paging the schneid

A Poem by Dennis Mahagin

Admitting I know
next to nothing
about getting off
curse of the cosmos yet
your passport photo
does favor

Ezra, with a bit
of Chuck Connors
thrown in (The Rifleman?)
upper lip stiff with flaxen
mustache, arrowhead
soul patch for
the chin.

Thirty years
of position papers
putting down the hoot owl
and pecker wood, brown eyes
a glint hard as struck flint

make a crunching sound
of tough freaking
luck. I only ever
wanted

some feedback, soft
salty lamplight to nudge
me off

this bunker on a bright
sunny day, cinema

jump cut

like lightning in a bottle on a
wet bale of clay … yet here

we are again, frightening
away the Muse, you all
liquored, born

to lose, must be up
to me, make the last

move: gonna board

a Boeing jet, fly to the
Austin beyond all
knowing; get

thee in front

of me,
reflection above
the left tail

spin I’ll suck you
off like hard mint candy
as another cancelled
bell rings.

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pantoum noir

A Poem by Dennis Mahagin

The past is not a spy, but avenger
gaining entry through a skylight
with rappelling rope, Beatle boots, Derringer.
Touching down, as any escapee might

gain entry, past a crack of unlatched skylight
into night-bumping bloom, a palimpsest
touching down, above ground: where cons might
tell stories of blackmail repeating incest…

Goosebumps bloom like a palimpsest
in anteroom: the past stays alive, a private eye
stalking extortionists and/or rapists.
With binoculars, knife, mac, etc — collar tight, high

as street lamps snapping on, in unison: Instamatic eye
of the moment — n o w — tart vapor, darting breath
past glass eyes: a Mackinaw set up extra long, high
See-Through, for the maypole of the last one left

in mist moments and/or incest.
“Come on back, lover,” purrs a Mike Hammer blonde,
hourglass palimpsest, ghostly chalk outline of vapor, lust
for the mark who cries out, “Jesus, where’s my wife gone?”

“Come back,” says a platinum cut-out, neither angel nor
secret agent, — only a fallen one, having found her level
time after time, it’s where these lives have gone for
the past is no spy — r i s i n g — but avenger.