The Sunday Poem: Ungelbah Davila... Tropicana

The email said, "Like cheap hotel rooms?  I got a poem for ya DitchRider."  She was, of course, referring to Katherine Johnson-Ficklen's wonderful piece, "In a Hotel Room in Texas, Alone" which appeared here two weeks ago.  All I can say is, "Thanks!"  The isn't much introspection in today's poem, however.  This poem reflects some of the energetic craziness of the Las Vegas strip.

Ungelbah Daniel-Davila is a poet, journalist, photographer, model and muse from Albuquerque. She is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts and the publisher of a free, online publication, La Loca Magazine. A collection of her poems is scheduled for release this year from Salt Publishing. Look for her wherever there's neon, honkey tonk and boys with tattoos.


It all melted away in a hotel room in Vegas,
your body inside me, on the balcony, the floor, behind open blinds,
hoping someone would see, cause we could've been anybody.
Under the MGM Grand’s emerald green shadow,
we imagined what the strip would look like after the apocalypse –
a million gaping sockets where light bulbs used to be.

It’s a spring night, and if it were 1950, I’d be Bettie Leah.
We cry wasabi tears at The Orleans
eating sushi and Singapore street noodles.
Elvis, black and white and grainy,
knees wobbling on at least fifty screens, playing swing at any hour,
round Americans and slick black Japanese.

We spit on the Bellagio, puked in the parking lot, rolled dice
drunk on whiskey, rum, whatever and won two hundred dollars.
Spent it at Frankie’s, sunburned and smashed on blue syrup
Green Gasser tiki drinks, the orchids in women’s hair,
plastic combs, cuffed Levis and rolled up sleeves,
Cock Grease, Layrite, Morgans, and Sweet Georgia Brown boys
leaning against Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevys and Fords,
beneath glowing neon dollar signs.

-- Ungelbah Daniel-Davila

Poetry submissions are welcome.  Email

The Sunday Poem is published this morning from the front room of El Camino Family Restaurant in Socorro, NM.

Views: 239

Comment by Margaret Randall on February 5, 2012 at 8:25am

I think there's deep introspection in the line "hoping someone would see, cause we could've been anybody." The rest may be as introspective as Vegas itself, where what really happens there stays there.

Comment by Dee Cohen on February 5, 2012 at 2:59pm

Great sounds and movement in this poem. I like poems that get to the point and don't waste words. Strange and surreal as Vegas is, it has history and tradition, and you've captured it well here. Thanks, Dee

Comment by Ungelbah Davila on February 6, 2012 at 9:48am

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!


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