Monday, December 28, 2015

Alan Catlin


Rental documents for late night party
functions say: birthday party, family reunion,
anniversary surprise. Do not mention
open invitations for a few close acquaintances,
Facebook friends, Friends of Facebook friends...

All it takes for a fully operational wet bar is
a couple or three cases of booze, some mixers,
a few bags of ice, some disposable plastic cups,
a place to pile your stuff and you're good to go.
No need to check proof, provide security and all
the bullshit that goes with it.

Desperate-for-money restaurant owners, closed bars,
banquet spaces, don't ask obvious questions like
what time of night is this taking place as long as
it is after their own business closes. Licenses?
We don’t need no stinkin' licenses.

Hours of business are flexible: from well past
midnight to well any time after last call, as long as
the money for drinks holds out, or the first shooting,
whichever comes first. Not one manages to stay
open until daybreak.

Police suggest that the same people are involved
in the setups, the serial shootings, the unsolved
murders, shots fired, man down situations.
Word is out they have bolted town, now that arrests
are being made, cases assembled, witnesses interviewed.

One convicted defendant tries to make a case
that, somehow, the victim was responsible for
his death because he had two weapons on him,
was chief suspect in the unsolved Chinese restaurant
hip hop shooting, even though he never saw
the guy that took him down. The critically-
injured-by-the-same-bullet woman doesn't count.

The two life sentences he received make him
eligible for parole in 95 years when he is 125.
The hip hop murder remains an open case.
It’s four A.M. Do you know where
your parents are?

Gerald So reads "A Movable Nightclub":

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Alan confesses: "We have always lived in 'interesting neighborhoods'. The shootout referenced in the poem occurred one block from where we used to live, at a former Arthur Treacher's. Other unlikely scenes followed: Chinese restaurant hip hop party, Tip Toe Inn reopens for after hour party: one dead, another critical...Who could make this stuff up?"

ALAN CATLIN is the poetry editor of His next full length book of poems is Last Man Standing from Lummox Press

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