Dennis Mahagin’s Comments

In constructing these poems, I tried to remain “true to the rudiments”—while also taking a bit of poetic license with an ancient, enigmatic verse form invented by 10th century Iranian bards. The result, I suppose, is a kind of Rat’s Nest Novitiate—part olive branch, part body parts—run through a cosmic Coen brothers’ wood chipper while William H. Macy shrieks mea culpa couplets in a high-pitched Fargo drawl that may as well be Aramaic.

“Sure, Lundegaard,” one can almost hear a Purgatory policeman mutter, “NOW you’re sorry.”

Anyway, by the time I finally get a firm handle on the elusive ghazal form, its ironic utility, as protest verse, will surely have become passé—gone the way of  “El Presidente”—i.e., out to pasture, out of sight, out of mind. That would be my prayer:

Out, Lord Jorge. Out, already. Out, out, out.

Peace... Out.