Alan Catlin

Alan Catlin has several new books in the works including a long series of noir movie poems concluding with three chapbooks in one book under the title Exterminating Angels from Kelsay for mid-year 2022. he also has two chapbooks coming soon as well: Satan’s Kiss from Gutter Snob ad Dream Rider from Orchard Street Press.

Irish Rovers

“Don’t put on any airs

When you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue….”

– Bob Dylan

If they had a name these guys
would be called, The Dead Before 
Death Gang.  All of them aging
badly, an average of two ex-wives,
three point one kids. All of them on
probation, or just off for no support
paid, driving without, driving under
the influence of, the whole nine yards.
All of them thought they could have
been contenders, would have made
the team if it weren’t, could have had
that job but, would have married the
girl they really loved if only. 
All of them living fill in the blanks
lives, lists of if onlys like posted
legal notices in newspapers, their
lives foreclosed long before the fat
lady sang, the time clock expired,
the summons was handed over.  
All of them knew every process
serving trick in the book, had even
invented a few themselves when they
were on the hook for a job and nothing
else was available. Washing dishes was
for wetbacks and they weren’t going there
no matter how bad it got, could never
be that desperate.  The stuff they wouldn’t
do, hated worse than their lives, could
fill volumes, Buy them a shot and a beer
				and they’ll be glad to recite the whole list.

12 Hour Shift

“Always do sober what you said

            you’d do drunk.

That will keep your mouth shut.

-Irish Proverb

Each morning the same:
waking hard, cold whiskey
in a glass, sipped straight 
down, sometimes two, anything
to stop the shaking, to quell
the voices no one else can hear,
the ones that make dreaming 
a desolation row of empty bars
and empty glasses, dead men
and women clamoring for one more
chance at last call, nightmares 
and horror shows, every place 
more empty than the last, 
panic rooms with no way out,
worn bodies and stripped spirits,
the ones in a glass and the ones
inside. Four ounces down and
staying there. This time. Hands
steady. For now. Punch a clock,
pull a beer, face the day. A drinker’s
work is never done. 

Bar Guides for the Seriously Depraved

They must stay up nights
thinking up stupid cocktails
to foist off on the young and
impressionable. Cynical shit,
made with stuff that doesn’t go
together, like: Gin, Vodka, Rum
and Rye. Partial shots of each, topped 
off with Irish crème and stirred,
served as a shooter and given
gross names with sexual connotations,
knowing full well that the name will sell
the drink and all they will taste is
Irish crème until they chuck it all up.
None of the names will turn up in
an over-the-counter bar guide:
Bloody Orgasms, Blow Jobs, Blow Jobs
with Extra Tongue, Purple Jesus 
Motherfuckers. Cumshots, we call them 
in the trade, and I’m willing to bet there 
is some slick, greasy, smartass fuck in NYC
who’s taking all the credit for inventing
the trend.  If there is, and someone finds him:
this Between the Eyes with a Silver Bullet
is for him.   

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