The Biggest Little City in the World


The Biggest Little City in the World

Casinos’ distract—
neon lights and slot machines.
Locals know better.

Nearby the Truckee,
the mountains and four seasons
wait for your visit.

Listen to birdsong,
drink in the art scene,
ignore what you’ve heard.

The prompt at dVerse has led me to write of my current home–Reno, Nevada–nicknamed The Biggest Little City in the World.

I find myself wanting to defend her–her reputation so besmirched by a not-so-glorious past and recently so maligned by a crass television series–Reno 911 (which I’ve heard wasn’t even filmed here.)

Many immediately conjure up Reno’s history as the divorce capital of the world, a cheap gambling mecca and plentiful booze when they think of my city. Walk a block or two to the Truckee or drive a few miles to the Sierra Nevada and you will see that Reno, unlike Vegas, is situated in a high altitude, right in the middle of abundant natural beauty that offers many forms of outdoor activity.

A block or two to the west, or south of the center of town you will discover the arts–Nevada’s only nationally accredited Art Museum, the Reno Philharmonic, the Opera and Ballet, a Chamber Orchestra and small theaters. The UNR campus sprawls to the north of town, adding its venues to the art scene. The month of July hosts Reno is ARTown–celebrating art and artists of every ilk.


Many now-defunct casinos have been turned into elegant high-rise casinos. restaurants represent a worldwide selection of tastes. Stop by Whispering Vine to sample a variety of vintages, then head over to Wildflower Village where an old weekly rental motel has been transformed into a home and studios for artists. Stay for a while and take in a poetry reading.

It’s true–there are enclaves of poverty and decadence. Alcoholism fires crime and domestic abuse. Homelessness, misery and sadness abound. But, is this any different from New York, Paris or Los Angeles, the city of my birth? The City of Angeles? Yeah, right.


Monday Morning Writing Prompt–a Rant

Yelling Man

Image by Orange Steeler via Flickr

Life brings its moments of joy and it often seems easy to write about those: romance, the beauty of a moment in nature, children, pets.

It seems those experiences are highlighted when contrasted with events that are filled with frustration. You only have to open a newspaper to understand what I’m talking about.

For today’s writing prompt, I’d like you to zero in on something that you find frustrating or even anger-provoking. Write an essay if you will, a short story in which someone vents his spleen, or try this poetic form known as a rant.

A rant is usually written in free verse and so may tempt even those of you with poetic-phobia to give it a try. The topic should be kept to one (preferably exasperating) subject and explored from all angles and in excruciating detail. The writing is usually in the present tense.

I hope you will participate and invite some newcomers to join in as well. Remember that you can write poetry, essay or a short story and there is no deadline. Please post a link to your work in the comment sections of this post.

Here is my effort. Although rhyming is not part of the rant form, this is how it happened. This needs editing, so your input and suggestions are welcome.

Love Song to TSA

A Rhyming Rant


“Now, take off your shoes, jacket and hat.”

I take a deep breath, prepare for a pat-

down—here, there, all around—

(love being touched by some arrogant clown)

Keepin’ us safe, invadin’ our space.

Can’t take much more. “Hey, open that case!”

Shoulda stayed home and read a good book.

“Back through the x-ray; I want a good look.”

Next time I travel I’ll fly in the nude.

Just makin’ it easy, not tryin’ to be lewd.


Monday Morning Writing Prompt–Gardening


Image by uBookworm via Flickr

For many of us, as summer arrives, it’s time to garden. Weeding, pruning roses, planting a vegetable garden, planting annuals–then sitting back and enjoying the work of our hands–these activities occupy our leisure time. Those of you in other parts of the world are experiencing the end of the growing season. For some, planters or houseplants may be the extent of your involvement with growing things. Whatever your gardening experience–planting or putting to bed for winter–let’s write a gardening poem, essay or short story.

In my experience, working the land offers plenty of fodder to my creative muse. Rich in metaphor and opportunities for description, gardening does inspire.

I hope this prompt will be fun for you and that you will share your work by submitting your link in the comments of this post. Invite someone else to join us, if you will.

Here’s mine:

Skeletal Remains 

Clearing out dead leaves,

I unearth a pattern of life—

lace-knit frames for grace.

Monday Morning Writing Prompt–Reflecting on History

Okay, here’s one that’s emotionally packed. The anniversary of 9-11 is coming up. I’ve never written about it, but I find writing is one way to help me process things that affect me profoundly. For today’s prompt can I suggest that you take a look at the website www. and write a short essay or a poem or even your memories of where you were when that event took place. I realize that there are those of you from other countries who will have your own perspective of how that event has touched our global community. I would especially like to hear from you. If you would, include the photo from the website that you used as inspiration, if that’s what got you writing.  Now, I’ve given myself some homework, too.