Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Short Shots by Alan Catlin

Short Shots
Alan Catlin
Pocket Protector Book Eight
2009 Propaganda Press

bar none, this small book of poems takes place in and around establishments related to alcohol. the after hour reeling, all the ramifications of the dead end lure. Catlin serves up each poem with the experience of one schooled in tender memory and quick shots:

“first light through
picture window
inside the bar

blood shot eyes stare
out at the straights
dressed for church

one last double shot
for the road is never

the plough and star words fill the bottomless pool Catlin draws from, his clear unapologetic rendering of situations that don‘t allow warrant a poem, but in this case, the poems fill the reader with biographical sketches. the first poem leading to all the rest:

“when I was working lounges
a lot tackier and a lot more
expensive than this bar that I was
doing time in, I used to get
girls like her tossed on general
principles rather than take the ten per
cent she and her friends gave out
for not noticing what was coming
down. maybe she still thought
all the men peed their pants just
thinking about fucking her, though
once you decided that wouldn’t
in this lifetime or another, she was
just another aging bimbo with big tits…”

for a tiny book, it is packed, full of powerful poems. and I must say I always look forward to reading what Propaganda Press will put out next. somehow the size of these chapbooks seems to offer the poets reason to be at their best.

Irene Koronas
Poetry Editor Ibbetson Street Press
Poetry Editor Wilderness House Literary Review

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