Alan Catlin

Dancing with Lunatics

Somewhere off road, just this side
of Hell’s half acre, seen-better-days
dancehall, low lit by whale oil lamps
and tall candles, overhead ceiling fans
swat the June bugs, the industrial sized
black flies, the death-disease-carrying
mosquitoes. All the chosen daughters of
Cain lined up against the interior walls
in long lines, all of them possessed:
the half-Shaker women, the half witches of Salem
on a pre-flight, pre-haunting jaunt,
cool to touch as something newly rescued
from the grave.
Bleeding ear music alternates between
heavy death metal and country western fiddle
fests, players wasted on pure white
lightning in a jar or one toke removed
from total catatonic state.
Master of ceremonies hard core mumble porn
at the mike, suggests partnering in liquid
vanilla pentangle pairs to,
“that old black magic that you weave so well,
those icy fingers up and down my spine,”
dance to the music of time, where it stops
no one knows.


Alan Catlin has been publishing since the seventies.  He doesn’t like to think how long that is and how much paper that has involved.  His most recent book is Alien Nation. He is a member in good standing of Albany Poets and poetry editor of the online magazine

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