Dennis Mahagin


Staring down the cracker barrel of fifty,
a gap-toothed Aqualung bobbing for apples,
with dentition pretty well shot through, cured
in a pure cane stew of caramello and nougat.
There was a carnival one time
when I almost lost my mind
staring into the pastel centrifuge
where confectioners run their spun
sugar, and later I got my licorice fixed
right under the hot-buttered grandstand
by a Bubbalicious girl, she showed me
her pink, her Jiffy Pop, I came, inhaling
divinity fudge, and quite transfixed
by new constellations in the shape
of sundae boats. Yet I must set my
sights forward now, to root canals in
Bruges, starbucks on the Venice beach,
talking shop with the poetess Nutrasweet
Cupcake Hostess, and a Beat voice, whistling
through two missing front teeth says, "go there,
mon frere, go there." Old Corso's right, of course,
it's never too late to begine routine flossing, a clean
wild hair for such a seasoned pride. Nostalgia
is the candy-coating, on the inside.

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Dennis Mahagin is a poet and writer from the Pacific Northwest. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Slow Trains, Exquisite Corpse, Juked, 42opus, 3 A.M., Keyhole, Storyglossia, Underground Voices, Smokelong Quarterly, and Frigg Magazine. A first collection of his poetry, entitled "Grand Mal" has been accepted for publication by Rebel Satori Press.

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