Desert Companion

Notes & Letters

1.  Let’s think water: In a March story headlined “Real thirst,” Heidi Kyser reported on companies that bottle treated, alkalized Vegas tap water and sell it as a healthful drink, in particular the brand Real Water. The story noted that some scientists are skeptical about such health claims — and, as it turns out, so are some of the story’s readers. “If you wear a foil hat and hold a rabbit’s foot, it works!” Scot Rutledge responded on Facebook. Added Jasen Ono, “Placebo has a strong effect.” Heidi’s piece quoted a UNLV scientist dismissing Real Water’s claims of having negative ions: “There’s no such thing as negative-ion water,” explained David Hatchett, chairman of the college’s chemistry department. “You have to have a positive ion to have a negative ion.” Real Water is owned by Brent Jones, a newly elected member of the Nevada Assembly, a body not widely thought to be a bastion of rigorous scientific thinking: “No wonder he and Michelle ‘cancer is a fungus’ Fiore are such good friends,” Rutledge added. “Or are they? I get confused.” Maybe some soothing brain water will clear things up a bit! Christa Shirley Eagleton notes, “I was recently at a ‘nutritional’ store and the sales people just would not stop pushing the alkaline water. All I thought was, If you’re pushing it THIS hard, then no one’s buying it, obviously.”

Support comes from

 

2. “Wow, girl, you wrote a fan-tab-ulous article! Jorge and I both enjoyed it, laughed, and felt that you explained the complex sport of climbing in a way that the general public could understand and appreciate.” — Rock climbers Joanne and Jorge Urioste, in response to “Stone Temple Zealots,” Heidi Kyser’s March feature on Southern Nevada’s rock-climbing community.

 

 

3. According to our Hot Studs of Literature calendar, April is Poetry Month. As regular readers of the Desert Companion blog know, we try to run a new poem every Wednesday. Here’s one of the best of the recent bunch, contributed by Gregory Crosby, who holds adjunct positions at John Jay  College of Criminal Justice and Lehman College in New York City, but before that was a longtime fixture on the Vegas literary scene:

 

Hello, Darkness, My Old Friend! Can We Get a Spotlight on  Him?

Boy, what a way to make a living: a throw of the dice

will never abolish money, real money, the kind that

communicates by clairvoyance. Real money tap dances

in the dust of stars, water rights. Real money is magic

& the magic is in the shoes until it’s not. Hal said

it was history written by hustlers, carpetbaggers,

but Hal’s been dead seven years (bad luck). Do you remember

enough to forget? To shake your fist when you’re too old

to shake your anything else? Hey gang, home means snowy-capped, 

the thousand yard stare of a ram, the slipper that you cram 

your foot into, glass be damned. When I was a kid, Channel 13 

ended broadcast days with Simon & Garfunkel singing

“The Sounds of Silence” over images of The Strip;

& the people bowed & prayed/to the neon god they’d made

matched the shimmering mirage of mirages yet to come

& you never knew if the station thought this solemn

or hilarious. A throw of the dice abolished by

signing off; signing off abolished by money’s magic. 

In the real dark night of the soul it’s always an infomercial. 

You’ve forgotten it. You’ve forgotten all about it until

that wonderment of sullen searchers returns to teach it. 

Everyone remembers just enough for irrelevance,

colonists crushed by their own success. It’s a sucker bet.

It never tires of paying off, playing out, going bust.

From the dry depths, the glittering shipwreck, we fill our 

pockets, even though we’re naked. You think this is bad? 

My mother still thinks I’m a poet in New York.

If you’ve enjoyed this read, wait until you get your hands on a bunch of these reads from contemporary voices mining the good stuff from Las Vegas — all laid out in a gorgeous design experience. Subscribe. It comes to your house. For real!