Waiting on Death by Alan Catlin

They always come in the bar
long after the lights have been
turned down.  The ones with no
place to go, beyond homeless,
locked out of half-way houses,
shelters. The ones escaped from
hospital beds, drunk tanks,
psychiatric wards, white bracelets
still on their wrists, stolen overcoats
over open back hospital gowns,
too large pants held up with one
palsied hand, the other on the bar
cradling shooters, small change
and rumpled dollar bills scavenged
from rifled purses, worker’s wallets,
anything left unattended where money
might be. They can barely speak,
articulate a need by finger pointing
at lower shelf brands and how they
want it: neat. They never want backs.
Are like Russian poets so weary
of life they load all the cylinders
of their pistols, spin the chambers
and pull the trigger.

Alan Catlin is a widely published poet in the US of A and elsewhere.  His most recent book is “Books of the Dead: a memoir with poetry” about the deaths of his parents.  He is a retired professional barman and the editor of the online poetry zine  misfitmagazine.net.

Alan Catlin is a widely published poet in the US of A and elsewhere. His most recent book is “Books of the Dead: a memoir with poetry” about the deaths of his parents. He is a retired professional barman and the editor of the online poetry zine misfitmagazine.net.

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