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Alan Catlin

alcatlinphotoAlan Catlin has been publishing for five decades. His most recent full length collections are Asylum Garden after Van Gogh from Dos Madres and Lessons in Darkness from Luchador Press. He also recently released a chapbook on the pianist Glenn Gould called The Idea of North



Untitled #2

If hell has a take a number
system where you will wait
in a common room
for an interview
That waiting area would
look like this:
An asylum morning room
with scuffed industrial
strength tile floor
molded plastic chairs
for the young men endlessly
for those gone-eyed humans
hugging themselves
as they compulsively sway,
moaning as they go
back and forth
back and forth
And chairs for the men
who balance them on
their feet as they lie
on the floor
maniacally laughing
even as the inevitable
chair fall
that splits swollen lips
And a chair for the woman
of no discernible age
wearing a pressed dress
standing guard over the little
red wagon
the kind of wagon kids use
to gather toys and dirt
and the refuse of life
So much depends on that
little red wagon
that signifies no more
than it actually is
Chances are
where you wait
that your number
will never be called
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