Alan Catlin

from Memories


After. The Meltdown Festival. Human
ruins. Relics. Like Van Gogh’s ear.
Lives of the saints. Very old bones.
Even carbon dated. Fakes abound.
My Shroud of Turin or yours. Nina
Simone’s gum. An actual object.
Saved. Stranger than kindness.


Music for the dead and resurrected.
A swan song. For Antigone. For
Anil’s Ghost. An attempt at genealogy.
A nocturne. For a moving train.
A song for raised voices. And a tin
Drum. Toy piano(s). An invisible
orchestra for an unwritten score.
Songs without words.


All the names. Death with
Interruptions. Or. The Stone
Raft.  While Mortals Slept.
In the midnight hour. Sonnets 
for the Portuguese.  Let me count.
The Ways. The Words. When
my love comes tumblin’ down. 
Time quakes.


What our bodies learned. Sidney
Spencer knew. What happens next.
Ask the neighbors. He took them
to the pictures. And it pissed them
off. Edgar Lee Masters or Sherwood
Anderson.  The house at the end of
the road is a mausoleum. You can’t
keep a good man (or woman) down.


Screams from the balcony. Love is
a dog from hell. What makes Sammy
run.  The disenchanted. And the
dispossessed. Not a race card at Belmont. 
Or Aqueduct.  Renata Adler. Pitch
Dark. Speedboat. Parimutuel losers.
Black tickets. No longer human.


Black Orpheus or Carnival in Rio.
A Briefing for a Descent into Hell
Don’t Look Back. David Bowie.
Bob Dylan or John Osborne. 
Voodoo woman or loups garou.
Not a white zombie. That old black 
magic.  I put a spell on you. Again.
Screaming Jay Hawkins. Sing. Sing. Sing.



Howling Wolf or Hour of the Wolf.
Wolfman Jack. The Wolfman. Lon
Chaney Jr or Harvey Keitel. Wolf
Solent. John Cowper Powys or
Thomas Hardy. Not leavin’ on a jet
plane. Or a biplane either. 


Noh plays. No Exit. Dr. No.
No Time for Sergeants.
“No time left for you.”
No Mercy. No Place to Hide.
No Code of Conduct. No Big
Deal. No Deposit, No Return.
“I’ll find myself some wings.”
Guess Who.  No Escape,
No Return.  No Looking Back.
No Man’s Land. No Mercy.
No Place to Hide. “No time.
No time. No time.”

Alan Catlin is a poet, editor and wordsmith currently living in Upstate NY. Among his most recent publications is a group of poems about coming of age in the 60's, Sunshine Superman (Cyberwit) ,and The Road to Perdition (Alien Buddha), three chapbooks length collections in one book, from a series of Noir movie poems now eleven chapbooks long under the working title Hollyweird.

Collations of earlier poems from the series which the above pieces are from have appeared as two books, the first, Memories, is from Alien Buddha, and the second, Memories Too, is from Dos Madres. There's a third ready to go.
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