Michigan Seems Like a Dream To Me Now, poem by Dennis Mahagin

From Cor­val­lis to Far­mville, the Kesey nov­el
steepled my kneecap, while a girl named Kathy
chat­ted me across the Grey­hound aisle,
out of kind­ness, curios­i­ty, spring

fever or pity. And the piebald bovines
in their green­ery, stand­ing still yet rush­ing
past Tillam­ook where steamy slush hung on
the mud flaps chunky as gor­gonzo­la.

Kathy, such a wan­ton brown-eyed smart ass
from OSU asked me if I ever missed my youth,
or else took it lov­ing­ly in fell swoop
like Julio down by the school­yard;

I thought of Ken Kesey, by way of rejoin­der,
how his great­est Notion took only nine­teen days
to write, day and night, under the influ­ence
of mush­rooms, cow pat­ty, string cheese the­o­ry.

Yet poor Ken­neth, all done with court­ing
the Muse by thir­ty one, and that Prankster quote
about "Are you on the bus?" nev­er real­ly spoke
to my Ore­gon, as did Paul Simon. "Kathy," I said,

"hand me a Botox?" though she knew I was
teas­ing, cam­era shy and lost for­ev­er in the
fon­due of her eyes; the bus dri­ver in rear view
which nev­er did belong there mir­ror (oh, he

knew! He knew, too!) was every

Neal Cas­sady in hon­ey-col­ored shades, hum­ming
shame­less­ly, seam­less­ly with a gonzo uni­ver­sal joint.
"DAIRY ALERT!" he said, "dead ahead, dead
to right…"

Tum­bling, in the ruts.

Den­nis Mahagin's poems and sto­ries have appeared in jour­nals such as Smoke­long Quar­ter­ly, Exquis­ite Corpse, 42opus, 3 A.M.,  Sto­ry­glos­sia, Key­hole, Slow Trains and many oth­ers. Den­nis also edits fic­tion and poet­ry at the sem­i­nal elec­tric zine called FRiGG.His blog is locat­ed here:  http://​fouhourhardon​.blogspot​.com.

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