Alan Catlin

The Sweet Life

Twenty-four seven slow motion
strip tease soirees and the neon
palaces they take place in.
Brooks Brothers bandits with ring
finger tan lines, nose candy nostrils,
late model Beamers in valet parking
lots staffed by parking lot hot jocks,
one conviction shy of a life without
hope of parole. On the take flat feet,
lap dancers with social diseases,
extended families to feed.
Broke down bouncers one steroid
shot from brittle bone mass reduction,
small ball syndrome. Been-there-done-
that-fuck-the t-shirts waitresses and
the bartenders that serve them.
Jukebox junkies, spinning platters
for brains, collapsed veins and blood
blisters the road map for the immediate
past, the near future, up against a hasn’t-
been-cleaned-in-years bathroom wall.
The happy-days-are-here-again, all major
credit cards accepted, hookers and their
maxed out johns one orgasm away from
a not-so-happy overdose death. The bad
debt bail skip collectors and their heavily
armed, concealed weapon permitted
henchmen. The lower depths beneath
the main rooms no one admits exist though
everyone knows, would go there if they
could. The tits-up-in-hell staff that works
there and the music that they play, always
one dirge short of a requiem mass.
Here, where home is, where they hang
the hats, the privileged few, the ones who
come, and the ones who can never go.

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