Alan Catlin

Zendeath in the Washington Tavern


Having him around,
while otherwise alone
in the bar, three hours
past midnight, was like
living my own Zendeath
poem. Any minute I
expected him to punch in
his favorite Golden Oldies
on the retro juke for mood
music: All Those People
Who Died by Jim Boy Carroll,
Talking Heads, Burning Down
the House, This Wheel's On
Fire by Bobby D and The Band---
I thought about asking him
where he'd found my numbers
for The Koresh Chorus:all
those songs with Fire in
the title, played once a year
on the anniversary of Waco,
but decided he wouldn't get
it, that he was more interested
in hitting the head to use his
gear before a fatal crash.
I could see he was cruising
for the Land of Nod, his wasted,
emaciated frame, way too
old for how many years he'd
spent in decaying orbits around
earth, a hot wired Jim Carroll
Creature on the last laps
of a mechanical dream, his black
tickets punched, as he reached
for a stage microphone that would
never be there to sing along
with The Catholic Boy,
"It's too late, to fall in love

with Sharon Tate-----"

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