Las Vegas Double Shot

Sin City

This old town is filled with sin / It’ll swallow you in
If you’ve got some money to burn
Take it home right away / You’ve got three years to pay
And Satan is waiting his turn…

CHORUS:
This old earthquake’s gonna leave me in the poorhouse
It seems like this whole town’s insane
On the thirty-first floor, a gold-plated door
Won’t keep out the Lord’s burning rain

The scientists say it will all wash away
But we don’t believe anymore
‘Cause we’ve got our recruits
and our green mohair suits
So please show your I.D. at the door

CHORUS

A friend came around, tried to clean up this town
His ideas made some people mad…
But he trusted  his crowd, so he spoke right out loud
And they lost the best friend they  had

CHORUS

On the thirty-first floor, a gold-plated door
Won’t keep out the Lord’s burning rain.

lyrics by Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman 1969

Viva Las Vegas

Bright light city gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire
Got a whole lot of money that’s ready to burn, so get those stakes up higher
There’s a thousand pretty women waitin’ out there
And they’re all livin’ the devil may care
And I’m just the devil with love to spare, so
Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas
How I wish that there were more than the twenty-four hours in the day. . .
Even if there were forty more I wouldn’t sleep a minute away
Oh, there’s black jack and poker and the roulette wheel
A fortune won and lost on ev’ry deal
All you need’s a strong heart and a nerve of steel
Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas with you neon flashin’ and your one arm bandits crashin’
All those hopes down the drain
Viva Las Vegas turnin’ day into nighttime
Turnin’ night into daytime, if you see it once
You’ll never be the same again
I’m gonna keep on the run / I’m gonna have me some fun
If it costs me my very last dime
If I wind up broke up well, I’ll always remember that I had a swingin’ time
I’m gonna give it ev’rything I’ve got
Lady luck please let the dice stay hot
Let me shoot a seven with ev’ry shot, ah
Viva Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas,
Viva Las Vegas, viva, viva Las Vegas . . .

 

Viva Las Vegas is a 1963 song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and recorded that same year by Elvis Presley for his Viva Las Vegas film vehicle, which along with the song was set for general release the year after. Although Presley never sang the song live, it has since become widely known and often performed by others.
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Major Modern Poetry Killer

 

And now here comes the major modern poetry killer, John Ashbery, hailed, worshiped and emulated the world over. I knew him, reader, back at Harvard, if only slightly. The closest I came was years later, when I ran into a common friend of ours who was off to visit John in the hospital and persuaded me to tag along. I forget what Ashbery was ailing from that had bedded him, as well as what may have been said in that threesome.

More perpendicularly, he proved amiable but distant the rare times we may have crossed paths, as amiable, I imagine, as when he smilingly murdered poetry.

John Simon: Who Killed Poetry?

 

And NOW for the PUNCHLINE:

The extraordinary free-verse meditation “A Wave” (1983) is the last essai in John Ashbery’s Selected Poems of 1987. The evocative title can be read as a cannily ambiguous try-on: it immediately suggests oceanic rhythmicality, but there are also implicit intimations of the “wave-theory” of modem physics (key principle and metaphor for the “electric age”) and, at least, an implication of gestural nonchalance which Stevie Smith had contrasted to “drowning” and John Berryman acted out as farewell salute to an uncomprehending world (see above, Chapter 5). In contrast to the existential intensity of Smith’s polarisation and Berryman’s casual desperation, Ashbery’s “Wave” represents a zone of apparently relaxed, postmodern hyper-reality where experience is a constant renegotiation between a hypostasised “we” of communality and the environmental simulacra which surround and help define the contemporary human project. “A Wave” inscribes a cool, street-wise Heraclitianism where insubstantiality is almost sacralised as material being and the pragmatic present (“the ground on which a man and his wife could / Look at each other and laugh, remembering how love is to them”, 331) is all that can be constituted. Ashbery’s style represents postmodernity through a kind of linguistic mimesis of flux in its verbal fluidity, calculated vaguery and eclectic artificiality: in this it can fittingly be termed “postmodernist”.

ABSTRACT: John Ashbery’s Wave