Saturday, May 2, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

High Altitude Bomber

He was on a flightless
strafing run from Planet
Weird, his tie‑dyed
Hard Rock Uranus t-shirt
torn, grass and mud stained
blunting the wild, bright
colors as if he'd spent
last night being dragged
behind a tractor in a
cornfield way past
East of Eden.
"Say, partner, mix me up
one of your best High Altitude
Bombers.  I'm going to need
lots of rocket fuel for a
long midnight run."
I didn't need to ask what
occupied country that flight
might take.  His cruising
altitude was in a stratospheric
ozone layer beyond search
lights, no topo maps needed
for targets, everything was a
primary objective in this
comprehensive search and destroy
mission of his life.

The Afterburner

His interplanetary space exploration
party was on the last legs of a
journey in the dark, badly in need
of fresh supplies, pure oxygen, rocket
fuel that might propel them beyond
the severe gravitational pull of heavenly
bodies doped into a fourth dimension
beyond star charts, maps of the known
world and what lies on the other side,
running on the last alcohol fumes at
the bottom of the tank, the captain striking
matches in the poorly lighted bar, trying to
check the levels of intoxicating fluids,
bank notes necessary for a fresh supply
of whatever might keep them going,
afraid of a crash landing for everyone
aboard, a desert planet, flash points
of their collective ozone layers
flaring briefly before going out for good.

Hell Cat

After dark she comes
alive, emerging from
shadow worlds so Un-
earthly, so unreal her
skin is almost trans-
parent, defined by
garments that seem to
have no weight, no
substance, no existence
of their own, so that
when she leans forward
over the bar to accept
a light, she never seems
to have been anywhere
else, not exactly having
arrived so much as
simply existing wherever
she needed to be, her voice
an intaken breath held,
unspoken thoughts co-
mingling with yours, a
heartbeat away from
suggesting trading your
soul for a week of endless
nights on the town, never
glimpsing the light until
debts accrued were to be paid.

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