23 October 1999
The Unknown

Las Vegas


is the most honest city
in it
is holding a plastic cup
in one hand
and pulling a handle with
the other
and the other hand
you have three in Vegas
is feeding in quarters.

Three in Vegas,
they hit on you
mistaking you for someone who's
you wonder:
do i appear to them
an aging conventioneer?

When the Unknown hit Vegas
for the first time

started watching their quarters
more carefully
because now each one could become a pull on the bandit.

Tina Turner gave us all autographed handbags
and recommended that the Unknown
also give away autographed handbags and
that, as they say
was the beginning
of The Unknown.

That was the only gig
we ever had
in which
all three threw up.

When William threw up
an arc of brown regurgitation
streaked the bathroom mirror.

When Scott threw up
he was on the plane
The pilot said something about
Dirk said a prayer
to a diety
that he had invented.

There was a very tight
There were screams
which I will not describe.

Several of the midgets
were also vomiting in
the back seat it was not
easy vomiting en route
to Vegas, whatever.

I am avoiding the subject.

When Dirk vomited, an arc of rainbow spew
illuminated a narrow sidewalk
of wobbly close-ups.

The three of them
did a synchronous twirl
and together spewed
one toe upturned.

All this projected above
Vegas Boulevard
the strip.

Fifty feet high.

Surrounded by neon and flashing smoke.

Certainly it could not be argued that anyone
had no opportunity to avoid
the Unknown's Vegas Stageshow:

the gaudiest piece of flesh chess on the strip.

and yet the most honest city in america
that whole country is on sale seen
licked its salty beaches and its ones
with dead catfish with bloated bellies
filled with lead paint but we are getting
off the subject i was playing blackjack
on the computer game thing at the bar
woman next to me said that she was not
a professional poker player but was a
professional that made me feel old but
Vegas will work for it Vegas will work
and the dry heat is marvelous

lights sex flashing
opulence luxury ex
i mean sex

ringing cherries payoff
boing clink click
rattle ding clatter

red and win

Here we were in Vegas, a city Scott had recently enthused about, gleeful in his discovery of its postmodern charms, and not once had any tender territory even been tentatively toed since the recent tavern revival of that old Platonic bogie: Truth. Everyone was wary. And vocabularies followed the rabbit down the narrow hole of delay.