Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

Sunshine Superman
for DC

was one of the handles
he gave himself, dressing up
as some kind of total hippie
freak power dude: layers of
love beads on his open-at-
the-neck loose fitting smock,
shirt, hairless chest exposed,
loud yellow matching bell-
bottom pants decorated
with flowers, paisleys, granny
style glass with off-color tinted
lenses not quite concealing lost
in a dark muddle of bad-dream
acid, tripping through dormitories,
handing out free samples for
his drug of the month club,
spreading artificial cheer like
a demented Pied Piper of Upstate
New York with a hash pipe instead
of a flute to entice the children
to follow after, where he was
going at the speed of unseen light,
picking out his final resting place
among the crypts and mausoleums
he stalked late at night, when his
drugs of the moment, and the full
moon, were peaking at the same time.

                                                                     (published in Wisconsin Review)

Poor boy at school

he came along
for all the wild,
crazy rides to
the end of night,
no money for
beers or booze,
partial scholar-
ships don't cover
consumption in
seedy college bars
listening to Mustang
Sally, wanting a
woman, wanting
everything he didn't
have, wanting out.
Even enlisting in
the Navy, shipping
out overseas in '67
seemed better than
penniless in Utica,
always 30 below,
inside and out,
until the sniper
round that wanted
you dead like that
Uncle Sam poster
on Roomie's wall,
found a home.
The leaves were
            still on the trees
when we heard
what hit you.
Doc said sophomore
year was going to
be hell & he was

Depression, an Ode 1967

A depression that begins
at a 'Welcome Back Students'
beer blast on campus, three
days after Labor Day & never
ending all semester, lingering
beyond the third night of
power drinking cold, flat local
beers from styrofoam cups,
four trips outside for a smoke
of many waking dreams, hidden
from gusting winds & prying
evil authoritarian eyes in a     
cul de sac between empty,
low, flat, classroom buildings,
watched over by hand carved
Henry DiSpirito sculptures,
refugees escaping a war torn
continent only half as bleak as
this no man's land inside,
this still life with collapsing
trenches and an imminence of
rain that became a blizzard
followed by an Arctic low
that might never leave, sealing
tight the entire immediate world
with an encasement of ice,
so brittle, one step forward
cracks the veneer, opening
fissures that bled dark snow,
black particles of ice the wind
bore away all those moonless
night like this one, drinking as if
your life depended upon it &
maybe it did.

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