Poetry from Alan Catlin

“Things Unintelligible but Understood”: 
lines from Wallace Stevens, a found poem

Consider the odd morphology of regret
Note the decline of music
The grapes are here and now
Starry voluptuary will be born
At least the number of people may there be fixed
There is no such thing as innocence in autumn
Machine within machine within machine
The cabinet of a man gone mad
No man shall see the end

Naturalized: Lines from Hala Alyan’s, The Moon Turns Back:
a found poem

He plays devil’s advocate.
May father plays soccer.
In dreams I am in Nevada.
Half-life in exile.
I’m not your side bitch.
Those fucking K-Mart towels when did we
	give them away?
I loved them.
Pink as slaughter.
You can’t put a corpse back together again.
I type all the metaphors I can.
I can’t keep pretending to love.

Patti Smith Photo Album #1

Mundane objects imbued 
with deep, personal meaning:

Bolano’s writing chair,
Hesse’s decrepit writing machine,

Virginia Woolf’s tarnished
walking stick,

Jim Carroll’s narrow, single bed,
Fred Smith’s recovered childhood toy;

all their owners gone. A woman
with a camera remembers.


Spy of the First Person. Patti Smith
and her day book. Sam’s Old KY home
Adirondack chairs on the back lawn
facing the hills. Empty now.

Patti Smith punk rock star or
stay at home mom. Surrealistic 
pillow maker or Rimbaud re-
incarnated. As a woman
Collector of memories. Just Us
Kids or a museum of dead things.
On the M Train. Or off.
Babel or Coral Beach. I. She.
Contains multitudes.

			Patti Smith Polaroid Sequence Nov/Dec

Pasolini Monument: two doves intertwined in stone
Genet’s A Man Contemplating Death on Mapplethorpe’s
	Birthday: A Still Life
Editing Sam Shepard’s last manuscript
A white horse head in Wales
Dylan Thomas’s grave with plain wooden cross
Rimbaud’s elaborate headstone
Sharing coffee with ghosts of Camus, Sartre, and Simone
	in the Gallimard garden
A solitary bird sings of the death of Proust
Jim Carroll’s well-thumbed Penguin paperback of Schulz’s
	Street of Crocodiles
The bound twig broom used to sweep dying leaves from
	Mishima’s grave
Sam Shepard’s Depression era Gibson
Puccini’s composition piano
Photo of Rosa Parks Dec 1, 1955
Joan Didion: pure writer
The guardian angel near the grave of Bertolt Brecht
Patti Smith at the interval contemplating Tosca:
	“ I have lived for art, for love.”
A letter in the hand of Emily Dickinson
Dante’s headstone
Zappa’s ‘Hot Rats’ album cover
Ralph Fiennes on the set of Coriolanus
The ruins of Hadrian’s library

After Reading Burchfield: December Moonrise, #8

Flat saucer shaped clouds in gray
blue sky are pocked by puncture wounds
shining bright as fallen stars or creatures
like birds of another species. Irradiated
seeds sprout plants that only bloom at
night. Moonrise over distant hills make 
the landscape more unreal than it already
seems to be.

		Blistered cones of light
			where the moon
		should be

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