
By now, after three such nights, it’s who I am:
3 a.m. pissing rusty nails,
then shambling down the daybright sidewalk
under the pan-sensual stimulating all-roar
of this whole God-weird city of strange dream and torture:
Two living dice, thirty dusty chips, women without eyes,
cowboys of tin, taxis to Mars,
Celebrity mobster moguls
who tuck their shy diamond wounds into this sandstorm.
Grandiose in a drunken whirl, we give in to fun,
fun that eats the body as it lights up desert’s night.
The sound of my breath and all my thoughts are gone,
ghost-like and gone in an ocean of noise.
I slump before another machine, sap the coin from my pocket
until it too is gone, and my drunk is without edges,
and the neon flickers, and I must go on,
departing from friends,
reminded so of life’s firework.
I fade like the night into electric light auras,
fade like those lights into dawn’s creaking brilliance.
An empty vessel rides a cab to the airport;
in the morning, my body is, at last, gone.
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