Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

playing pepper w/ the demons

by Dennis Mahagin

Playing pepper
with the demons
in my nippy

Easter season,
I choke up

on that bat,
wave it
like the sign
of the cross

and now they're hawking
hot phlegm: one of them

says, "just a friendly game
of toss..."

then he whips it at
my face.

Ears burn
prickly rash about half
buckling from a scent

of Pabst foam,

spent cigarette

at thirty paces,
loose leaf


by breezes.

"just hold it right
up there," says another

behind his Jason mask
of glove,
his tough love

a voice
box full of crows.
Oh, they want me

to open up
my stance, they wish
to play with both balls
at once, try
to make me cry
or duck,

chuck my lunch
like Copenhagen...

"Hum now, come babe,"
says the worst prick
of all, with a brow
like a dull

I suck
it up, shake
it off, smack
a weak yet

clean one
right back up

the gut ... it don't
mean much but
now we're getting

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