I can't convince my foolish friends to leave
the Hollywood casino on the Fox.
Lights, camera, action! -- crafted to deceive,
stretch out a losing streak and dull the shocks.
"Good Luck" they say, "Top Spin" and "What A Play!"
as though my skill or knowledge touched the reels
as though tomorrow's substance, spent today,
could buy more than bounced rent checks and missed meals.
The dream unfolds: bright fairies, lions, proud
young women garbed in nothing very much,
gold coins that sting my eyes like wreaths of smoke.
Lights chase themselves across as drums thud, loud
as my poor hopeful heart, command my touch
till I'm slack-jawed with longing -- and flat broke.