Monday, June 30, 2014

Catfish McDaris


For Tony Szolwinski -- gone, but never forgotten.

Tony was 93, he used to box
all through World War 2, he
punched & fought, fists & guns

As he got older, he liked wood
working, building bird houses,
carving fishing lures & ducks

He taught me to find mushrooms,
how to use certain tools, & how
to throw a punch & dodge one

Tony called me & said he had a
problem, he needed my help with,
I came immediately, there were
2 knocked out cold black guys

Bleeding on his kitchen floor, he
said he’d been working in his shop
in the basement & these 2 bastards
were eating his oxtail soup

They’d told Tony, to hit the road
before they whipped his ass,
Tony hit them with a deluge

He wanted me to help drag them
outside & clean up their blood,
before his wife got home from bingo

I called the cops, Lorraine, Tony's
wife got home from church & took
one look & hit the ceiling, I tried to

Slip out & make a clean get away,
that's when I was told I was a bad
influence, the cops looked at Tony
& I & we all cracked up laughing.

Steve Peacock reads "Left Hook Tony":

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Catfish confesses: "Tony Szolwinski was my neighbor for 15 years. He was a tough old bird, that died in March 2014. Tony had three sons that all hated each other, each of them had names that started with R. I asked him what if he would've had a fourth son. Tony said he'd name him Rumplestiltskin. I miss my friend."

CATFISH MCDARIS has been published widely, in The Louisiana Review, George Mason University Press, and New Coin from Rhodes University in South Africa. He's recently been translated into French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His twenty-five years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Steve Peacock said...

Love this piece! What a treat to read aloud for The Five-Two.

Ppigpenn said...

Thanks for the great reading Mr. Peacock & thank you Mr. So.

later amigos, Catfish