Late of Old Vegas
had run to him once.
Maybe to the mountains
now, slow-moving old god of worn
down promise, nil vig, raw scratch.
Left behind by the new hungry
hot and loosely knotted gods.
Unmoistened by fresh worship
burnt X-eye squints at
another’s rented sol
bisected by the Stratosphere.
Where feline mouth, devoid now
of prophecy, once spoke for glammy
epochs, tilted pharaonic heads
it now sphincters a dead land’s
murmurs time, time now
tired, to wander with busted
down hulks, spotting freeway deserts
courting gaunt coyotes
ignored by pilgrims’ obese eyes
en route to this parasitropolous
templex, this downturn of the dry
with its elaborate sounds
and unearthly gold breath
the ever-lit cigarette
De Civitate Dei.
Sean Moreland’s short fiction and poetry has appeared in venues including The Bywords Quarterly Journal, The Puritan, and The Malahat Review. He won the John Newlove poetry award in 2007. He currently co-edits the weird fiction anthology Postscripts to Darkness, teaches at the University of Ottawa, and spends a lot of his time writing essays about various literary and cinematic subjects.