Saturday, November 28, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

 The Vampire

 "There was this guy that
 hung out in school who always
 dressed up like Bela Lugosi.
 You know: complete vampire deluxe
 attire including white face and
 cape.  Rumor had it, he slept
 in a coffin and went to class
 always dressed in black.
 Someone told me, they saw him
 drink a glass of blood but I
 thought that was a bit extreme
 even for Ithaca.  He was weird
 though, no doubting that.
 No matter how late you staggered
 back toward the dorm you might
 sort of see him tinkering with
 the hearse, of course, he had
 a hearse with wall to wall carpeting
 and quadraphonic sound.
 God only knows where he got it all
 because it was like new.
 I guess his people had money,
 old money, if you know what I mean.
 Let me tell you that was one campus
 that didn't look forward to Halloween."

 Talking Them Off the Ledge

 "You don't know what it's like
 to be an RA.  Last year, I talked
 three people off the ledge.
 That's a hell of a way to wake up
 at three in the morning watching
 this chick strung out on God knows what
 walking the line outside a fifth floor
 window.  I got her in but it wasn't easy.
 Her side of the room was empty inside of
 twelve hours.  No one, I mean absolutely
 no one knows what happened to her.
 The most surprising one was these
 three roommates who were like tight
 getting gassed together and two of them
 turn real ugly and start to beat the shit
 out of the other one.  What a bloody mess!
 Much screaming and yelling.
 I wondered what she did, like blow
 both girl's boyfriends or something.
 Whatever it was, they were like heavily
 into serious shit like tossing her out
 the window.  That turned out to be
 another disappearing act.
 The third one was into pills and
 liquor but mostly pills.  Her roommate
 got me up with one of those:"Sheila's,
 been locked in the bathroom for hours
 with a six pack of razor blades."
 Luckily they were mostly superficial.
 I hear she's in stir some place heavy.
 My mother's a real riot, says you got it
 nice and easy not having to pay room
 and board for two years and you get
 a stipend on top of that just to
 babysit a bunch of college kids."

 A Discontinued Line

 They discontinued her model in a fit
 of rationality somewhere in the early seventies.
 The reasoning had something to do with
 bad genes warped on acid and too much
 contaminated free love.  I was tempted
 to check her out for antique plates but
 it wasn't necessary; the outfit she was
 wearing was so out of date and willfully
 deliberate.  She was into giving the old man
 she was with a history lesson, the object
 of which was an unsecured loan of two bills
 she owed this guy,
"Vince, you remember him, the mental patient."
But it would be awhile before she got to that.
 "I'm going to have it removed." She began.
 "It's going to hurt, tattoos are permanent."
 "I don't care, it's not me anymore."
 "What is it of?"
 "A butterfly but it's on my right tit.
 When I got it, I thought it was cute.
 I should have known.  It was my ex's idea."
 "You could be disfigured."
 "I already am, give me a break."
 I thought Burger King was getting to be
 a greater bargain every day: an in flight
 ten buck mall movie, plus a meal all for
 just a couple of bucks. 
 It was my kind of movie too.
 I get off looking at washed out, ditzy
 red heads and hearing an inspired,
 crazed story of a lifetime abusing
 everything she touched.
 "I'm living with William now but I'm still
 seeing Vince."
 "Why is that?"
 "Vince is kind of different, he gets under
 your skin and stays there.  We were having sex
 once and this stuff, God it was awful, came off
 his ass in my hands.  I almost puked."
 "What was it."
 "I guess it was skin, I don't know but
 it sure was disgusting."
 "Why do you do these things to yourself?"
 "It's for William," she says, almost meaning it,
 "Vince is going to kill him if we don't come
  up with the money." We both believe her. 

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