Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Three Poems by Catfish McDaris

Life and Death Got in the Way

Flying in a tumble like a projectile

Like an elephant stampede


I taste the words that fell

From your breath


I drink the rain from

Your treetop gardens


Bouncing through all

Perceptions of reality


Swallowing words with ears

And eyes and mouth


Scrutinizing reconnoitering 

Until touched exuberated comatose


I will cry into your hands and hair

Tears of blood and mercury


Fucked to life

Then fucked to death.



Yesterday’s Miracle


Fucked if you’re hot fucked if you’re cold

Fucked if you’re poor or own a ton of gold


Fucked if you’re skinny or real fucking fat

Fucked if you’re pissing and get bit by a rat


Fucked if you love fucked if you hate

Fucked if you’re hungry fucked if you just ate


Fucked if you’re a stinking drunk craving wine

Fucked if you’re sober as fuck walking the line


Fucked if you make windshield wipers

Fucked if you’re a baby with shitty diapers


Fucked if you’re taking or leaving a shit

Fucked when the bong comes and you take a big hit


Fucked when you suck a glass dick full of crack

Fucked when your mama lays on her back


Fucked when the coppers slap you in a cage

Fucked when your life book is missing a page


Fucked when you die and only the worms cry.



Cherokee Rose


Prolonging the heartbreak, baby 

baby, your love leaves me on a  

ten story ledge watching the side 

walk artists below creating master- 


Pieces vanishing in the rain, they 

smile like hundred-dollar bills are 

pouring down, they know that every 

thing is temporary even blossoms 


Floating on the xeric wind, apricots 

and nectarines make fiery love and 

replace the sun in the cinnamon sky, 

watching a video of Tommy Castro 


And the Painkillers, play his song,  

Ride, pretty ladies dancing, while he 

Kerouac struts past City Lights Books, 

keeping me alive like a Cherokee Rose. 



Bio: Catfish McDaris’ most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. His best readings were in Paris at the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore and with Jimmy"the ghost of Hendrix"Spencer in NYC on 42nd St. He’s done over 25 chaps in the last 25 years. He’s been in the New York Quarterly, Slipstream, Pearl, Main St. Rag, Café Review, Chiron Review, Zen Tattoo, Wormwood Review, Great Weather For Media, Silver Birch Press, and Graffiti and been nominated for 15 Pushcarts, Best of Net in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017 he won the Uprising Award in 1999, and won the Flash Fiction Contest judged by the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2009. He was in the Louisiana Review, George Mason Univ. Press, and New Coin from Rhodes Univ. in South Africa. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His 25 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Bukowski’s Indian pal Dave Reeve, editor of Zen Tattoo gave Catfish McDaris his name when he spoke of wanting to quit the post office and start a catfish farm. He spent a summer shark fishing in the Sea of Cortez, built adobe houses, tamed wild horses around the Grand Canyon, worked in a zinc smelter in the panhandle of Texas, and painted flag poles in the wind. He ended at the post office in Milwaukee. Just missed the cut on a 2021 Pulitzer.


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