"On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 546 injured. Between 10:05 and 10:15 p.m. PDT, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, fired hundreds of rifle rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. About an hour after Paddock fired his last shot into the crowd, he was found dead in his room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His motive is unknown.

The incident is the deadliest mass-shooting committed by an individual in the United States. The shooting reignited the debate about gun laws in the U.S. with attention focused on bump fire stocks, which Paddock used to allow his semi-automatic rifles to fire at a rate similar to that of a fully automatic weapon." (wikipedia)

I wrote the following during a trip to Las Vegas in 2011. Coincidentally, I stayed at the Mandalay Bay, the same location where the shooting took place. While I'm not a country music fan, my heart goes out to those poor victims of the tragedy. I don't know if I'd ever feel at home in Los Vegas. It is too plastic, too material, too glitzy and too splashy for me. Beyond the dazzle, it is the land of the lost.

here
we laugh
we drink
we merry
and cry
we fall
we crawl
we crash
and rise
we launder
our failures
with misfortune,
bankrupt memories
and glittery
gilded
lies

there
is bitter shelter
in this land of the lost
yet we flock here
willingly
regardless of cost,
to cinder and suffer
of thirst never
quenched
on entitlements
and embarrassments
and pleasures of the
flesh

we lose
ourselves
amongst the
tables and
lines, recall
this plastic place
in better times
built by gods
long since gone
tall tombs which glisten
and burn in the blistering
sun, and when all
hope is finally done,
lives rolled up
and the last wheel spun,
when the leech has drank
more than its share,
left us with little
blood to compare
we laugh
we drink
we merry
and cry
we become
the lost,
vegas,
without sky

[ESOTERICA: lost vegas, published in 2011 in my original blog and used in my second book, “Xenomorphine”.]

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Xoterica 6: The Lost