Saturday, December 7, 2013

Alan Catlin- Three poems

Beautiful Mutants

“We get all kinds here, a lot of
repeat business too, like Tony.
Actually, he’s like clockwork.
Toward the end of every other month,
he’s in with the usual injuries:
broken arm, cracked ribs, dislocated
shoulder, a mixed  assortment of
cuts and abrasions, occasional skull
fracture, concussions.  Never presses
charges. In fact, he’s in so much
we have his files bookmarked for easy
access. Alcohol is almost always
involved, as you might expect;
either too much or not enough.
Kind of crazy what people will do
to each other in the middle of the night
for a half pint of Dickel.  That’s not an
exact quote from Tony, but, close.
They don’t drive anymore, for obvious
reasons. The cops see one of their vehicles
coming down the road it’s the express line
to the hoosegow, no breathalyzer tests,
nothing. No judge is going to argue about
technicalities, either. One look at them
and it’s like so obvious.  I think his BAC
is normally around 2.0. You’d be amazed
how much some of those old pros can hold.
Actually, he doesn’t live with a bunch
of rowdy guys, just the wife. He calls her
Moose but that’s just Tony being kind.
I think she wrestled Haystacks Calhoun
to a draw when she was younger in a mixed
double event. One look at her and you wouldn’t
doubt it.  Meanest looking woman I ever saw.
You know that phrase, “Drunk Ugly?”
It originated with her.  Hell, if she belonged
to me, I wouldn’t turn her in either.
Imagine what he’d look like after she got out.
You don’t want to go there and neither do the cops.”

The Naughty Mamacita

“Buy you one? “ He says to the woman
slouching over the bar like Death’s pull toy
discarded  as defective after some hard testing,
“Suit yourself.” She says.
“What are you having?”
“Whatever you’re buying.”
“Bartender, what’s she drinking?”
“A Naughty Mamacita.”
“What the hell is that?”
“White tequila and breast milk.”
“You’re shitting me.”
“Nope. She squeezes her own.”
He says, reaching into the beer cooler
for a plastic baby bottle complete
with a rubber nipple. Pours three ounces
of the milk into a high ball glass,
topping it off with Ole.
“No ice?”
“She likes to watch it curdle.
Says the cubes spoil the view.”
“That’s the most disgusting thing
I’ve ever seen.”
“You think that’s bad? She used to
drink it with mescal.  You should see
what happens when you mix those two.”
“Is she really going to drink that?”
“Try and stop her.”
“Far be it from me.” He says, as she
hoists the cocktail, fires it down with
four long swallows
“Buy me another one and I’ll let you
help me milk the cow.” She says, lifting
one side of her Mothertruckers t-shirt
to expose a swollen breast.
“Not tonight. Places to go, people to see.
How much I owe you for her drink?”
“Jesus, that’s expensive.”
“Specialty drink.  Got to pay if you want
to play. Fifteen bucks plus a tip.”
“Whatever.” He says, laying twenty on
the bar.  “How long has she been here?
She looks like shit.”
“Awhile. Since the baby died.”

“They made love like it was a violent crime.”
                        James Salter

She was a nine to five whore
just like the rest of us
thirty five going on dead, buried
and decayed

A fist full of coins for the jukebox
two lunch hour pints hidden in the car
a spare in case the primary
pint broke

Some roll your owns
in the glove box
buried beneath some tampons
Nicorette gum for all those hours
locked away inside
her brains numb
useless all afternoon craving
what she can never have enough of

In the bar
Happy Hour shooters to warm up with
a long neck thirst that
a couple of eight packs
can’t touch

Smokes outside with truck stop cowboys
wondering who was going to make the first move
fill the black holes that had opened up inside
what with

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