Thursday, March 27, 2014

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

The Yard Sale at the End of the Mind

They bring things that are
of no use, not to them,
not to you, not to anyone:
storm trooper masks, tricorders
for contacting space ships long
ago taken out by Vulcan war
ships, cracked hoses, watering
cans with no spouts, a Zen garden
rake; all this stuff they want to
pack into the overloaded truck,
the space where the back seat
should be, all that junk lifted
from landfills and roadside attraction
dumps.  A pry bar would be useful
for arranging latest acquisitions but
none are available at any price,
still the collecting goes on, after dark,
by the lights of their short circuiting
dashboard, control panels, the static
from their radio broadcasting secret
messages from the wild blue yonder,
up there, where the stars are.

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Half-sleeping in the heat,
some kind of alien invasion   
movie on the TV, maybe,
“It Came from Outer Space,”
or, maybe, “The Man Who Fell
to Earth”, frozen wastes
replaced by desert planet
well beyond a dark side of
the moon, Holst music,
            “The Planets Suite” becoming
“Mars Bringer of War” morphing
into Bowie singing,
“….. .. I ’m  putting out the fire
with gasoline, I’m putting out
the fire………”    lucid dreaming now,
so thirsty in the night, so thirsty
and all the water gone, only
Beefeaters and ice, all my pretty
ones dying in the sun burst, arid,
never changing night no rain ever
falls in, heat lightning and random
light, pale white men with cat’s
eyes, reflected visions in a bathroom
cabinet mirror, dissecting the dreamer
awake in another man’s dream of
somewhere else, gunfire in the street,
the first awakening into a long hell
to come.

The Alien Lover

“You’re a freak. I don’t mean that unkindly. 
I like freaks. That’s why I like you.”
            Candy Clark as Mary Lou
            in ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth”

She fell for this punk rock god
but he found her look to be way
middle class, bourgeois in the worst
way and told her so, “Compared to
you the girls I like are aliens.”
“I can do alien.” She said. Locked
herself in a salon with two demented
stylists on acid and told them to be
creative, which was a kind of death
wish, suicide by extreme makeover.
“What a total gas,” they said, “like
totally freaky. And we get paid.”
So they went to work. Attacked her
with a groomer’s equivalent of hedge
clippers, two kinds of hair dye, and
bleach, then got down and dirty on
her face with straight pins, rings, and
studs with semi-precious stones,
enlisting a tattooist somewhere along
the line who did her dirty with death
heads, smoking jesuses and his wiggy
apostles, until her body resembled a 60’s
witch on a psychedelic bender that might
never end. Good thing she was pasted on
peyote buttons too.  Looked into a mirror
and saw that it was good; the perfect picture
of a disaffected youth with a devil fetish,
death wish and a drug habit no street
fighting man with a microphone could
ignore unless he was as warped and as high
as she was when she took the plunge. 
A few months of total degradation, a stint
in rehab, and a hold on her trust funds
made the whole bad trip seem unreal. 
That and his flaming out  in some weird
murder/ suicide pact with an underage runaway
from Iowa City, made her see the error
of her ways. Took the European tour cure,
making it from one end of the continent
to the other, on some sexual joy ride like
Russian Roulette with bodily fluids that
threatened to get serious when she heard
conversations in nearby rooms about white
slavery, Saudi Arabian oil money and places
in the desert even heat seeking missiles couldn’t
find.  Back home she didn’t exactly live
the life of a nun but found the thrill was gone
now that the ultimate risk had been eliminated
from the game. Life was dull but she’d manage
and in ten years she’d be having all the best
laser surgery a six, going on seven figures a year,
allowance could buy. Still, no matter what she
did or, how much foundation she applied, the scars
would always show through.

 Alan Catlin has poems in Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Dreams and Nightmares, Ygdrasil and darkling Magazine. He has been nominated three times for the science fiction poetry award, The Rhysling Award and for the horror book award, The Bram Stoker Awards for his chapbook “The Insomniac's Gift” illustrated by collage artist Michael Shores. His latest full length book of poetry is “Alien Nation”.

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