Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

The Trash Collectors

drag old stoves from the back
of unpainted pickup trucks
in the dead of night, hand
crank clothes drying machines,
inspect cast iron double sinks
in a driving rain, oil cordless
industrial fans with 3W40;
their yards are full of Hot Point
refrigerators, spare car parts,
rusting engine blocks, plastic
clothes lines, bleached white bib
overalls and wet creased denim
work shirts; nothing that once
worked is ever thrown away.
Before dawn they are the shadows
moving clothes trees, high backed
wicker chairs, Grandfather clocks,
store front wooden Indians, later,
they are the dark forms behind drawn
shades sharpening pocket knives,
butchering ill‑fed, illegal livestock;
outside, evenings, they stand
transfixed, shouting at the moon.


They are into front porch
motorcycle maintenance,
greased monkeys, Pink Floyd
concept albums, Mad Dog 20‑20,
heavy leather, teenage girls,
rolling monster joints one handed,
spooking the mailman, worshiping
the devil, modifying things with
tire irons, cutting up with census,
shoving policemen through picture
windows; one by one, over the years,
they kill themselves off.

In Leonard's Market

the cash register
total says $6.66
and the guy's wife
is freaking out,
says, "Buy some
thing else.  Give
him a penny. Get
another pack of
cigarettes, gum,
"What are you
talking about?"
"666.  That's
the Devil's number."
"That's a load of
crap, Geraldine.
Come on."
"You can't do this.
It's bad luck.
Worse than bad
"I never knew
this about you.
Look, I've got
exact change,
six dollars and
sixty-six cents.
Come on.  We're
holding up the line.
People are waiting."
She looks stricken,
Terrified.  I could
see it was the end
of something but
I didn't know what.

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