Vegas, baby

By Peter Halstead

with a shakra to Kipling

By the old Gold Coast casino
Slouching southward to the Strip,
In the land of Wayne and Deano
And the cash-out minichip,

The Mandalay is waiting,
With its artificial wave,
Where the surf is marinating,
And the cherries won’t behave—

For the palms are in the concrete,
And the muzak’s in the trees,
And the shore is right on main street
With the donuts on the breeze,

But Frankie’s in his heaven
On the Angel Park fairway,
Where he rolls a perfect seven
And the bogeys ricochet.

At the MGM they say
That the keno lounges pay,
And the plums come up like sunrise
At the Wolfgang Puck Café.

At Bally’s, Sam’s, and Harrah’s,
Andrew Dice is calling,
And a man can go to Paris
To see Diana Krall-ing;

As the lazy streams meander
Through the sun-drenched quarter slots
And the valet parkers pander
To the bingo babes’ jackpots,

The Sunrise Suites are setting
As the Stardust fires rise,
And celebrities are betting
With Flamingo-colored dies,

And the Sands are really Caesar’s,
The volcano is a prop,
And the waterfalls are teasers
By the Genuine Surf Shop;

Oh behave the Mandalay way
In the water feature’s spray,
Where the starlets sprout like palm trees
In the Mandalay’s fake Bay.

Oh to be where Lance and Cher play
And the Boylesque dancers sway,
While the blanks pop up like golf tees
Out on Debbie Reynolds Way:

It’s the road to Mandalay, hey,
Where the surfing shoppers play,
And the ghosts come up like thunder
In the Slots-A-Fun foyer.

December 8th and 17th, 2001