SPOTLIGHT: ‘Memories’, the new poetry collection from Alan Catlin

Alan Catlin’s Memories is a dream book that leaps from right now to way back. In short, bursting vignettes he lets his mind and words play across memory and all the randomness memory triggers. From an opium dream to Candace Bergen, from a side glance at racial tensions to a parting glance at Mrs. Robinson, Catlin floats his readers down a stream of memory bubbles, then reaches up and pulls them into a fractured world beneath the surface. This book exhilarates with startling images and jazzy, jagged cadences.

-Mike James, author of Jumping Drawbridges in Technicolor and Parades


Sleeping with Jim Morrison. Not a religious

experience. Said Eve Babitz. She would

know. Knew him when.  New word-Zuihitsu.

means writing by following the brush. How

about by following the thought. Wherever.

Whatever. Along The Narrow Road to the Interior.

I guess. No evident meaning. Asleep, I am, on

my pillow book. Not the movie. Maybe my life.

Definitely not a Draughtsman Contract.

I apologize for the eyes in my head. I dare

you to spell Komunyakaa twice fast. Once.

Oh the trouble I have seen. In my interior

journal. The brush is wet. Light my fire.


Can’t wake up. My pillow book is so

aggressive.  Inscribing pictures of Breughel

on my skin. Not tattoos. Not an illustrative

man. A motion picture. Skin movies.

Theaters of the mind. Coming soon.

Not as good as real sex. Or as bad.


Dreamed I was in the Crazy Horse

Gift Shop.  They only showed Fassbinder

films. Love is colder than death.  Sleeping

with my doll Freckles.  Like something

from Anne Rice.  She collects them. Not

freckles. Dolls.  Always sleeping. The dolls

are. Like you wish babies would do. Go the

Fuck to Sleep. The ceramic ones. Dolls again.

One eye open. The other closed.  Eerie.

Like the lake.  The city. In the end fear eats

the soul.  Ask Carole Maso and her Chinese Hat.


They said all of them had lungs like

Brillo pads.  The legionnaires. They

didn’t look like the ones you saw in

movies. Like Akerman. Domesticity

never looked so domestic. After her

mother died she killed herself. Poor

Chantal. Long panning shots of buildings.

Folks walking about doing shit. Like

they always do. Did. Factories where

they used to work. Warehouses. Empty.

Derelict. Spinoza Decline and Fall.

Waugh. Evelyn or Evelyn. The only

rush hour is to the bars. Now serving

seven kinds of Satan’s Brew. Only

desolation angels are allowed to drink there.


Blue. Blue sky. Blue phase. Like

Picasso. Red roses for a blue lady.

Tangled up in blue. Blue Cheer.

Blues in f. Miles Davis. Kind of Blue.

Blue Angel. Bluets. Blue Tongue. Blue

baby. Vida Blue. Prussian Blue.

The Bluest Eye. Blue Cheese. Blue

blood. Blue collar. Blue bottle fly.

Blue law. Once in a blue moon. Blue

grass. Blue Whale. Blue frog. I’m in

love with. Blue tick. Blue flu. Blue

book. Bluebeard. Blue balls. On a

field of Blue. Blue Tattoo.


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