Political Briefs
End of April 11 Column

Poetry Corner with Richard Dalton

Richard Dalton, apropos of last week's review of Lincoln Lawyer, the movie:
I've read it and highly recommend it. Great characters and a wonderful new vector for Connelly who may have been feeling burned out by his intense detective series. There are two sequels with the same characters.
He also checked in with a note about writing to understand how you feel about something, combined with a poem about Las Vegas, which we both grew to hate during the years of Comdex, when we were required to go there every year for a week. It was apropos of my note last week about journals.

Newsletters, blogs, journals, memoirs, biographies......and one more--poetry, which can (or may not be) another way to capture what's happening inside.

As you may recall, I have written some poetry that I consider to be a direct channel for my feelings. I've been a bit concerned that I haven't written much poetry in the last decade. I was in Las Vegas last week, doing an annual presentation for senior managers in the conferencing industry. I have a visceral dislike for Las Vegas and always feel like I escape when I fly out of McLaren (appropriately via Wayne Newton Boulevard, the gateway to the airport). This aversion goes back to the bad old COMDEX days that you know very well.

I was waiting for the second day of the conference to start when I wrote this poem. It only took fifteen minutes, which is typical, although it's fair to say that this poem has been in gestation for about 30 years. In any event, I believe my poetry is how I am honest with myself about my feelings. Whether others like it or not is really beside the point, but as you know, it's good when your writing causes others to understand and share your feelings.

On my 30th(?), 40th(?) Sentence to Las Vegas

Hundreds of stretch Hummers and Escalades
whisk punters past
the non-casino reality

Did you pass
weary keno runners,
cocktail waitresses
and room cleaners?

Did the flashing lights hide poverty
that mirrors
the worst of south-of-the-border misery?

Or acres of shabby stucco apartments
bled by the sun of any color?

Payday loans on every other block
competing with Adult Superstores?

Grizzled street folk
panhandling players
as they as haul cups of quarters out of casinos?

"Whaddaya say, Honey?"
"Let's go blow
a few bucks on the tables."

"We deserve it."

Richard Dalton
March, 2011