Alan Catlin

Brain Drain

“It was like being in hell -the stage version.”
Marianne Faithful

She wants to whistle
the mad chords of
‘All Along the Watchtower’
but the tune sticks
to the gummed edges
of her cracked teeth
broken by the fist
of a male nurse
who caught her sneaking
a stash of blow onto
the closed ward of
an enforced, involuntary
detox, “Getting clean is
easy,” she says, ‘All you
need is ten blankets and
a rubber room to freak in,
the first seven days
of the shakes.” Staying
clean is the hard work,
especially with no known
reason not to live the life
of a Honky Tonk Angel
hooked on the smoke,
the pills and juice that
gives your singing voice
all that character none
of the others have.

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