UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY - 09/2012

MARINA RUBIN

THE TOURISTíS GUIDE TO TREASURES OF NEVADA

we flew to Vegas on the spur of the moment grabbed a taxi from
the airport checked into hotel Circus Circus and didnít leave the
room for four days. cooped up inside we read and practiced the
art of Kama Sutra alternating between the Pillow Book and the
self-help manual of sexual positions for the very flexible yogis.
we raided the mini bar, ordered room service around the clock,
refused a change of sheets and towels, the "do not disturb" sign
hung on our doorknob like a banner, defying our parents who
worried that we might get married, or waste our tuition money
on the slot machines. we saw the rays of sun only in the cab on
the way back to the airport. driving through the strip, Tropicana,
the roaring lions of MGM, abandoned ships of Treasure Island,
fountains of Bellagio that shot up into the sky to the music of
Rachmaninov and Offenbach, we looked at each other and we
knew it was over. we would have been better off taking a room
at the Harbor Motor Inn, that dump just off the belt parkway in
Brooklyn, where they charged by the hour and cardboard walls
were covered with spunk of truck drivers and pimply teenagers


VENUS

he promised to babysit her grandmother for a week. anything to
get away, liquor stores and speakeasies haunted him, drinking
buddies beckoned and repulsed. he fled Rhode Island, moved
into her parents' house, lugging her five business suits, six dvds,
a frightened cat. upon meeting her grandmother, he kissed her
hand, addressing her my dearest respectable old lady. alone in
the droning hours of day, he asked for her granddaughter's hand
in marriage, timidly, out of boredom, then changed his mind.
they slept in her parentsí bedroom on the posturepedic mattress,
indifferent to each other, this city, that city, ignorant of time of
day, season, century, he felt her knee stabbing him in the back.
she had her friends over for tea, he imagined charging each an
entry fee. her parents returned with a suntan, a thermos for her,
a Bermuda t-shirt for him, but he was already on the Greyhound
back. it took them some time to realize that all the vodka in the
fridge, the cognac in pretty gift boxes, all the wines, even the
decorative naked Venus, he drank it all and refilled them with
water, apple juice, some with grape juice to match the real color


Marina Rubin's first chapbook Ode to Hotels came out in 2002, followed by Once in 2004 and Logic in 2007. Her work had appeared in 13th Warrior Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Dos Passos Review, 5AM; Coal City, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Jewish Currents, Lillith, Pearl, Poet Lore, Skidrow Penthouse, The Portland Review, The Worcester Review and many more. She is an associate editor of Mudfish.She lives in New York City where she works as a headhunter on Wall Street while writing her fourth book, a collection of flash fiction stories.Her website is www.marinarubin.com







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