Saturday, August 3, 2013

Alan Catlin- Three Poems


             She's three maybe four years old:
             part-black, part-white, part-something
             else.  Hyperkinetic, ADD, up all day,
             all night with her single mom.
             Boy friend's doing time on a domestic beef,
             receiving stolen goods, violating parole,
             held over for trial, who knows when, while
             mom entertains The Guests: teenaged
             whores, foot soldiers running dope,
             holding unregistered weapons: handguns,
             assault rifles, semi-automatic arsenals....
             All of them dodging The Man, Social Services,
             rent collectors, eviction notices, Sheriff
             deputies in Wild West hats: too bad they
             don't work the early morning shift when
             the house comes alive, party time for one
             and all, using and abusing, police scanner
             on high alert, they can go from one hundred
             to zero in sixty seconds flat, though sometimes
             they forget, aren't motivated, get hauled in
             for a couple of nights on the city and then
             they are all back on the street, open for business.
             The only attention Destiny gets is when she
             is misbehaving, so she's always into something:
             dodging between parked cars, in and out of
             traffic, forgetting to put on clothes/underwear,
             she's already adept at flashing all of the boys;
             at three, maybe four years old, her life might
             not be over but it might as well be.

What Happened After Child Protection Service
            Took Destiny Away

A woman needs love especially
when her man’s away, doing a six
pack for receiving, as in stolen goods,
probably woman’s clothes given
the three daily outfit changes she
makes, whether she needs to or not,
and her without so much as a part time
job.  It wasn’t as if she put up a sign
that said: “Free Pussy” but there was no
doubt her idea of la vida loco meant,
“While the man’s away, the cat will play.”
A week into his sentence, traffic in and out
of her flat increased so much someone
suggested she invest in a revolving
door to save wear and tear on the old
one she currently had. The median age of
her victors seemed to decrease daily
to well below legal, both boys and girls,
middle school yearbooks on their nightstands
not even dusty yet.  Word on the street,
by the boys wired on loosie blunts was,
you could score for a dime, half and half
for a double dime, and single sticks half
price with a trick.  Everyone in town must
have known, even the cops, a fact that
was cramping the style of serious drug
action just up the block. It was an even
money bet as to who was going to bring
her down first: the local Crips or the heat.
The only certainty appeared to be that orange
was going to be her favorite apparel color
in near future despite her stated preference
                                                for softer hues that accented her fair complexion.


 Another March Monday in jukebox hell
 and everyone in town is either studying
 for Mid‑terms or else on major drugs
 except for the eight people in the bar.
 Who knows how they came to be here,
 even money has it we're the only place
 crazy enough to be open this late
 on a going nowhere night.
 It was quiet for awhile until the drunkest
 of the girls discovers the CD player
 jukebox monster on the way back from
 The Ladies.  What happened later was
 kind of : Have a Guns and Roses New Year's.
 I made a mental note to pour a pitcher
 of Guinness down the back of the machine.
 That stuff is worse than motor oil and
 could kill any CD player made by man.
 I'd even pay for the pitcher, I could get
 nine dollars and fifty cents worth of
 satisfaction watching some clowns lose it
 when the dollar they invested in Pink Floyd
 tunes turns out to be seventeen seconds
 of singing and then black noise.
 Maybe it was the seven Budweiser and
 The Absolut pure martini I gave the beast
 at the end of the bar that fueled what could
 have been my own Apocalypse Now in a bar.
 It went from totally dull Monday to all out
 cold war in about three seconds. 
 There's nothing quite like staring at a monster
 who was all Air Force Karate Champion
 staring down a kid with a jacket that says
 his name is Kevin and he's an instructor
 in karate.  I imagined trying to break up
 that fight and saw myself lying in a pool
 of blood waiting for someone to call both
 the police and an ambulance, and knowing
 neither would happen, but I tried anyway.
 Luckily, the kid instructor had better
 things to do than take on Air Force 1
 like take his friend home and have a quiet beer. 
The Beast assured me  he'd never been stressed
out by being in The Nam:

 "My wife has taken care of all that."
 I watched as he swallowed last call,
 a localized world war in each direct hit
 plus a six pack for the ditch that already
 had cold bodies in it.

No comments:

Post a Comment