Tumbleweed Suite

by Dennis Mahagin

The tumbleweed


some humans I have known,

none without

 substance— only blown






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Because a tumbleweed

will kill to have its dust, it spits out

the cotton,

and fills its stickery 

lungs  /

with another gust.


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There are a few


in the Astrodome,

those tumbleweeds that got it

going on, get along

fine, anywhere

there in Texas

“little doggies”

they really are,

but none out dodging

Alpha Romeo cars,

or clinging

to the undercarriage

of the finest

Fiat car,

cum brio, in late

fall, Rome,

sans wind,

sans rancor,

sans sand

or rain,

sans hate, ah

mio, there ain't

no Italian


at all.


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Then a poor tumbleweed must scrounge up

a week's worth of half-assed

work again

on the set of a Hollywood


with no idea

of transcendence,

female leads, Chef Boy

Ardee, Amsterdam,


family . . .

the tumbleweed

makes itself scarce, heroin skinny

in winter.


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When a tumbleweed stumbles 

onto Twitter, the peeps roll

their eyes, point,

and snicker.


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And I have known tumbleweeds to fly


with Gordon's gin and gasoline at high school reunion

bonfires . . .

but they're all terrified of the ocean.


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A tumbleweed that lands on Facebook spontaneously



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The tumbleweed has its own Wikipedia

page— one scratch

of the screen, and you blissfully sniff

the sage.


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A mountain is a pretty good

ice maker

but the tumbleweed

often times believes

it's a whisk broom.


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Two tumbleweeds

block in a bar, its splintered door frame

boarded up, long since blown out,


“We're the owners now,” cackles

the one.

“Yes, we are,” the other one hums.

Yes, we are.


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Whenever Conscience speaks

with a divided, uncertain, and disputed voice

several dozen of them congregate, flying by

your basic traffic

Yield sign,

attack formation,

slap happy acrobats

whipping this way

and that


sirocco wind 

of Burns, Oregon, hell

bent, don't have to prove

they're anthropomorphic,

and tell all your friends, when one of them

tumbleweeds hits dead center

the little triangle of cadmium within the rust

red of Yield first sort of cracks, then sighs,


dead again, and flattened

out at last ( for now )

definitive, or at least