“Dead Friends, Dead Days, Dead Loves” by Alan Catlin

The scene was like stepping
inside a Russian novel, one like
The House of the Dead,
like Cancer Ward or like the
Gulag Archipelago primed.
Novels filled with characters
who were not quite dead yet
but who wished they were.
Characters who had woken up in
some place even worse that a
death house, spirits all around,
heavily armed with instruments
of torture, more Medieval,
more primitive, than anything
a Spanish Inquisition could have
devised.  Lights inside this
place were incredibly bright,
flashing on and off at random,
timed intervals, fit inducing,
intense, accompanied by
ear-bleeding loud, Post-Industrial
Death Metal Music, alternating
with monotonal nonsense words,
spoken as if they were recitations
from some made-up-on-the-spot
satanic language uttered by fifty
shades of dead demons, their controllers
all in black leather suits trying to
induce everyone inside to reveal
secrets they might have once known
but no longer applied to anything
in this life. Not that what was said
was important, it is the process that
is important, not the actual message.
And to think, you came here of
your own free will, sauntered up
to the bar, and ordered a specialty-
of-the-house, drink, and twenty years
later, here you are, wondering of
there is any point in wanting to leave
to even dream of ever being anywhere else.

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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