Catfish McDaris (Western Voices 2022)

Bio: Catfish McDaris has been published widely. In the Louisiana Review, George Mason Univ.Press, and New Coin from Rhodes Univ. in South Africa. His work has recently been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Mandarin, Yoruba, Bengali, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His 30 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Wild Horses Dancing 
My woman is a mountain asleep 
lying on the mirage horizon, she is 
under my skin like a vitamin, a cold  
tall can of Coors sweating between  
My legs, that ignorant oil does not love 
me, nothing is jake, makes me steal 
dance smoke funkified loco weed  
living in shadows, chasing clouds 
Bison, coyotes, jackalope, long horns 
stampeding across the chaparral, red- 
tailed hawks, roadrunners eating rattlers 
eagles with Gila monsters in their talons. 

Thoughts For Prince Corso
Known as the fourth musketeer of 
the Beatnik Kings, D’Artagnan to 
Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Burroughs 
Did a deuce for stealing a dress, put 
in Clinton, the poets’ prison of Dannemora 
self-taught word man, one of the best, saw 
Ginsberg at the Pony Stable headed west 
Met the West Coast Beats and saw Henry 
Miller, read in the nude in Los Angeles 
blowing away avant-garde minds 
Just a Minnesota lad like Dylan and Prince 
wrote “Gasoline” “The Happy Birthday 
of Death” later taught poetry in Greece 
Married Sally November and twice more, 
finally, substance abuse beat him down 
Mr. Corso was free like the wind, love 
hate happiness nothing else to live for. 

Mephisto Fandango

The dawn sunlight danced through
the prickly pear spines creating
shadows and rainbows on Ramona’s
sleeping face, she had suggested we

Use the cacti to protect us from night
creatures, I got up quietly and built a
mesquite fire, we had trout we’d caught
I rolled them in corn meal, salt, and chili

I could see Ramona’s nostrils dilated and
a smile was splitting her face, I asked her if
she had any dreams, she said no, I told her
about mine, while in the army we played

Poker in big tents, there were big snow
storms where I was stationed, the same
place as Elvis Presley, she took over the
cooking, knowing that sometimes my dreams

Were long winded, I told her we ran out of 
beer, so we sent Fatty to buy a case or two,
he got his name from being a fat boy, we 
waited and waited, finally we all went looking

For him, there he was lying in the road, with
beer cans everywhere, he was moaning and
groaning, there was a tire track across his fat
belly, we all gathered the beer, but Fatty died

“That was damn near your longest and most
boring dream story ever,” I put on some White
Stripes Seven Nation Army and Jolene, we had 
fish, danced our asses off, and smoked a phatty.

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