I was near broke, and entertaining


He’d called me an hour
before, from a convenience
store, quite lost, but only

half a block
from the spot
he’d spent
the night before, a halo
of dirty dark around my door.
“You messing with me, bro?”
said a cell phone echo
of party line, of self… “It’s
just … these streets, they so
different in
day glow.”
Always nagging, half
a block from derision,
this entertaining
of Suspicion.
I drove on

down there,
where he waited
on a concrete re-divider for pumping
petrol. His Bugs Bunny gloved hands
hovered a twitch above

hips, eyelids swiveling like spaghetti
western Death. “Get in,” I said, and
he did.

This took place in Roswell, New Mexico,
half a block from the funky used car lot
with fifty foot dirigible in the shape of a
flying saucer, platinum shade of twin
meanings. And I do mean
twins …Suspicion shot me

a look in the rear view
that said I was part
and parcel now, of a plot
unfolding, throughout
the seasons, my
many sympathies
and leanings.
“Look, I’d really like to be
at that Blue Man concert by three
o clock in Phoenix yo don’t frigging
confront me,” Suspicion
said, tuning in AM talk
radio, for the theory, for

“Oh, please,” I replied, my
mouth, so dry, all bearings
and blessings gone
south. I pined and
pined and pined for
the lime Slurpee

not taken. “Hang a left,” he said, “we got
time to pick up Doubt … if he’s in pocket,
that blighter owes me.”
“Please,” I repeated, to no
body in particular, ever sidelong
as a bad plan, a mirror. It was all
going wrong, Suspicion began
to shout.


DENNIS MAHAGIN's poetry appears in journals such as Juked, 3 A.M., Exquisite Corpse, Stirring, Absinthe Literary Review, Northville Review, Underground Voices, and Evergreen Review. A print collection of his poems, entitled Grand Mal. is currently available for purchase at the Rebel Satori Press website.

3 responses to “Allegorical Rag”

  1. Kathy Fish says:

    This is so funny and great. Bugs Bunny hands! Roswell, NM!

  2. I always try to write a poem after I read one by Dennis; he makes it look so easy. This poem just reads along a big smile and a shiver. But, of course, not so easy at all… I always find. Is Mahagin the Fred Astaire of contemporary American poetry?

  3. Ellen Parker says:

    The Fred Astaire of contemporary American poetry? Well, he is quick on his feet, always deft, ever ready with a quick sidestep–so, yeah, I’d say the comparison is apt. Plus, he’s lanky and slim and probably looks good in a tux.

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