Poetry from Alan Catlin


something I read
or heard somewhere,

“The dead have memories
For up to thirty days after they die.”

Actually misheard.
should be,

“The dead have memorials that last
Up to thirty days after they die.”

“It was like the truth”


“For imaginary visitors I had a chair
Made of cane I found in the trash.”
		Charles Simic

After Dante, no one
was surprised
how many levels
of hell there were

“Your invisible friend, what happened to her?”

Hell’s lawn ornaments.
Sock puppets. Stuffed toys.
Rusted hubcaps. Flexible
action figures. Colored string.
Lawn jockeys. Garden gnomes.
Dried flowers. Wrought iron
funeral wreathes. Metal flowers.
Bird houses. Birds. Pinecones.
Broken wrist watches. Detached
human ears. Potato heads.
Doll’s heads, voodoo heads.
Fetishes. Mannequin limbs. 
Snake eyes. 


Doomsday or plain old day books.
Jean Seberg or Romaine Gary.
Dead in the trunk of a car or
The back seats of. Jim Carroll.
Herman Melville. Jerry Garcia.
All born August 1. All gone now.

True seriousness resides in the comic.
Nicanor Parra. The Oblivion
Seeker. Isabel Erhardt or DFW.
Drowned in a flash flood in the desert
or hung by the neck until dead.


Drowning the desert. Like getting
killed in a car crash on the way
home from a funeral. Like a mystery 
writer being murdered. Like being killed
on the ground by a plane falling from
the sky after surviving 9-11 in a tower.

2 thoughts on “Poetry from Alan Catlin

Comments are closed.