Four Poems by Alan Catlin

Richard Brautigan Trout Fishing in America

Winter leaks from the cracked tar
sealing around the carbon stained brick
chimney forming puddles of sludge and
ash along with the spilled hurricane lamp
oil; opening notes in a cacophonous
symphony of dripping from a neglected
metal roof. The forest at dawn ablaze,
a still life framed by the cracked window
glass of this isolated cabin, flies buzzing
inside ,worrying the remains, meals left
to fester, fishing rods and hunting rifles
unattended, propped up near the barred
from inside door. Invisible fires burn,
stoked in the cold, desolate hearth,
releasing ghosts of smoke burning down
to cold absorbent stone, taking within
the very essence of unnatural heat and light;
the spent pistol shell, crumpled pages from
a manuscript no one will ever read.

____________

 

Richard Brautigan’s Last Hurrah

 

I don’t know why I wanted to
have a photograph of me and a
chicken in Hawaii.– R.B.,
An Unfortunate Woman

There are
times

when the only
thing

between us
and death

is an incongruous
image

like
A Mexican
sombrero

balanced
at a rakish

angel on a
medieval suit
of armor

or an empty
shot glass

held out
in the extended

hand of a
mechanical monkey

or
of a bald ceramic
Shirley Temple

Pull-the-chord
she-sings-
doll

crooning
Melancholy Baby

____________

The Brautigan Chair

An unmatched dining
room chair-unfunded by
Montana State U
a relic of a marriage gone
wrong
shot full of holes
in drunken rage
and left in a friend’s
garage
gradually falling
completely apart

____________

Smoking Trout

in Brautigan
Big Sky country
using a
discarded
refrigerator
for the deed
until Captain
Richard named
the cabinet
Auschwitz
leaving a bad
taste that cannot
be removed

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