klipschutz writes in his introduction: Dennis Mahagin took the long way around: for years an itinerant bass player and aspiring songwriter, one day he unplugged and went solo, to make music out of language on the page. When he started writing poems, he never looked back. It is our good fortune that he didn t, because he has something poets are supposed to have but strangely many lack: a way with words, a gift for rhythmic language. Without this gift, no matter who wrote it a poem is not worth rereading; it is like a fashion model who is merely attractive. With what I take to be an Irish genetic inheritance for unadulterated joy in pure sound ("like a sliver of bathtub lye / withering and winnowing ; "a Ponzi by Rumi"; "Abide, Turk"; "ham hocks rubbed / and wrung out well / past raw" phrases plucked at random from the first four poems), Mahagin serves up a supercharged, wit-infused version of American English.