Thursday 3 February 2022

Four Sublime Poems by Alan Catlin

 



Southern Gothic: A Romance after Sally Mann:

            Antietam (Black Sun)

 

Your eyes want to supply

colour to a black sun setting

 

over a field of black:

phantom reds assaulting

 

a splayed horizon leaking

orange turning yellow

 

at the edges where the darkness

is now, where colour is meant to die.


 

Southern Gothic: A Romance after Sally Mann:

            “Pensive as the dead gazing” (“The Turn”)

 

The maybe-sleeping man walks

as if entranced toward receding

 

lake shore; wavelets breeze riffled

at dusk. Though solid, he seems

 

amorphous as a smear of cloud

marring the image, threatening

 

to engulf the man and all the unreal

objects cluttering the shallow banks.



                                    Southern Gothic: A Romance after Sally Mann:

            “Blackwater”

 

Blackwater under overhanging

canopy of cypress. Branches and

 

moss wreathes like crepe cloaks

sparring in the crepuscular light

 

to be seen. You can almost smell

the rot of it: the vegetal/animal stench

 

ever present as memories

of the lost ones fade; the maroons,

 

so long ago drowned and forgotten.


 

Southern Gothic: A Romance after Sally Mann:

            Blackwater (“Valentine Windsor”)

 

At dusk the waning, washed out

sky becomes a stretched canvas

 

the waking dead inscribe their

names on. Blackwater seeps between

 

sagging peers, the wasted pillars

of a burned-out manor home;

 

the slave quarters not even a memory now.



Alan Catlin has been publishing for parts of six decades Forthcoming is a chapbook from Gitter Snob, Satan's Kiss and a full-length book of movie poems from Kelsay, Exterminating Angels.

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