May 18, 2011

we're all here chewing our tongues off
waiting for the fever to break

Cara Ober, Forgotten Bestsellers, 2010

Half A Block From The Horse Shoe
-- by Dennis Mahagin

Half a block
from the Horseshoe
I saw a wan hooker
in faux

raincoat, so
silver, chiffon and
high heels; she pulled
a pack of Kools
from her

purse, and


a bit at the curb,
as if menthol and stiletto
had some nerve,
to be cursed

by banana peel;

but none of this
is probably real
, I told
myself later, in front
of the Aladdin,
when I dug

Him: this lilliputian
McTaggert with off
white hard hat;
he waddled up,

spit into
the wind, a short
hair from radical
achondro -
plasty, he looked right
thru me, as if to shrug
off something nasty
about a word or two
stitched into his

work shirt said Hulu
Captain ! HVAC; this

dwarf straddled

the yellow line of
embarcation, Vegas Strip
mall melting pot, taxi
stand, whatever; I saw
there were things
in his head I'd never
-- it's why

every day,
I get a bit shorter
of wind, with phantom
pains in the gulliver,
bracing for a
Big One
like Steve Wynne
might corner
the market on

Prilosac ... and all my
beliefs that throw one
back, that threaten

to slip the noose
of insight, and pity, like a freak
thunderstorm in Laughlin last
New Years, when
I got accosted

by a Mexican dressed
to the nines, with lipstick red
boots on, and oh so

tight they had
to hurt, bad, even
feminized a little
his accent and
duck foot

gait ... but

wait! ... That dwarf,
started scuttling, just
then, cutting
past me,

muttering something
punctilious, quick and


"Forget Bin Laden, naval
man, I'll fix your swamp fan
for five hundred euros!" ...

Across the street,
a pale blue beam hit
the Luxor just right;
I thought Scotty
McCreery might
win American Idol
after all, jolly green
giant neon satellite
TV screens; popcorn
tracers, humming hard
drive erasers. B flicks
from so many

Bics, and lately, maybe
I believe I've seen about
enough, the dwarf

down, scuffed
a Redwing

bootie, on the under
carriage of his ride,
so deep inside a back
seat what happens

to stay, to run
a little more ... cool
down and

hide another

day mister cabbie
I mean that little

man, his remark
about my fan,
reminded me
I'm doomed
to see

verities, mash up
with traffic, lights
and prophecies,

Hulu's dumpling
cheeks in the night
a glow, like Nevada
test site, like Reno


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