Dennis Mahagin’s Comments

The first two poems from “Second Sight Set” were composed through a round of Automatic Writing I undertook on a hiker’s pathway near the peak of Mt. Charleston in Las Vegas while my portable CD player blasted out an amazing EP from this upstart L.A. band who call themselves Pinback. Something about the fresh, intoxicating music (only five songs, but oh, what songs!) really got my Unconscious Mind moving on that heady, early-spring morning. The entire first draft process took only a couple of hours to complete. However, many, many revisions of both poems would need to be wrought later on in ’04—in order to get the raw material truly “up to snuff.”

I wrote the O.J./Robert Blake ditty in the wake of Parrot-Boy’s not guilty verdict. The passage depicting Pontchartrain Lake—in light of what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans later—is some extremely eerie synchronicity indeed. When things like that happen in Art (and they do happen, more frequently than one might imagine), I have to just shake my head in sheepish wonder, and try to whistle past the graveyard.

The Nostradamus flashes came to me one night when I got to staring really hard at the CD cover of what is, in my opinion, Steely Dan’s weakest musical production, “Pretzel Logic.” However, I find that the Vendor of Roasted Peanuts in said cover photo bears a strong resemblance to Charles Bukowski. Hell, it may even be Bukowski. Or his Evil Twin. Who knows? At any rate, this peanut flogger started speaking to me then, as Nostradamus—and he hasn’t shut up since!

Finally, the short story with long title is about the phenomenon of Pure Longing—and how oftentimes this longing, all by its lonesome, can function as a kind of Second Sight, or Sixth Sense or whatever else you may wish to call it. Got to be that way. Really. I mean, how else are we “sorry ass humans” ever going to hook up?

1