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Thursday, February 14, 2019

21 GRAMS

by Alan Catlin




“Mountains are hard to climb
thus walls are your friends.
Learn your walls.”
            —Bukowski

“We laugh at your walls.”
Drug cartel tunnel rats.
Digging from one safe house
to another safe house.
Under border fences, razor wire
enclaves, ICE patrol car roads.

“We laugh at your walls.”
Tunnels for shrink wrapped
pure. White death by the pound.
Powdered snow by the kilo.

“We laugh at your walls.”
Tunnels under prison walls.
Two and half miles of digging.
No problema.  Cell to freedom
service. “Viva El Chapo!”
Viva Empire of the Opiates,
Reign of terror Take Two.

“We laugh at your walls.”
Steel stanchion impediments
where concrete is called for.
Easily breeched by purchased
at Wal-Mart, Home Depot,
Lowe’s, metal cutting tool department.

“We laugh at your walls.”
Tunnels for coyote caravans,
pay the tolls, travel the underground
railway. “Refugees show us the green,
hombre and we deliver the goods.”

“We laugh at your walls.”
US Army supplied terror cells
of the night.  Drug enforcers,
Zeta killers, Sinaloa lackeys,
CIA trained Torquemada’s.
Slipping under barriers, walls.
Mescal high, take-no-prisoners
instructed, rape and pillage experts,
mercenaries for moola, hostile
and loathsome, heartless as
the street criminals they once were,
laughing at walls.

Find a tunnel and fill it, ten more
are dug. Once you are in The Life,
The Life is in you, there is no looking
back, no escape possible: one foot in
Sodom, the other in Gomorrah.
Not point in last wills and testaments:
no one will bury you when you are killed
unless the tunnel you are in collapses.


Alan Catlin has published dozens of chapbooks and full length books, most recently the chapbook Three Farmers on the Way to a Dance (Presa Press), a series of ekphrastic poems responding to the work of German photographer August Sander who did portraits of Germans before, during, and after both World Wars.