Streetwise by Alan Catlin

Hanging by the graffiti wall: gang slogans,
dead kids walking, “I was here” magic
marker art, spray paint declaration against
The Man, the state, authority of any sort.
Instructions on where to hook up,
where the squats are, who’s a narc and
who isn’t.  Teenaged hookers with their,
who-can-afford-child-care- kids.
Pimps like munchkins with knife fight
scars.  The ones almost of age, too old
to be here, packing heat, 45’s concealed
inside loose fitting bomber jackets, wear
hats that say: BFD. Everyone on the street
knows that means: Big Fucking Deal
or else they shouldn’t be here or dead.
No one has any money, everyone smokes,
is hooked on something, everyone might
die tomorrow, but, today, this is the life,
this is really living.

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


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