Arcade

By

Chase Twichell

I write for the euphoria
of thunderstorms,
gravity and uplift at once,
and the ding-ding-ding of luck
in the Arcade’s private rooms.
I play here every day
in the maze of thinking,
of music and weeping and visions:
someone cracking ice in the kitchen,
a ghost in a silver chair.
Where else can I
find the half-human girl
with dog blood in her veins,
or crash again at the condemned hotel,
empty after the auction,
in which our pack met and coupled,
talked and smoked pot
until the Fire Department persuaded
the owners to let them burn it
so the men could practice
on controlled fire?

In Japan Pachinko’s everywhere.
What a beautiful toy the boys have,
the Parlors, palaces of ardor and cash.
They live as in an ant farm
built of frosted glass.
You can see them mating
with the wife-body machines,
the cash flow of each courtship,
which might go on flowing
and ebbing for days, until
a senior male relative or friend
drags the addict home.

In my favorite video blackjack game,
two disembodied white-gloved hands
shoot their cuffs,
snap and flex the deck
with slight impatience: your bet?
The chip-clink’s ultra-realistic
on the cyber-felt, dollar a bet.
Phantom Belle, that’s my machine.