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Keith Brantley is the host of Poet's Corner, the longest-running open mic event in Las Vegas. The event, which got started about 14 years ago, was a huge hit from the very beginning. Brantley's event, however, is not solely for slam poetry. It’s for all types of readings, he says, making it a true, open event. "The Poet's Corner has always been about getting closet poets to come out there and do their thing," he says. Poetry can be like therapy, Brantley says, because it allows even the smallest people to be heard. Click below to listen to him read his poem, "Hell To Pay."

Hell to Pay
       I fell into a pit of savage animals all,
Some did walk and some did crawl.
And from the lowest of lows, I heard one call...
Behold! A pale horse.
       I think (you know me) therefore I am…
I am a curse for the living to fear after death.
I am jackals’ fang and dragons' breath.
I am truth for the godless and like of their ilk.
I am the bitter to ruin the kindness milk.
I am bad dream, belly ache and bump in the night.
I am pro-choice, ZPG, and abortion, alike.
I am ghetto schemes and urban dreams.
I’m the love of a dollar.
I’m those inner city blues that make you wanna holler.

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I’m an old mans’ finger on the button of eternal flame.
I pace the halls of your darkest shame.
I am the keeper of grief and heavens' relief.
I am doomsday in the guise of commander in chief.
I am the coming storm of tax reform,
The end of the line on the final day.
I am the devils' domain.
I am hell to pay
KNPR's State of Nevada
Dec 12, 2011

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