Poetry from Alan Catlin

Gladys always said, “Beware of what you dream. Ignore those visions if you must, but remember, these things have a habit of coming back to haunt you.” I don’t know what she based this kind of assessment on but, more often than not, she was right. Not long after this warning I had a dream that Gladys and I were in grave danger in some dark and threatening place. She died but I did not. Unfortunately, I ignored the dream. 

After she left, I began seeing all kinds of people I knew who were dead. She said this might happen. Most of them were illusions or cases of mistaken identity. I wondered about the others.

Once the rain began, it was impossible to see the path forward or back. After a while, even up and down were getting confused. I felt as if I was in the up-escalator dream where all the stairs had stopped moving and all the lights in the tunnel had gone out. The air was stifling.  It felt thick and smothering like a wool blanket that scratched the skin and burrowed its way into your throat. There was no point in trying to move. There was no place to go. Awake. Or dreaming.

Weathered stone.  The way is blocked by weathered stones. Not exactly like a wall. Like what? A path where stones grew instead of grass or weeds.  Stones that had sharp, ponied edges. Peaks sharp as knife blades, slippery with moss and mold that glowed in the incipient moonlight. These weathered stones. That moaned as they grew, aching as they cut through the gumline of the earth like teeth with nowhere else to go. 

The shy is septic. An open untreated, suppurating wound too long left to fester.  The fluids formerly trapped inside are leaking out like rain.  I’m sliding on the black ice that covers everything the rain has touched.  It’s like walking on sheets of motor oil, something that is both solid and frozen at the same time but impossible to move on.  If I don’t relocate, I will adhere to where I am. Become a misshapen ice sculpture in a greasy downpour. Waking up here is unthinkable.

Cento Derived from the Titles of ‘Erasure’ Poems by John Dorsey

Taken from the Work of Everette Maddox

I can see morning

Good things

Autumn trees

A row of lights

Railroad tracks

Oh world

For years you have noise

Frozen morning

A small yard

Dogs barking in some poor home

It’s all puddles

Neon bar

My boxers drink Gin

My sister dubbed the booze

Get drunk

Falling off a bar stool

Stay drunk

I can’t pour piss

Sweating comfort

I ain’t drinking orange juice

Everybody dies topless

I watched dog days

Hot Pearly Gates of the Confederacy

I threw the whole telephone book

Clouds brooding ah yes

My friend kissed my ass

I’m near an old radio

Murderous rock n roll

Heaven, hell, or Birmingham

The last day


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