you know those people who come around,
give you free drinks,
well one lady’s dreadlocks latched onto me,
spiraled around my leg like a snake,
pulled me outta my seat
and drug me around the casino
till i tipped her a dollar.
i was then out of money.
i should’ve played a slot machine
called the toilet
cause that’s where my money went.
i sat with a lonely cigarette
at a machine with a big cartoon starfish
blowing smoke up my ass.
it was good though.
the smoking of a man
who really needed a cigarette.
the starfish got big
and flashed BIG WINNER behind me.
what a huge lie that was.
it was playing what it would look like
if you hit the jackpot.
the circles on the floor
started to look like a slot machine
after awhile.
if i had a twenty i’d have been
jamming it into the carpet.
i was starving and the people i was with
were still playing.
i watched them,
the screens rolling me around
and i popped up on one
saying LOSE so we can go home.
what do you do in a casino if you have no money?
i’ll be damned if i know.
you swivel on your chair,
you act like you’re interested in the music.
it all becomes one sound though.
screams, dings, buzzers, clapping,
laughter, chatter, bass guitar.
all of it like a black hole
echoes of your lost money
and that urge to play more.
to somehow lift yourself outta the ashtray
and into a big payoff
that you know will never come.