Guest Poet Eric Tang

Love at the Roulette Wheel

Dealer cashes in all love has,
you think youíve picked
the right number, watching
the wheel go round.† Thinking
about slim odds and
the red and black spinning in a hypnotic way
entrancing you

close to discomfort, like
working under a heat lamp;
close to contentment,
like sleeping in paradise.
A knight fixated
on his life of honor, marching
into a double edged sword,
everything to lose.
Stabbing a vein in
attempt to reach the summit
of the first high,
everything to gain.

and when the mountain
canít be obtained, framed
only in the form of a picture
for sentimental moments,
the gamble drops you
from the cliffhanger.
Lost like a broken
car in the middle of the desert,
you live there forever.† A ghost
surviving after a violent crash
giving away the only
seat with an airbag
to the one thing you love.

Breathless air at the top
has the best view,
knowing that the hand
will always be there to hold.
Like an old blanket
always there for you, and
imagination couldnít lead
to wanting any other blanket
to wrap the soul tightly,
sleeping in a dream forever.
Like a love struck millionaire
knowing that he really does have

The wheel is rolling,
the odds when betting on double zero
stand as tall as all of the chips
sitting on one long shot
bet.† You stand deaf
to all noise and excitement
and blind from visions
of mountains and millionaires.
The ball bouncing and skipping
through all colors,
the wheel seems to spin forever.

February, 1999

Eric Tang's Questions:

Do the analogies make sense and flow well with each other? ive reworked this poem several times and the flow of analogies still bother me.

Does it seem like the gambler is drifting off in thought like I intended, or does it seem just wordy?

Correspond with Eric Tang at
with your ideas about this poem.

Rollercoaster Days

Dance them along one by one
let Ďem roll, I say
like waves, perfect to ride
rush of nature
to push me somewhere
next to the sun would be nice
get a good look at the world
Iím about to dive into.

Then drop me like a rock
on its last skip through the water
up the stream
into the mountain
realizing how it all began.

Call in a cloud 9 taxi
I want to ride
straight to the thunderstorm,
driver starts the fare
and Iím off
to take part in a tornado
spinning me back to yesterday
stopping with a skid.
Break an old pattern of thought
just to do it again.

February, 1999

Eric Tang's Questions:

For some reason repetitive words bother me, and by me saying this you'll probably notice and bother you too.† but the word "to" seems to be used many times. does anybody feel that's a problem?

Does the poem seem too vague and simple?

I wanted it to move quickly, does it?


Correspond with Eric Tang at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop