© 2018 THE LONG ISLAND LITERARY JOURNAL

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Atlantic City

By Jeni Lozauskas

 

I.

The beach was endless in my youth.

Now chewed up and jagged beneath,

Sandy’s sadistic kiss.

 

II.

The glittery lights flashing as

the glittery tears are showing at

blowing, one month’s rent.

 

III.

The best place to get Pho?

On the border:

the boardwalk and the ghetto.

 

IV.

Funnel cakes with any topping:

crushed pineapple or cherry.

The Laughing Gulls don’t have a preference

for flavor, they eat anyway.

 

V.

Run through the casino as a child.

Stumble threw the casino as an adult.

Drinks for both: juice boxes and martinis.

 

VI.

Lazy days on the surf.

A hard daze in the casino.

Drowning occurs in both.

 

VII.

Cling! Clang!

Jackpot!

$52 and the realization:

you needed to play max bet.

Fool!

 

VIII.

Playing max bet,

$100 doesn’t get you far.

Fool!
 

IX.

Endless arts and entertainment:

games, lust, shows, booze.

A lifetime learned in two nights.

 

X

Free meal, indulge.

Free alcohol, imbibe.

Free love, fuck.

Free room, spent.

 

XI.

I have never met anyone good at Atlantic City.

I have never taken anyone good down to Atlantic City.

I have never been good in Atlantic City.

 

XII.

Shells of great, modern buildings

Ecofriendly and paperless, use solar energy.

Now no power is used at all.

 

XIII.

Mardi Gras is in February.

Mardi Gras ended in 2014.

Rest in peace.

The spirit of the Showboat

has left the city.

 

 

Jeni Lozauskas is a poet from New Jersey. She teaches English courses at a few local colleges. She received her MFA from Lindenwood University. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Rats Ass Review, NJCU’s Paths and Vortex of Macabre. When not writing or working, she can be found down the shore being a mermaid.