Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s been active in the small press world for 25 years. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. Catfish McDaris’ most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. He’s from Albuquerque and Milwaukee. The photo of me is after my house burned down and my dog died, the cat escaped.
Okra and Peyote
Willie came from the nasty streets
the Santa Fe R &R tracks divided
the village, whitey, brownie, blackie
Mostly ragged folks getting by,
most of the adobes were plastered
but some mud clay blocks were exposed
Willie was my primo, he grew mota, okra,
chilis, peyote, magic mushrooms, and
grapes, we hung it to dry from the vigas
In the lemon-yellow sun of enchantment,
a vato came by to pull a rip off, I put a 357
in his ear and offered to cancel his Xmas.
Anyone can be gat, look
in the good book and the
Four Horsemen of the Ap-
calypso: Pestilence, War,
Famine, Death, flying
Scorpions, nightingales, the
lady vacuumed the fireflies
from the sky, there are no
roses without bloody thorns
He reached out and broke
off a chunk of banana moon
it tasted rather bizarre, tickling
the guitar strings laughter can
be heard through the adobe
Village, coyotes, and senoritas
did the St Vitus’ dance until
the apricot pumpkin stars,
turned the clouds terracotta.
I see ears in the swirling starry night.
the sky is drunk, the sun puking lemon
juice, the moon has a toothache, the lady
asked the dope fiend to come to talk to
Jesus, he stinks of absinthe and funk.
Sometimes at night I meet
myself when I was young,
I disgust myself now
What color is the wind?
What color is an orgasm?
What color is death?
There is no sea of tranquility
There’s no such thing as a small miracle
Drinking Mexican coffee as black as death
Lady Gaga drives up in a dirty Mercury
they head to the Valley of Rhinoceroses
Listening to Swordfish Trombone and
Bitches Brew overlooking Mexico City.
The Sky is a Gun Barrel of Loneliness
you like a
to live this
Everyone Should Own One Nightmare
I stare at my daughter’s bullet
proof vest and feel the thinness
I wonder how this can stop a
bullet, it’s dangerous to be a co
Every night you worry if your
baby is safe, and wonder what
can you do to protect her, I would
step in front of a bullet in a heartbeat.