Sunday, October 12, 2014

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

A Different Planet for Bartenders

I guess it was
assumed I was
supposed to be an
inexhaustible source
of useless information.
A noise finished on
the infernal machine
and he asked me:
"What was that, how
many minutes is it &
who was the artist?"
"First of all, "I sd
"If you're referring
to the noise, I have
a blocking mechanism
that blots that out.
Secondly, I like
Mozart and that wasn't
by him.  Lastly,
if we're going to do
trivia let's do
something interesting
like how many symphonies
did Haydn write
or what do the initials
of famous writer's
stand for.  I'll go
first Thomas Sterns is
for T.S. Eliot."
The look he gave me
suggested I wasn't
the type of bartender
he was used to.
He might even think
I was that legendary
bartender from
another planet.

                                                           My Secret Life

                                                           I receive transmissions.
                                                           That’s what the antennae
                                                           are for.
Transmissions from space.
All kinds. Mostly radio
                                                           signals these days;
                                                           clear days you can pick up dozens
                                                           of stations right here on earth.

                                                           Battle plans.  Outlines of what
the future will look like once
we take over.

It won’t be pretty for you guys
that’s for sure but given what
you’ve done to this planet,
what do you expect?

Yeah, lots of people have said
I’m a few pills short of a commitment.
Truth is I have been committed.
Bunches of times.  In fact, I’m out now
on a work release program.

Gathering information.  That’s my job,
king o sabe. I’m working incognito like
James Bond only better looking.

Nothing some cosmetic surgery and a few
false teeth couldn’t fix.

Gotta cigarette? No, how about a quarter?

No, it’s doesn’t pay well.  Hey, when you’re
a sleeper agent, you have to take the good
with the bad. You know, go with the flow.
Be authentic, dude.  I’m as authentic as it gets.

I do have one major worry.  Sometimes I get
video messages.  I know most people would
need a TV for that but I’m different.
The problem is the signals are changing
and I don’t have a convertor box.
What if a vital message comes through
after the change and I don’t get it?
Where will I be then ?  What will I do?

                                            Alien Abduction

“Do you believe in aliens from other planets?
I do. And they have much longer memories
than ours.” Christopher Reiner, “Pain”

After the alien abduction, she swore off
derelicts and drunks, said she was a changed
woman, something like a nun but not quite
as pure, a kind of bride to a Christ with
no hair, a long white beard, who stood
twelve feet tall.  Naked, he was like a God
and after she gave herself to him there would
be no other. She swore he said he’d be back
for her when the time was right, though she
neglected to ask how he measured time,
a failing that might prove fatal if his standards
were radically different than ours. Not that it
mattered to her; she’d wait forever if necessary.
She’s still waiting.

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