Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems


Life was becoming one long hangover
morning looking in a mirror and not
recognizing the face staring back, either
because the features had been modified in
some horrific way over the course of previous
lost evenings, or his brain had become so
disconnected from his body that the two were
no longer connected.  
Women he woke up with, or had acquired
were like bitches from hell and he was just
the man to make sure they got there naked,
with name tags on their toes and maimed
in some almost unimaginable way. 
Housekeeping in cash only plywood frame,
shotgun shack motel rooms, would never be
the same after he had passed through town. 
If what he wanted wasn’t readily available,
he stole, or came back for, after dark
and blew it up so no one could have it.
He didn’t care where he was or how he got
there, as long as there was cold beer available
when he finally arrived, armed and ready for
what was bound to happen next. 
Showed girls he picked up for a night or two
of general debauch, his mug shots and post office
wanted posters, numbers and all, claiming they
were gag photos from high school reunions
they knew he’d never been to or from places
where graduate degrees included lethal injections
and electric barber style chairs.
Said they were going to make a TV series of his
life, a kind of Unreality Show, that would be called
Death Valley Days.
You could look it up and there it would be, on line,
a serial right after Son of Sam.

The Graduate

He had advanced degrees from
institutions of higher learning:
Quantico College and Langley U.
Did field studies in Nigeria, Panama
City and Nicaragua; oil wells and
shipping routes, bills of lading and
slave labor, no recourse or recrimination
possible once international law has been
suspended and replaced by corporate
rules of profit uber alles. Is a man with
no name. no nation, no known associates
like Clint Eastwood on a futuristic version
of a Fist Full of Dollars, the original and
the sequel as scripted by P. K. Dick
and directed by the guy who brought us
Alien one through infinity.  Once this
particular beast is let loose upon the land
there is no way to contain him.

Viva Las Vegas

In the shallow end they are
pulling the one-armed bandit,
watching the spinning combinations
hoping for a perfect match,
these three fashion conscious
ladies in their one piece bathing
suits, two blondes and a brunette,
hair set for show but not for swimming
with bathing caps or without.
The brunette's eyes and facial
expression suggest the thrill
she feels, hand grasping the lever,
awaiting a final decree offered by
machine, the cocktail waitress
wading behind where they are
playing, dressed in similar attire,
approaching slowly, unnoticed,
her bar tray balancing three cocktail
glasses filled with transparent liquids,
shimmering in relentless desert heat
as the heavily chlorinated pool does,
afterimages of above ground atomic
bomb tests of years past impressed
upon the dark lenses of the blonde
women's glasses, their expressions
slightly pained, apprehensive; what
they see spinning by behind the slot
machine's glass eyes, is the unknowable,
the unknown, the future: where they are
going and where they will end up. 

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