Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

A Match for Burning

Their idea of
a night out on
the town meant
getting thrown out
of bars together
while Mom was
home minding
the little ones,
her feet propped
up on the ottoman,
pay for view
on the tube,
and empty dead
soldier, Barton's
Reserve, lying by
the recliner with
the other comrades
at arms killed in
the line of duty:
Milwaukee's Best,
Genny Light, Matt's
Premium, a whole
army of regulars
and Tall Boys,
scattered among
the discarded fast
food containers,
empty pizza boxes,
McDonald's, Burger
King's, KFC, Wendy's,
all the best junkfoods
welfare money can buy,
the toddler's rummaging,
augmenting their dinner
with the remains,
draining the bottles,
just like mom & dad.
grabbing all the gusto
they can, flipping bics
recovered from the
rubble, mock puffing
stubs as grandma snores
totally dead to the world.

poet’s savage muse

whispers dread

the strange poetics
of death

iambic pent-
ameters of

draws the

covers all

snuffs the

flame between
two black


the moving

no longer

slum goddess

Maybe she
thought that
if she main-
lined enough
stuff, dressed
like some kind
of resurrected
Warhol queen
and strutted her
stuff up & down
McDougal Street,
she'd be anointed
the Official Slum
Goddess of the
Lower East Side,
or maybe she'd
get so strung
out, so hyper
no one would
notice or care
what she did
until she dressed
up as some low
budget super girl,
and did a swan
dive from the top
              floor of some
duration tenement
high rise to see
if the stash of
super balls sewn
into her garments
and bundled in
her cowl would
make her rebound
as high as she
felt, as high
as the moon.


  1. All have a razor sharp edge seeping into your psyche.

  2. great rhythm--particularly the last one--moves like fluid down the page.

  3. great rhythm--particularly the last one--moves like fluid down the page.