Poetry from Alan Catlin


“Love’s boat has smashed against the daily

grind.” Mayakovksy. Not the TV show.

The suicide note. Not Fantasy Island.

Russian Roulette. Did you used to watch

those TV shows. Do you watch them now.

Why. Explain. The Deer Hunter. Christopher

Walken with a pistol in a gambling den.

Not a Clue card. A scene. From the movie.

Back in the VA. Stateside. A  hospital tray

table full of cash winnings.  You can only

win at Russian Roulette a finite number of

times. As final as the game of Life.


Stillicide. A continual dripping of water.

A hard rain’s a gonna fall. In the still of

the night. A bend in the river. Guerillas or

gorillas.  Word crimes. Mine. Yours. Ours.

Misread the phrase: Legal Suicide this way.

Should be: Legal studio this way.  Not a

Stillicide. Water. Torture. Chinese. Like

checkers. With a Cap. Nixon’s dog. State

secrets found in a pumpkin patch. Not water

rights. Highly classified stuff. Water rights

were what Chinatown was all about.

Whittaker Chambers. Or Alger Hiss. Both.


You only live twice. No live and let

die. Nancy Sinatra. Not Linda McCartney.

Not Stella either. Her boots were made

for walking. Naked in Playboy.  Or was

that Joan Collins. Not for the Interview.

Not for Andy Warhol either. He didn’t

like girls. That way. Though he lived

with his mom. Until she died. Don’t say

Norman Bates. Andy lived twice. Being

shot and dead on the table. And revived.

Then a routine procedure and he died.

Go figure.


Contribute. To the Gregory Corso Memorial

Bocce Tournament. All major. Accepted.

It’s too late. To fall in love with Sharon Tate.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Happy endings.

To tragic stories. That defined a generation.

Not the Vampire Killers. Though she was in it.

R rating in some iterations.  Brief nudity. Violence.

Stupidity. As disappointing as a broken toy

in a Cracker Jacks box.


Twitch and Shout. The affliction.

The memoir. The movie. God didn’t

give epileptics a fair shake. In the

cemetery where Al Jolson is buried.

Who’s your surrogate mama. A terry

cloth monkey instead of a flesh & blood

mother. Science or cruelty to animals.

There’s a lot at stake. Just ask Joan d’ Arc.

Apostles of the covenant. Apocrypha

or Dogma. A three dog night.

One thought on “Poetry from Alan Catlin

  1. Alan Catlin, writes clipped bursts after a boomer TV generation. Dive right in, swim Nixon and Three Dog Night, a potpourri pop construction of memorabilia bits for late night and open mics’ spoken word. Possibly, an era of decadence, uncertain of its strengthens now, Alan Carlin writes of what “…defined a generation.”– a generation that sometimes (I would agree) would appear, “As disappointing as a broken toy/ in a Cracker Jacks Box”.

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