Alan Catlin

Pulp Fiction (2)

They liked classic rock n roll,
especially The Killer at the keyboard,
hopped on So Co and underage girls;
did drive-bys instead of drive-ins,
coke in lines but not the fizzy kind
that comes in bottles and cans;
were into the eye for an eye,
Old Testament vengeance tour
but not into turning the other cheek;
understood the Solomon solution
of cutting someone in half to solve
a complex problem but not the Psalms of;
had a heavy Chevy, cherry red ride
modified to motor, white walls and
a plastic jesus on the dash, a curl of
mardi gras love beads around the rear
view; liked surf music on the sound
around: Beach Boys and Ventures,
Dell Shannon and The Searchers,
needles and pins on tape and in their
eyebrows and arms, eyes like marble suns
setting into a blood red sea.


Finding Mr. Goodbar

Most of the bars she spent time in
had signs that said, ”Don’t Leave
Your Valuables Unattended-
Management Assumes No Liability
For Lost or Stolen Items”.
Not that anyone could read, or
would read, a sign that didn’t have
discount drink prices listed.
After a couple of trips to the Ladies
she asked one of the older women,
someone who could, maybe, be thirty,
why all the girls brought their drinks
with them to the bathroom?
“Honey, in a place like this one,
the last thing you want to do is leave
a beverage handy so some guy can drop
something in it. Takes all the work
out of scoring for them, but I can assure
you, honey, you don’t want to go there.
Waking up on a concrete floor somewhere,
in a puddle of piss, no jeans, panties ripped
to shit, no phone, not a dime for a call
or a cab, gives new meaning to the term,
Wasted. Long necks work for me just fine.
They’re nice and portable and, in a pinch,
make a mighty fine weapon.”
She thought about the scrum of industrial
strength losers flexing their muscles at
the bar, the easy access to date rape drugs,
and how, for a double sawbuck, you could
convince a bartender to look the other way,
develop hysterical blindness, or do the drop in
deed himself. Thought about how she might
wake up, if she was lucky, face to face with
Mr. Goodbar, a straight razor clenched
between his teeth.


Alan CatlinAlan Catlin has been publishing for five decades. That and two dollars will get you from Schenectady, where he lives and writes, to Albany, where he used to work as a bartender and often reads. His latest full-length poetry books are Last Man Standing from Lummox Press and American Odyssey from Future Cycle Press. His chapbook, Blue Velvet, won the 2017 Slipstream Chapbook Award.

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