Sunday, January 31, 2016

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

From my tears

the policeman said,    
"There was nothing
you could have
done about it.
That man was gone;
dead cold, before
he hit the floor.
It's only natural
for you to freak
out when faced with
a life or death
thing you'd never
seen before and
couldn't handle.
Hell, it had happened
to me when I was a
rookie---" I thanked
the cop though we
                                                         could both tell I
                                                         didn't mean it. I wasn't
a rookie and it wasn't
the first time someone
dropped on me when I
couldn't do anything
but watch him die.
I still felt, somehow,
as if that guy
getting wheeled out
of the bar with a sheet over
his face, was all
my fault, and nothing
anyone could say or
do would ever be able
to change how I felt.
A brace of whiskeys
would help me start
adjusting my  attitude,
like right now,
the only problem being
was not knowing
if I would be able to

“We can build you

up, make a real
man of you,”
he sd. like some kind of
roving Marine Good Will
recruiter on a divine mission
to save the hearts and minds of
                            the unrepentant sinners sipping
shots and brews, smoking butts
down to the filter, instead of
pumping iron and reading
from The Book.
Following this boy scout trooper
into some third world
country too weak to defend
itself, so we could build up
our self images with a little
constructive raping and pillaging,
before some real R&R back home
in a place like this, where battle
scars are an excuse for another
pop, another round for the ditch
you never wake up in.

All the time he

had spent out of the joint,
was an exercise in futility,
as if he were determined
to get back there where all his
friends were, where everything
was programmed, and every day
was just a reliving of
all the good-assed,
good old times working on
perfecting felony rap songs,
jail house lawyering
skills, and slick contraband
schemes. He liked to say, only
half in jest, that the primary reason
anyone would want to be outside
at all, was for a warm piece
of ass. Everything else was
government issued, free ride,
paid for, and waiting for
an enterprising man to collect.
A man could make himself
quite a nice living, if he could
learn to do without women,
hell he wasn't much to look
at no how so he'd get by,
yes, he would.

1 comment:

  1. Speaks to us in an externalization of popular and populist recognition of poetry's awareness.