alan catlin


Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Watching the tv news as
he sits on his favorite bar
stool, he is the most
vociferous voice against
M.A.D.D., “Bunch of
left coast, left wing, high
and mighty, lesbian bitches.
What right have they to
pass laws targeting us?
Who do they think they are?
And the newspapers are just
as bad, printing names of
people stopped for field
tests. What ever happened
to innocent until proven
guilty?” Words spoken like
the true believer he was,
whose three DW I’s we knew
about, averaged around 2.5—
telling him the women in
the organization he so deplores
all lost close relatives to
accidents caused by people
under the influence has no effect
whatsoever, “They should all
be home reading Hilary’s book
with their mouths duct taped
shut, every last one of those
commie bitches. “No one comments
as no one really wants to hear-
his sure to follow- endless brag about
how he weaseled out of his first two
by changing the name on his
license, in those good old days,
before driving records were totally
computerized. Or about how his
second wife never stopped whining
about having to pick him up
after work, drunk on his ass, at
the bar during his one year
bender while his license was
revoked. For all the abuse he
dumped on her, you’d think it
was her fault he got nailed way
over the legal limit. His rant
over for the minute, he slides
his empty Bud pint class forward
with the exact change for a refill,
weaves his way to the head, busily
working on ways to keep pushing
those limits as far as they will go.


The Patron

Wheezing and waddling
her way into the library,
shopping bags stuffed to
overflowing with out of
season clothing: wadded
formerly white sweaters,
winter garments and wool
socks, sweat dripping down
her flushed face, beneath
eyeglasses sliding well down
her nose, she collapses in
the first available chair,
deep breathing as a whale out
of water as the desk person
states, “You can’t rest here.
This area is for people who
need to apply for a new card.”
to which she replies,
“Do you have a paper or
plastic bag handy? I think
I’m going to be sick.”
“I’m sorry, you can’t just
come in here like this
unless you are actually going
to use the library.”
“Ok, which way to the rest
“That’s not what I meant.”
“That’s all right, I think
I know where they are.
I don’t think I can walk that
far, can you help me or is
there a wheelchair available?”
The longer she sits the more
immovable, the more inexorable
she becomes.


alan catlin


     Alan Catlin has been tending bar in the semi-legendary Washington Tavern in Albany New York for longer than he cares to admit and for more time than most of the people he works with have been alive (roughly twenty two years) He's been publishing for over twenty five years and recently published The Leper's Kiss, fourth volume of the Killer Drink series available from Four Sep or from the author.

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