Murder, My Sweet by Alan Catlin

They called themselves freelancers,
stringers for some murder tourist rag
that imagined human suffering and
atrocity exhibitions were the last pure
sensations left to man. Preferably
copiously illustrated in lurid colors,
the more graphic the better.

Have passports stamped at every hot spot
on the planet as if they were hop scotching
to every danger zone in a race against time
to see who could rack up the most frequent
flyer miles, to the most inhospitable places.

A few weeks in a remote outback, or
a jungle wattle and daub hut, and they
would be willing to sell their souls for
an eight pack of pre-made Slippery Nipple
shooters. Consorted with all the local gangsters,
professional killer, and pallbearers, free
basing coke and, whatever else was on the
menu, in an attempt blend in. Reported on
places so bleak, in a style so gonzo/ whacked
out, it was almost impossible to read, but on they
went and their assignments tripled.  Ended up
somewhere the whores all had black roots
growing out as all the peroxide had gone to
treating the wounded, and there were always
more wounded than any makeshift clinic
could handle.

Said sex under fire was the hottest ever.
Nothing was a bigger turn on than imminent
death, assuming they would cruise through
unscathed, just as they had everywhere else.
Amazing how wrong a person could be about
a simple thing like that.

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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