Archive for August 25th, 2010

By Dennis Mahagin

God help a gambler
from Rahway, cooking up
his sweetened coffee dregs
in a microwave

with that chime
that pings
when the cycle
is complete, as when
a nickel slot machine
briefly defeats

for a dollar
and ten cents.

Sans the sense
God gave mania,
a Rahway gambler cracks
a couple of eggs in the micro-
wave, too– what a sick puddle
of dun and amber goo! — yolks
that explode
at forty two
seconds on the dot,
as odds do, catching up
to an A. City crap shooter
who got too

hot. Yahweh,
please help a
gambling man
from Rahway, pouring over
rigged point spreads in the
sports section, scattershot
hieroglyphs, egg whites on
the walls of a cooker, sticky
lime marmalade limning
the handsome ear lobes
of Marisa Tomei.
Yes, a rime of breath
clouds, muted roar
of the crowd strobing
crisp autumn air,
game day gone risque
at Meadowlands.

God, you got
to help a gambling man
with his leveraged stack
of Newark’s Last Stand,
fifteen grand
laid off

on the Nets, watching it
all unfold at the Sports Bar,
Jason Kidd dribbling
on thirty foot
wide plasma
screen, Jason
moving like a toddler
wearing messed-up
– Show quoted text –
Pampers, Kidd forcing
up unclean 3-point

Yes, Angel Breath
for a Rahway rounder, fogging up
the side view mirror of his Astro van,
parked in front of the Minuteman
store, just off
the turnpike, in for
sixty large to a
shylock named Ike,
drives a shark fin
town car that backfires
as ovaries
exploding from the corner
of the eye, as muffled pops
of .22 rounds sequenced
by a goose down
silencer. By and

by, in the driver’s seat
of his panel van, with 80’s rock
on the dashboard radio — so low,
indecipherable now neither Ratt nor
Poison — with trembling,
manicured hands, a Rahway
gambler works over

the last green stamp roll
of scratch off lotto tickets,
tossing losers into the wheel
well with tire irons. Three
scratchers from the bottom
of the deck: My God,
there ought to be

applause, law, or a kind
of kindness: “Only winnahs
find a way … disappear propah,”
says a gambler to freshening
trees strangling
rear view mirror.

One of these
instants, Rah
way’s jackpot
draws near.

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