Friday, March 27, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

Partially Obstructed
Settling in center rear of the second-run
movie theater as house lights dim,
rows ahead and behind clear, no partial
views, meddlesome commentators, moronic
super-sizers, soda slurpers, ice chewers,
Macadamia nut fanciers, clear sailing through
trailers until Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in his traded-
to-the-Lakers Afro days sits down directly in
front and all of his teammates six foot nine
and above with him, even Sven Natar from
his UCLA days along for the flicks, so we
decide to move but our row is blocked by
the first seven footer to play on an NBA court,
Walter Dukes and with him, his NFL counterpart,
Ernie Ladd "Bigger that Dad" the first seven
foot, 300 pounder in his league and I think,
"This can't be.  These guys are like long dead."
And then I see Wilt "The Stilt", and Dave D
from the Knicks, the bartender's son, and George
Mikan and Walter Bond, definitely not to be
confused with Ward Bond the actor, no this
is the baseball player, all six foot eight of him
in playing shape from back in the days when anyone
over five eight was considered a giant and now,
I'm like really worried, as all of these guys are way
dead too and I wonder if maybe this is the wrong theater,
that the Marx Brothers Retrospective we'd been
dying to see is actually a Karl Marx Retrospective
and the Main Attraction is neither Horse Feathers
nor Monkey Business but colorized versions of
Battleship Potemkin, followed by colorized
copies of Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible
Parts 1 And 2 and I'm thinking, "How could they do
this to Eisenstein and someone says, "They colorized
Casablanca, didn't they?" "Did they ever!" I think,
"Not that you'd ever catch me watching something
like that in this life." And everyone around us starts
laughing as if I actually said something funny and
I know now, we are in the wrong theater for sure
but we are way beyond too late to leave.
White Evil
Ouzo, Tequila, Bailey's Irish Creme
If Death were
a man wheedling
a bartender for
a complimentary beer
and pocket change
for cab fare to
the Greyhound Station,
more than likely closed
this near Last Call,
he would be this
mostly blind man
sighting the industrial
wall clock with
a retractable magnifying
lens with his good eye,
the all white one
rolling nearly loose
detached in its' socket
as his high pitched,
pleading voice suggests,
"Just one more.
Come on, you know
you can do it.
Another one won't kill
you.  I'll go away if
you do." And it seems
almost plausible that he might,
as the beer flows his way
and his metal guiding
stick rhythmically taps
against the brass foot
rail, a kind of artificial
heart beating, "This place
got a juke box? I know
there's one in here somewhere.
You got some quarters?
I need to hear some Mu-
Zic- before I go." and that too
sounds almost plausible,
the barman is so anxious
to have him gone, so desperate
anything could be plausible,
"What's your name?" the blind
man asks, his wide, featureless
eye so grotesque, so unnatural
it is impossible to look very
close, "I really have to know.
I need to write your name
in my book." And the barman
wonders: should I speak or not?
but it doesn't matter much either
way, he's doomed no matter what.
The Firebird
Pepper Vodka and Cranberry Juice
She was wearing
this amazing short
short skirt with a
low cut top to match
made from fabrics
so way beyond loud
it made you wonder
if she was cheerleading
for some spectator
sport organized in
another dimension
parallel to ours
and she was  so
bubbling over, effervescent
trying to make whatever
it was she wanted
understood, she spoke
in a tongue not readily
recognizable as something
that was spoken here
on earth, her efforts
made more complicated
by her warp hyper speed
buzzing and The Boss
screaming something
about being born in the USA
as if that were a big deal
in the background, so I
try hand gestures to help
out, pointing at items
behind the bar asking her
to select but it doesn't
work out, becoming more
and more like some colorful,
futile game of charades
conducted by two inmates
of a locked-in ward.

1 comment:

  1. Starting the day with three intense Catlin poems is a better energizer than a double espresso!