Sometimes pigs fly and once a year there’s the Vegas Valley Book Festival. I bent over backwards to attend Friday’s event called the Sin City Sonneteer Spectacular hosted by local writer Jarret Keene.
Dayvid Figler, Mayor Oscar Goodman & Tuba
The event started with Mayor Oscar Goodman and local poet-lawyer Dayvid Figler reading haiku to tuba accompaniment. Somebody donated the haikus, and by now you should know better to look too closely at the donation bins in Las Vegas. What I mean is that all the poems were about strippers, hookers, drinking, neon and 900 numbers.
Ms. Las Vegas Holly Madison & Reporter Becky Bosshart
To make the poetry better, Jarrett was passing out cans of Schlitz from a magical hidden cooler. Also, Holly Madison showed up; I guess she loves poetry. My friend and reporter Becky Bosshart is a secret fan of Ms. Madison and thus the above photo was born. I wonder how many tourist photos of Ms. Madison include cans of Schlitz.
C. Moon Boarding the Sin City Sonneteer
Once the Mayor’s haiku was finished, all the cool, famous people disappeared and the local nerds (myself included!) got on the trolley and rode around Downtown Las Vegas taking periodic poetry stops
Sin City Sonneteer (aka Poetry Trolley)
For all you non-locals, Downtown Las Vegas should under no circumstances be confused with the Strip. Jarret our tour guide pointed out the bail bond places, not the grand casinos. And the hotels we did pass looked like the one below.
Creepy Downtown Hotel
But mainly it was a unique and wonderful community experience. What with all the communing with fellow lovers of the written and spoken word.
Atop the Poetry Trolley with Journalist Michael Mishak
All in all, it was one of the most artistic nights I’ve had in all my time in Vegas. Also, the idea of being driven around an art walk is super appealing for its sheer stupid luxury. Thank you, Nevada Arts Council!
Fallout Gallery as seen from the Poetry Trolley