Sunday, August 23, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

Day of the Triffids

Life here is a form an alien culture
brings to men made sightless by light.
In gardens, new seeds are growing,
and transformations are taking place
that no one can be made aware of
until it is too late.  Plants seek
nourishment in human flesh they enfold
into tendrils made sticky with wanting
and with death.  Once inside the mad
embrace, there is no escape; what began
in wonder, will be concluded in fire.
All the villages are damned now. 
Erecting walls cannot prevent what has
already happened inside.

Red Desert

The final stop on his cross-country
dream trip of a lifetime was at some
place on the edge of  a dead valley with
a name like Never Open Café: bar
and grille, featuring house special of
rattlesnake subs and, for the tourists,
burgers and fries, essentially the same
stuff in a different form.  He ordered
a sub that tasted like chicken heavily
spiced with hot sauce, Tabasco and jalapenos,
with a dash of red peppers that made
fire ants’ sting feel like a puppy’s nip.
Two glasses of water only made the pain
worse. Decided to have what the locals drank:
Snake Venom a sickening combination of
Mountain Dew, Hawaiian Punch with
a liberal dose rotgut white tequila,  
that was smuggled over the border
in skull and crossed bones containers
labeled as toxic chemicals, which wasn’t
far from the truth. Locals, those sexless,
shriveled creatures with skin leathered
and wrinkled by dry desert heat that had
sucked the life out of their bodies, watched,
as he ate and drank, with hooded eyes,
nictitating membranes that pulsed and
fluttered as they drank their own liquid
deaths in the afternoon. His passing,
if he had been aware of it, would have
seem odd to him, so unexpected and incongruous:
dying, at lunch, among strangers in a place
the middle of where life had once passed by
on the way to somewhere else and had always
meant to return to and establish a community
but never had gotten around to it.  No one noticed
when the end came: the unpaid guest check
on the bar amid the remains of the rattlesnake,
the venom.


The dead object in her purse
is the skinned head of a rabbit.
Seems almost innocuous, lying
there amid rumpled tissues,
apartment keys, a small wallet and
makeup items.  Innocuous that is,
compared to what will occur later,
what the head signifies in terms
of what is happening in her mind,
full, as it is, with a host of demon lovers
who take her pinned against a cracking
wall made pliable by intense heat
and all the tremors her brain has
been made to endure. Her young,
exquisite body is nowhere near as
ravaged she thinks it is, despite being
left uncovered by all those intense dreams
that removed all the outer layers of
her skin. Still she feels threatened
and marked by the unseen while all
about her, the natural world decays.

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