Poet-in-Chief: Clark County's First Poet Laureate
Clark County now has a poet-in-chief. The first. Officially he’s called a poet laureate.
Many other events are in the works. The idea is poetry, poetry, poetry.
Life in Las Vegas
by Bruce Isaacson
Even in the shadow of Casinosaurus
Life springs irrepressibly from the sands
Artists, poets, lovers, children
Dream of the seventh gold city...
To those who see in Vegas only what is small
We contain strange multitudes
Old west gun-racked in a pickup
The Liberace Museum
Street dudes lined up to work
New west corporate Disneysaurus
Every great nation’s culture presented in a buffet cuisine
Las Vegas—LA extended east to absurdity
A strip of Hollywood Babylon spread-eagled over the Sierra
Las Vegas— the only town with enough twisted imagination
to conceive of a life size replica of New York
and the humor to call that a resort
Casinosaurus gold flashes in teeth
But maybe here will be raised up the new man—
beautiful, sexual, immune to breasts on a billboard
Casinosaurus drowses in the dawn
after a typical night on the kill
Later the sun will plump up like a tomato going bad
Later the beast will stretch its talons in advertising
roar back about blackjack, insurance and family fun
But there’s also the gathering of the art tribe on the sands
Or I’m alone 6 a.m. writing poems
in the natural light of the desert
In a moment before the desert begins
When casino neon still outshines the sun
Here I am— a jew in the desert— found
among the fabled seven cities of gold
Flamingo... Dunes... Sahara...
We are shimmering.
© 2005 Bruce Isaacson
From Ghosts Among the Neon
Bruce Isaacson, poet lauerate, Clark County