Blue Velvet, by Alan Catlin

Home Page         New Releases         Annual Chapbook Contest        Back Issues          Video

Blue Velvet, by Alan Catlin
Blue Velvet
Copyright 2017 by Alan Catlin
Cover photo by Borus Visser

"Alan Catlin is a two-fisted reality writer who has walked the walk while producing grade A material from grade B movie plots and dialogue. His poems give serious critical weight to moviemaking myths and the people who create them. Catlin gets top billing on the Bijou theatre marquee as the leading man in the land of noir."

Gene McCormick, author of Obsessions.


Poet Bio:
Alan Catlin
Sample Poems:
Angel Dust        Natural Born Killers        It Came from Outer Space

Alan Catlin

Alan Catlin Alan Catlin has been publishing for the better part of five decades. During that time he has published thousands of poems in hundreds of magazines from the mundane to the outlandish to the well-known and everything in between. In his working life he was a barman, a profession he credits with warping his mind forever and giving him a unique perspective on life. He has published over sixty full length books and chapbooks including: Last Man Standing from Lummox Press, American Odyssey from Future Cycle Press and forthcoming, Hollyweird from Night Ballet Press, which also published his Beautiful Mutants chapbook. He is the poetry editor of the online poetry magazine


Angel Dust

They lived in boarded up houses
on city blocks that said: BURN ME,
in white paint over City Code violation
notices that indicated these premises
were unfit for human habitation.
Nearby, memorials of dried flowers,
waterlogged stuffed toys, spent
candles and/or empty booze bottles,
for kids caught in gangland shootings:
friendly fire or targeted; what difference
did it make when they were dead?
These hollow-eyed tweakers, a few
pounds removed from being skeletal,
still walking, still skin popping,
rice paper thin skin, bum’s rushing
toward the end; even their ill-fitting false
teeth carrying the stench of dry rot
and disease. In extended drought,
heat-addled afternoons and nights,
they sit on what is left of collapsed
porches along these, no-overhead-lighting
streets, smoking whatever burns the few
remaining healthy cells inside, inhaling
Death as if it were the latest high
the street had to offer.

Copyright ©2017 Alan Catlin

Natural Born Killers

They’d done tours of duty in places
that didn’t have names and were no
longer on maps. What was left
of where they had been
looked like a lunar landing site after
a B-52 bombing raid with a napalm
chaser. Nothing they did was ever
even remotely official and the scars
they had accumulated were so off
the charts, plastic surgeons just smiled
and walked away.

In between assignments, they shacked up
with women whose role models were
a cross between Blaze Starr and Mata
Hari. Could drink “mucho machos” under
the table, and would still be asking for
more after. Smoked roll-your-owns with
stuff inside that either flash froze
your organs on impact, or cauterized them
closed, and with each extended inhale acted
as if they hadn’t felt a thing.

Accepting spur of the moment, it-seemed-
like-a good-idea-at-the-time challenges
from them landed more than one guy in
a federal lockdown for extended periods of
time or in an ER casualty unit that with trauma
units, so stressed, they were triaged out of
existence. Only read books with Suicide in
the title and had Goodnight Moon tattoos
on intimate places of their bodies that were
rumored to explode after extended contact.

“Keeping up with them was a real challenge,”
their wild men liked to say,” if you survived.”
R&R would never be the same after they
painted the town red then burned it down.

Copyright ©2017 Alan Catlin

It Came from Outer Space

A screaming comes across the sky,
not a Von Braun rocket, part of gravity’s
decomposing rainbow, not a meteor as
authorities inevitably proclaim but a cheesy,
glow –in-the-dark, crash landing, space craft
marooned in Arizona desert watched by
stargazing couple on clear night, no one believes.
They who go there some kind of protoplasmic,
one-eyed, see-through creature, able to body snatch
humans they replicate in form, but not in manner,
hoping for low profile helpers while repairing
damaged ship. Xenophobic citizens, being human,
seek a permanent solution, violence against the unknown,
without information gathering: they mean no harm,
but, we, for the greater good, have no interest in
explanations or arguments over intent versus accident.
One man, against all others, aids their escape,
not without fatal consequences, and life, more or less,
goes on. The world was black and white in those
days, now we are blinded by color.

Copyright ©2017 Alan Catlin