Came Up Through The Slums Of The Mind by Alan Catlin

Through the steam rising from street
sewer grates, toxic as clouds of
poisoned gas; through the hollow frames
of bombed out hotels; over rubble piles
slick with rainbow oil, acidic rain,
splatters of blood; around the sharpened
edges of buildings, red crosses on
blackened borders between hospital
beds and death; down ravaged steps,
stalled escalators into underground
tunnels; onto tracks without trains,
permanently stalled between stops;
behind the bars of bent cages,
wrought iron made elastic by intense
focus of acetylene heat; on odd-angled
bar stools facing a counter in aptly
named Paradise Lost Bar and Grill
ordering a drink and meal that never comes.

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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