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Thursday, August 05, 2010


by Alan Catlin

Muscular workers with hard hats,
stained short-sleeved shorts and filthy
jeans, men hunched in corners of
a view of the Gulf, bracketing discolored
ultramarine water slick with residues of
oil, deserted and working rigs, large
metal protrusions thrust upward
into early morning fog, objects from
a nightmare of exploitation and greed.
Vivid streaks of unnatural color, fireball
red, orange, yellow, create new horizons;
even the water burning.

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.