Catfish McDaris (Western Voices 2023)

Bio: Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s been active in the small press world for 30 years. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. Catfish McDaris’ most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. He’s from Albuquerque and Milwaukee.


Mexican Love

for Aida


I never knew why you

came back or why you



Just be my eternal



Emiliano Zapata emptied

his pistols into his



I listened to the silence

and it listened back.



Mezcaline Fireflies 

Vanilla mezcal in the indigo sky 

fireflies make love and war high 


Frida cut off her long ebony hair 

and threw the tendrils to the wind 


Diego wept blood seeing his lady in 

a man’s suit a monkey on her shoulder 


The hair took root and grew as peyote  

cacti orange and lime trees figs grapes 


The wind stole the hair and spread it all 

over the world Mexican wisdom paint 


A wounded deer punctured by arrows at 

Casa Azul her heaven she will never die.



Van Gogh and Miles Davis

I see ears in the swirling starry night. 
The sky is drunk, the sun puking lemon 
juice, the moon has a toothache, the lady 
asked the dope fiend to come to talk to 

Jesus, he stinks of absinthe and funk. 

Sometimes at night I meet 
myself when I was young, 
I disgust myself now 

What color is the wind? 
What color is an orgasm? 
What color is death? 

There is no sea of tranquility 

There’s no such thing as a small miracle 

Drinking Mexican coffee as black as death 
Lady Gaga drives up in a dirty Mercury, 
they head to the Valley of Rhinoceroses 

Listening to Swordfish Trombone and 
Bitches Brew overlooking Mexico City. 


1 comment :

  1. I enjoyed the spontaneity of your poems, and the originality esp of the final one.


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