By Keith A. Brantley

                Valley times like Death Valley Days. 

We cannot count the ways

Our valley has changed.

We are estranged

from our less than humble beginnings.

Beginning with mob ties,

Our valley lies

Upon layers of mortar and bone.

Long gone are the days of glamorous myth.

Before the days of Uber and Lyft;

Cab wars of Yellow and Checkered.

No longer even a matter of record

Are the links between glitter and corn fields.

The Hole In the Wall yields

Yet another tale beyond the glitz and glitter.

The streets are littered

With more than just crumpled smut mags.

You could get jet-lag

Just tracing the travels of the players.

Bookies break bread with latter day prayers

For the separation of state and gaming.

Souls for the saving, shrews for the taming

And never their paths to tangle.

The Test Site and Lake Mead are but different angles

In surveyors widening scopes.

The cowboys and cattlemen get shorter ropes

But bigger ranches.

Little trees with long branches.

Middle men (cutting in) are taking chances,

Playing at the big table.

Little ranches with exotic stables,

Of chickens and bunnies and cherry patches.

Nye County collects what the sheriff catches.

The big roundup, from the ground up


And now, who actually pays

For stadiums and sports teams?

The valley still gleams

With the promise to become even shinier.

Keith Brantley is the co-founder and 20-year host of the Poets’ Corner (the longest running Open Mic poetry venue in Las Vegas). Keith has been a fixture at various cultural events, especially those involving the West Las Vegas area.

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Aliza Pantoja