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Saturday, April 03, 2010


by Alan Catlin

overheard in an Irish tavern

"You went to Catholic
school, right?"
"Eight years."
"Me too.  Ever hear
about priests molesting
boys like you keep
hearing in the news?"
"Me neither.  They could
be pretty sadistic, though.
Beat the living hell out
of you."
"Talk about sadistic.
The nuns were the sadistic
"I hear that.  Amazing how
much damage they could do
with a three-sided ruler.
But, boy molesting, never."
"Girls, though."
"All the time."
"Times have changed."
"They sure have."

Alan Catlin's latest chapbook is a long poem, Thou Shalt Not Kill, an updating of Rexroth's seminal poem of the same name. Whereas Rexroth riffs on the abuses of the Eisenhower adminstration, the update observes abuses of power in the previous administration with particular attention to the cynical, criminal behavior towards the Katrina hurricane victims.