portion of artwork for Dennis Mahagin's poems

Dennis Mahagin’s Comments

Pouring my profoundly personal affinity for Law & Order into a set of poems for FRiGG? Well, honestly it felt about as natural to me as memorizing the solemn little monologue schpiel that opens each episode. i.e., “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups … the police, who investigate crime …” No kidding. That little speech can still raise the hairs on the back of my neck! I was thinking pretty hard, in fact, about the “literary hook” inherent in that monologue, as I tried to compose these poems for FRiGG. Also, I was hearing the amazing theme song. Mike Post is such a maestro! One can learn a helluva lot about poetry just by listening to a few dozen loops of the Law & Order theme song. And then, there's that sound that the special effects dudes make … right? The Scene Change Sound. It's like the aural/dramatic equivalent of Colonel Sanders' secret recipe. Dick Wolf’s Seventeen Herbs and Spices. Never to be divulged! I suppose, if I had my way, I’d ask Dick Wolf: “How did you manage to piss off Bill O’Reilly with a referential bait-byte, on a recent Special Victims Unit, while still continuing to bring joy to millions of fans with that secret sound that is like … I dunno, maybe … a ball peen hammer banging off some Times Square sewer grate, or from deep within an HVAC tube?” No? Oh well, maybe I'll hang onto it, anyway. Me and that Doink-Doink Scene Change Sound. And Jerry Orbach, Jack McCoy, Mariska Hargitay, Claire Kincaid … even Vinny D., in all his freakish autistic glory. Another poem; another gong. Some long, gone day.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 27 | Law & Order Issue | Winter 2010