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 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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