THINGS THE APPRENTICE POET SAW SHORTLY AFTER
SHOVING THE PEYOTE BUTTON AS FAR UP HIS RECTUM
AS IT WOULD POSSIBLY GO

Dennis Mahagin

1
Jack London with macular degeneration
playing Fetch the Kindling Stick with his
husky bitch pup Inspiration running rings
around a low-hanging Douglas fir bough
laden with way too much snow.

* * *

Six-foot cigar store Indians like
canteen sentries at all four corners
of the celebrity poster bed—seeing that
no harm comes to red-faced Truman Capote
in a too-tight teddy—fucking himself blind
on the evisceration slit of a Pike Place
Market-fresh sturgeon.

* * *

Norma Jean Baker,
pop-eyed and heavy with child,
trussed a la pinata to a goombah
ceiling fan—with umbilical-like
double-sided dildo cum

beer bong that shoots mushy
Exorcist arcs of Chex Mix and
gangrenous Howard Hughes

hangnails in classy girlish cursive quatrains
all over the rubber walls like well-done pasta.

* * *

2
Three quarters
through the trip
and he gets his fears
when the Auteur
appears as a

pseudo-Rastafarian soothsayer
in a levitating wheelchair; so the poet
finally clears his throat and goes:

“I know I’ve seen you befo’…right?
Are you not that world-weary hipster cat
on the award-winning HBO prison show who
spouts pithy yet spooky narration monologues like
Rod Serling in dreadlocks and Jolson greasepaint?”

“I ain’t whistlin’ Dixie, Faulkner.”

“Yes, but how then are we
hovering here like, oh,
fifteen feet off the flo’
…yo?”

The Auteur sighs, blithely
scratching his jumbo
avocado-sized testicles,

and replies:

“Well, my thing is powered by that there Wal-Mart
dunce cap propeller slashing the air like sequined
salmon fins in some bad ass whitewater. I’ve no
idea how you’re doing it—though when you figure
it out you’ll be truly dangerous, Ezra.”


The poet shrugs:

“Every day I give all
that I can give...so anyway after I’ve
watched you do the Dizzy Gillespie thing
with your pitted, waxy bullfrog cheeks,
I would like to be let down again…please.”

As quick as that,
a hatpin-sharp snake-tongue
flicks from Auteur’s front tooth-gap,
cleanly bursting the poet's bubble:

“Say no mo’, turtle…
Say no…mo’!”


3
Back in his kitchen,

the poet wheezed
through side stitch
of carbonation gas—

shivering as the shit
finally wore off,

and the last
of his pretensions
got spit from
steamy

gooseflesh pores,
only to puddle there
on the hardwood floor

like slush from the
agate-eyed snowman who
whispers last minute

Wicked Witch self-pity snippets
into the heart of a Chinook wind.

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