Three Poems by Alan Catlin

Bloody Murder

Everyday must have
been a practice session
for Halloween costume parties,
traveling Charade games that
were so bizarre, you’d be hard
pressed to guess what it was
he was supposed to be dressed
as. I thought maybe he was
trying to win a Dennis Rodman
in drag lookalike contest, even
if he was about a foot and
half too small, and in need of
some heavy tanning sessions
plus a better hair colorist.
I had to admit I’d never seen
a man wearing that kind of
lipstick, not even in a Fellini
movie, but he either had never
heard of Federico or was
playing dumb, not that
I really cared either way.
I responded to his
suggestion to make him
something good with:
“Anything in particular?”
“Surprise me.”
“The last guy said that ended
up in ER.”
“You’re a really funny guy.”
“I’ve been told that.”
“Ok, big boy, make me what
you made him.”
He looked dubious when
I placed the drink in front
of him sd.”What’s that?”
“A Bloody Murder.”
“What’s in it?”
“Chilled Vodka with Cinnamon Schnapps.”
He made a face but drank it anyway.


Three Amigos

Whatever stag party they
had escaped from must have
ended abruptly by fully armed
intervention. They judiciously
decided to avoid the consequences
of having been there and somehow,
tacitly involved, by crawling in
combat formation under barbed
wire fences as if under live fire
in Basic. Their duds weren’t
exactly ruined, so much as modified,
by stains no dry cleaners on earth
would ever be able to remove.
Coming down from peak adrenaline
high was going to require many
shots of their favorite eponymous
brands: Jack, Johnny and Jose.
A few of those apiece and they’d
break into spontaneous song like
three redneck tenors on tour.



Dusk in Eden

Meth stole her mind and
she stole ID’s. Had unlimited
credit on someone else’s dime
cleaning out whole accounts
and creating new ones from
the ruins of the old, one step
ahead of a credit check and
a fraud alert. Had nine different
valid photo ID’s, forty seven
credit cards and a first full
of debits with PINS she easily
accessed on line after rifling
delivered mail, steaming envelopes
open, copying everything inside
and resealing the pilfered mail.
Using them any halfwit hacker
could manage on their own.
Would still be tweaking the night
away, charging with impunity,
taking cash advances and retuning
merchandise she stole for refunds,
if she hadn’t left her bag in a
Victoria’s Secret changing room
for Security to find with all
her stuff inside.

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