Carbon Based Mistake by Alan Catlin

Everything about him said:
Carbon Based Mistake.
Had a face that looked as if it
had been used as a speed bag
by heavyweight contenders.
Had a body gone soft from
misuse: chemicals and beer.
Wore sweats that said Palookaville U
and no one doubted that aptness
of the logo thinking, “Maybe it
was a family name.”
Was the kind of husband whose
starter wife killed herself and
the first born male child followed
suit once he realized heredity
was destiny.  Had better luck
with the second wife who lasted
six years before leaving town with
anything that could be converted
into cash. Was last heard from in
Parts Unknown.  The third woman
proved that experience was not
the best teacher. Finally, hooked up
with the one who would last,
a woman who could stop traffic in
both directions for all the wrong reasons.
Spent the rest of his working life
in the wash and wear business,
laundering money for shaky silent
partners. Even briefly fronted
a restaurant that got reviews like,
“They somehow managed to perfect
the difficult act of cooking a chicken
so that it could retain all its fat and
juices just beneath the skin.”
A sure recipe for disaster.
Stick with what you know.

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

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