Alan Catlin Poetry


She was one of those

dressed in black,
fool for love kind of
wannabe poets, burned
out in her twenties,
all of her heroes dead,
like Dylan Thomas, her too,
by drowning, long legged
bait, rings on her bare toes
waiting for a nibble.



Desperate Characters


They hide in the shadows of buildings
brought down to tumultuous ruin,
stand behind DO NOT ENTER signs
as of by being there no one could
see what they really were.
They all claim to be from somewhere
else but their scars betray them as
their clothes do like uniforms worn in
battles between states of mind and body
as the escapees from prison riots
that they are, always on the edge of
desperation and death. Their bodies
are marked with inscriptions, blood
oaths that can never be revoked.
They carry weapons stolen from private
stock, drive war machines super-
charged and well-primed for abductions
and assassinations/ renditions, personal as
blood libel. Their creed is a kind of cult
worship divined from black art bibles,
are coven killers whose turn-the-earth-
black way shows no mercy, draws a shroud
over the sky and tears holes in the fabric
only to let new birds of prey in.
There is so much emptiness inside them,
letting it out creates a vacuum nothing can
survive in. If they tell you a new moon
is full, you believe it. What else can you do?


Close Encounters of a Strange Kind


“You’ve got me hotter than Georgia asphalt.”
Lula Pace

She made high heel, mesh stockinged
love with the lead singers in bands
with names like: “Thick Bastards”,
“Flaming Retards”, “Space Aliens for
Peace.” Showed up for work bruised
and delirious, speaking the new language
no one could recognize, she’d learned
over the long weekend, wondering what
all the fuss over her was about,
“It’s Wednesday. You were supposed
to be at work, as usual, on Monday.”
“I guess I lost track of time.”
“Don’t bother coming back for your
last check. We’ll mail it to you.”
“Be that way.”
And they were, eventually, at every
place she ever worked. When you looked
the way she did: sober, made-up and faking it,
you got hired wherever you applied.
Were even cut some slack as if something
that gorgeous could never be as strung out as
she appeared. Might even be telling the truth
when she called in with a persistent stomach flu
that had sapped all her strength and left
her looking as if she’d spent the last
thirty-six hours sleeping in a snow bank
and had been thawed out by someone using
an acetylene torch. In fact, the closest she’d
been to snow was all those lines she’d been
snorting with the lead singer of Black Friday,
a half-dead, six foot eight, mixed race punk
rocker who called himself Raunch, who
used his uncut-for-years dreds to hang dead
things from, “Like rodents and stuff. I think
we had sex. It was really weird.”
If nothing else, these close encounters of
the strange kind made for entertaining texts.
Half the fun was figuring out who they were
from, what they expected of her, and what
she might do next.

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