Odd Ball by Alan Catlin

“I wait the resurrection of the dead
the way other people await weekend
football.”  Charles Baxter

The church, if that’s what you wanted
to call it, was a shack with electricity.
Had folding chairs for the faithful,
the drunks, and the infirm who wandered
in, not sure what awaited them inside.
Has a brass spittoon for “Donations
Gratefully Accepted” though it rarely
felt the rattle of spare change. The self-styled,
right reverend proprietor called himself,
Preacher Ball, formerly known as Odd Ball,
in a previous life as a predicate felon.
Had a rap sheet longer than the
10 Commandments, most of which he
had broken on more than one occasion.
Liked to say, “I lived the lyrics of a Johnny
Cash song, killed folks just to watch them
die, now I try to save their immortal souls.”
Wore his violent past on his skin, intravenous
drug use scars over collapsed veins,
the hieroglyphics of a user’s life.
Was illustrated with profane images everywhere
the scars were not; two lives superimposed
on each other as if he were a human palimpsest,
madness rampant in his still dead eyes.

Alan Catlin
Alan Catlin is the poetry editor of misfitmagazine.net. His latest books of poetry are American Odyssey from Future Cycle and Last Man Standing from Lummox Press

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