Poetry from Alan Catlin

Vollmann’s Poor People slightly altered

Soot covered woman of the burned land, Madagascar
Homeless camp under the freeway, Miami
People and streetscapes, Riverton, Oregon
Office cleaning lady just off work with Colonel Sanders
	(life-sized statue) Bangkok 
“I think they are poor” venerable white-haired man begging, 
Congolese beggar boy, dressed in filthy rags
Unknown street sleepers
Man in rubble of destroyed home
Man with photo and deed to his destroyed home
Garbage lady, Nanking
Panorama of box houses, Tokyo
Beggar in full body burqa like an angel of death, Yemen
Streetwalker in burqa approaching a rickshaw, Peshawar
Homeless man reading a newspaper in park, Tokyo
Three drunks, Nome, Alaska
Beggar girl with deformed nose
Beggar pretending to be armless, Bangkok
Family in front of their bullet pocked house, Congo
Snarling beggar, Bogotá
Man with crooked face, Bogota 
“Donate here to get me out of your neighborhood” placard, 
Afghan boys playing in wrecked Soviet plane, Afghanistan
Afternoon on Ave de la Mort, Brazzaville

Operation Crossroads 1948: Bikinis, a journal, extracted

As culled from the journals of forward observer
	Of Bikini Island tests, Dr. David Bradley, in
	his book , NO PLACE TO HIDE

“In the three years of the “atomic age,” five bombs
(or is it six?) have been exploded. On only these last 
two or three have men been prepared to study and
record the findings under anything like controlled

“This morning the surface (of the ocean) was
scattered over with tiny floating jellyfish, or baby
men-o-wars. Delicate, diaphanous creatures, they
look like blown cherry blossoms on a windy lawn
of the Pacific.”

“By the nature of our work almost everything we know
is potentially dangerous.”

“Actually, of course, there will never be any great control
of ideas concerned with atomic energy, the principles
have already spread like an epidemic.”

“Lectures on physics have given way to the practical
business of the detection of radioactivity.”

“It will be difficult to convince people of the dangers 
of radiation.”

“The persistent power of the bomb after it has exploded is
its greatest menace.”

“They(the old and wise) doze a moment in the sun and
wake up on fire.”


Sante’s Evidence

“Traces of innumerable human beings lost to history
once and for all, without monuments or descendants
or living record.”

“A copy of a Black Hand threat letter, decorated with
obscene drawings.”
“An enigmatic set of shots, from various angels of
a man’s right hand with two thumbs.”
“Magnified  views of pieces of jewelry and barely
decipherable snapshots.”
“Studies of urinals at different (police) station houses.”
“Locations: bedrooms, bars, back alleys, vacant lots,
storerooms, hovels hallways”
“You do not have to be glamorous to meet a violent end.”

“Objects of interest, at least momentarily, taken together,
they become stills from a film, a nightmare, ride from room
to room in the small hours.”
“These subjects are constantly in the process towards
“These photographs-as evidence, they are mere artless
records, concerned with the details…they are the book-
keeping entries, with no transfiguring mission, and serve 
“We are breaking a taboo as old as the practice of shutting
the eyes of cadavers and weighing down their lids.”
“Photography like death, interrupts life.”
“The more empty the photograph, the more it will imply 
“Empty photographs have no reason to be except to show
that which cannot be shown.”
“Evidence is a magnet for the random.”
“You do not have to be glamorous to meet a violent end.”

Julia Solis’ New York Underground: the Anatomy of a City,
	in text and photographs with occasional commentary

Inside the Croton Aqueduct (like The Thing from Outer Space)
Roots (like veins) inside the long-abandoned Croton Aqueduct
Rebuilding the foundation of 7 World Trade Center
A manhole cover leading to a branch of Croton Aqueduct (like
	a portal to the outer circles of hell)
Sealed water pipes to a branch of Ridgewood Reservoir 
	with graffiti, Brooklyn
The gate chamber on the Bronx side of High Bridge (with 
	standing water and garbage)
Inside a storm drain Queens

Ghost Stations:
City Hall station abandoned retaining some of its former glory
Abandoned  91st street station with elaborate graffiti
Sealed staircase lower-level City Hall station
Remnant of obsolete trolley station Essex and Delancy
Long abandoned Croton Aqueduct well on its way to being 
	reclaimed by nature
Virginal track segment, never used
Ghostly staircase eastern end of Lexington Ave. station
Ground Zero October 2001
Long after last transport, a gurney in a tunnel, Seaview Hospital
Mattresses piled in deteriorating heaps in basement of a mental
Obsolete freight track, Hell’s Kitchen
Long forgotten abandoned burial crypts
The central aisle of the crypt of St. Patrick’s cathedral

A Plague of Souls: Contemporary (Mostly) Japanese Noir 

Devotion of Suspect X
Tokyo Nights
Hotel Lucky Seven
Sleeping Dragon
All She Was Worth
In the Miso Soup
Coin Locker Baby
The Devil’s Flute
Slow Fuse
Three Assassins
Bullet Train
Real World
Winter Sleep
Almost Transparent Blue
The Memory Police
Village of Eight Graves


On Aphasia
Interpretation of Dreams
Secret Memories
The Future of Illusion
The Ego and the ID
Jokes and Their Relationship to the Unconscious
The Psychology of Everyday Life
“Civilized” Sexual Morality and Modern Illness
The Most Prevalent Form of Degradation of Erotic Life
Mourning and Melancholy Civilization and Its Discontents
Beyond the Pleasure Principle
Medusa’s Head
Totem and Taboo: Resemblances between the psychic lives 
	of savages and neurotics
Reflections on War and Death
A Case of Paranoia Running Counter to the Psychic Analytic 
	theory of disease
Case Studies: 	Dora
		Little Hans
		Rat Man
Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious	

Brutal (Soviet) Bloc Post Cards

“Ideas are more powerful than guns.
We would not let our enemies have
guns, why should we let them have ideas?
	Joseph Stalin

Monument to Builders of the Volga Power Station 1967
Worker and Collective Farm Women (statues) circa 1960’s
(Literal) Flower of Life (concrete sculpture) 1968
Monument to the Conquerors of Near Universe 1988
Monument to the Conquerors of Space (glass ellipse) 1964
A Special Sign at the entrance to the city, Brest, 
	(indescribable)  1987
Memory of Military Glory, Moldavia 1983
Karl Marx Monument, Tashkent, 1980 (Flyaway concrete hair)
Kulpenberg TV Tower (“beehive” on concrete tower)
Avala TV Tower, Belgrade (pointed as a needle)
Slovak Tower Building, Bratislava 1983 (inverted pyramid)
Brotherly Mound, Hillock of Fraternity Memorial Complex, 
	Bulgaria 1980
Museum of the revolution, Lithuania SSR 1980
Obelisk of Glory, Modavic, 1972
Concrete arch known as Andropov’s Ears, Tbilisi, Georgia 1983
Museum to the Defenders of the Caucasian Mountain Passes,
	1983 (Concrete henges rising)
Monuments to the heroic Sailors of the Black Sea, 1971
All-Terrain Vehicle Monument to the Pioneers 1987
Broken Ring Monument, Lake Lagoda, 1966
Monument to the Communists Who Died in September
	1923 Uprising, Bulgaria
Alyosha Monument to the Defenders of the Soviet Arctic,
	Murmansk, 1986
Armenian Genocide Memorial Cemetery Complex 1967
The Sash of Glory, Odessa 1975 (glorious silhouette carved 
	From concrete)
The Constinesti Obelisk-Constinesti Beach, 1970 (White 
	Polished marblesque, whatever on the beach front)
Star Monument Kharkiv, Ukraine 1975
Monument to the executed partisans, Yugoslavia
Arch of Diversity, monument dedicated to the unification
	Of the USSR and Ukraine 1982

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