4 Poems

Dennis Mahagin

The Neo Noah in his Shockingly Funky Arboretum

—for Tonya Judy

this knothole don’t belong

to any tree, it simply got by me,

can’t you see? Blasting gushers like those busted off

fire hydrants in a New York summer …

When we were kids, all terrified of the swimming lessons,

convinced the stench of chlorine was paralyzing

our insides, pebbly scrotum suck it up

in the frigid, languid morning air, blue

water always breathing there, not like arcs

of two by two, or sweet trees— that knothole

it got by me, it’s mercy can’t you see? … May or may

not tap any sap, come July, it’s totally anomalous yet

prototypical, shape of things, squish, splash a wildebeest

trapped by lions raged the shallows: torn up and dying

in heat, while knotholes deepen, and implode, analogous

to love. I know this much: that we

drift, morph big wood in the end two by

two by two by four, over rails, over falls, any accursed dam:

Carve my initials in its arc, the bloated vortex

liquid bark. Its breathing leaves frightened me

senseless: now the dark.


The Neo Nero @ Home Alone

That guy from Fox News sure had pockmarks where the sun don’t

ever go, censors, ax to blind, he was standing in front of the mirror

in the bathroom mirror humming All Along The Watchtower,

one helluva din: Should probably be illegal with crystal candy dish,

solid-gold sink, a tall Cassius with white gloves reeking of nutmeg

at the door for gratuity, oh Commando of Butt Wipe.

Me Myself I let go by closed caption, closed circuit, eyes on the cracks

in a concrete floor, and wondering about the CIA

corporation, what’s next,

horizon, all that’s pitiless, duplicitous and broken in the world.

My precious Stradivarius, in hock down at the pawn shop, and that’s

one middle finger up in the air, a gut fiddle you ought never copulate

with. Can’t imagine, but I’ll burn this toga yet, this amalgam of entreaty

and entitlement. Most trouble I have now is with the fingers don’t know

what to do, with themselves sans — instrument,

but no surprise, just Jimi Hendrix twisting round upon the auger in his

grave. Acoustics, Acrostic, be with me now I’m turning, changing too,

via Home Shopping Network. Classical guitarist Esteban’s burn-

scarred face swathed in silk scarf, Ray Bans. Get the picture, a video,

tablature, plectrum, and what happened to

him is the reason you never let the first thought in. Rosetta Stone’s

coming soon, her Babel on the back burner: I’ll learn some Eye

Taliban before I die.



FB This Cannot Be the Verse


Larkin, we’re all suffering


Some get close

before they metamorphose

in late summer, larvae are

numbered. Social network?

Never had any

myself, listen, listen to a child’s cry over

the buzz of the common house fly.

I will most likely outlive it, Phil,

Mark, but I’m also turning into

my Father, the more

I Like, and hide,

and lie here.



Blu Ray & Hal

Aliens dig a creature feature

now and again, at the Drive In

of apocalyptic solar winds. “Earth men

are simply the scariest things … ever,”

squeaks the one.

“Got popcorn, pal?” squawks

the other. Credits roll on

by bracken, the sepia nuclear sky.

Speakers, stalagmite like — hang

from the icy liquid corners of their

space conveyance

all too quick for six

billion eyes. “Oh, the coming

attractions!” exclaims the one.

“Movie night’s so fun!” refrains

the other. Some species, sees

its sun go, then another, so much

phosphorus from a flare gun.

“Earthlings are the scariest

things ever,” says the other, cackling

now, in a fulsome hailstorm timbre

that the one finds very sexy

and infectious.


Dennis Mahagin’s poems have appeared in Evergreen Review,

Absinthe Literary Review, Exquisite Corpse, Everyday Genius,

elimae, The Nervous Breakdown, Corium, Stirring, Juked and

Night Train. His latest poetry collection is called “Longshot

& Ghazal”– available now from Mojave River Press. http://mojaveriverpress.storenvy.com/products/

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