Working the Graveyard Shift That Never Ends: A David Bowie Tribute Poem by Alan Catlin

Despite the passage of some thirty
years between then and now, a part
of me is still standing behind a bar,
chairs turned legs up on back room
café tables. most of the bar stools,
likewise on the wood, lights turned
all the way down, nothing moving but
the MTV videos on solid state screen.
Waiting as if in some Vonnegut,
Slaughterhouse Five timeslip or
PK Dick alternative reality, or down
a Donnie Darko wormhole, maintenance
drinking pints of Bass Ale, shots of scotch
on the half hours that seem to move further
and further apart, one David Bowie video
away from letting go, one Annie Lennox
otherworldly face and eyes and voice,
from Sweet Dreams Are Made of This….
Bowie the king of endless night with
his China Girl blood smear, atomic bomb
explosions: Hiroshima Now, Nagasaki
Later eyes, his Let’s Dance with the man
in the white suit, temporarily forestalling
Death, morphing into a lounge lizard
and the silence that follows after; one,
maybe, two drinks from total self-abnegation,
of Socratic paralysis, of accepting the eternal No
of a life permanently out of time.

acatlin multi

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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