“The old man in the window, what’s the deal with him?” by Alan Catlin

“I put a spell on you.”
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

The power of his delusions
could be traced to one too
many nights spent in Voodoo
Lounges drinking flaming shots
of tequila azul and mescal,
always demanding the worm
at the bottom of the bottle he
chewed into small pieces that
reproduced in his wet brain
until all the grey matter looked
like wormwood gone to a dry rot
that stank of cactus pulp and corpse
flowers in full bloom. His life
was about what you would expect
from a guy who began his career
as a poster child for Death,
with naturally concave cheeks,
purple lips and snake bitten eyes
that came from parents who played
with reptiles and who fucked on
the floor under a blood red moon,
the curse of a wronged woman upon
them. Still, even now, when the visions
overcame him, he could speak in
tongues with such conviction and
unbridled emotion, he could hold
an enormous room captive, make
the people inside, inert as living things
in dead bodies, their eyes affixed on
who knew what.

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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