Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems


 He was having a tough time
 dealing with reality on Quail
 Street in search of the ideal
 Public phone.  That's what he
 did days when he wasn't pounding
 nails or in the bar showing Bob
 "A roofer's hammer, see there's
 a difference between hammer heads
 and the heft.  If there's one
 thing I know, it's hammers."
 Bob is as regular as a bar stool
 and not too fond of mouthy people
 from outer space says:
"Tell it to someone who cares. 
What I  know is beer and I like
 enjoying mine without being bothered
 by morons."
 Hammerhead sort of realizes that was
 a cue for an exit line, says:
 "I'll be back, just got to make
 a quick call."
 "Don't hurry." Was Bob's reply    
 and I had to agree, Hammerhead had
 the personality of someone terminal
 on Thorazine who admitted to being
 incredibly weird but essentially
 harmless. That didn't make him any
 more enjoyable to have around.
 He played with the Bell dial
 and as we watched, his eyes glazed
 over like pottery cooking near
 the end.  I debated asking him
 if it was bad news but decided
 against it.

 March Madness

 I guess if Alice fell down
 the rabbit's hole following
 a March Hare today, she'd
 wake up in a bar like this one
 with an extra large screen
 showing NCAA playoff games
 that would never seem to end.
 She'd be sitting at the bar
 nursing a LIT, slowly sinking
 into a narcotic state,
 the Cheshire smile of the bartender
 nearly invisible inside
 enveloping cigarette smoke.
 Soon, this dude from Brooklyn
 will post up at the bar
 with a stool and throw it
 hard over the wood taking
 with it bottles, lights and
 a mirror not even Alice would
 care to step through.
 That's one March hare who
 wouldn't get too far running
 down Quail Street with an:
 off with his head call,
 to the cops on their radios
 and there would be no one,
 not even a lawyer to save him.

The Helen of Troy Cocktail

There was something about her
that suggested she was used
to men licking the grit from between
her toes and kissing the rings on her fingers,
even when they were plastic settings
with glass stones.  It was almost
impossible imagining that she was
ever a virgin, though she must have
been one, for awhile.  Men were
willing to lay down and die for
a few words with her at the end
of any give night, although, mornings
after, she left them dried out
and barren as if something vital
inside had been extracted and lost,
something so essential they were tied
to the memory of her forever even if
they couldn't exactly remember why.

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