Resources on poetry by the poets themselves

A Woman’s Guide to Gambling


Don’t open your purse
for a dark horse
called Palacegatejack
or Rapid Attack,

or stake your all
on a mount who’ll fall
when the going gets tough.
You’ve seen that stuff.

Don’t unclasp your bag
for a limping dog
who’s half alive
in trap number 5

and stays there
ignoring the hare
till the race is run.
Pick another one,

or better still
back nothing at all,
no winner, no hero-
not even zero

on the roulette wheel,
or a poker deal
with a royal flush.
Don’t raise. Don’t trust

the gee-gee, the owner,
the jockey, the trainer,
the white, black or brown dog-
he ain’t nothin’ but a Hound Dog-

or place your chips
on twenty-six
in a teetering pile
as the gibbering ball

drops into eight
then double your bet
and stick it on nine
as the croupier calls time.

Don’t go to the hole in the wall
for an king in the hole
and a queen on the table.
Leave while you’re able:

the card shark dealing,
the wrong numbers wheeling,
the handsome man with the poker face
bluffing, double-bluffing, on an ace.