Johnny Got His Gun
— a poem by Alan Catlin

Glory Glory Hallelujah eyes
on “Some Velvet mornings
when I’m straight,” days
becoming burnt umber afternoons,
enlisting in police action war
so far overseas aircrafts can’t
go there yet.
Stowaway, sea battered steamer
trunks full of souvenirs: red arm
bands, Iron Crosses, Kaiser Wilhelm
helmets, in the trenches, through
the barbed wire, it’s into no man’s
land we go” photos. Letters home
written in dead man blood, postmarked
in hell, mustard gas scented, sealed
with C4.
Bayonets and bandoliers: don’t leave
home without them. Credit unions and
package stores, six packs and Western
Union cash; concealed weapons permits,
all the better to steal stuff with.
“John Stone’s welcome home didn’t last too long----
There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all
the money goes,” lyrics, yesterday’s ballad,
tomorrow’s truth. Semi-automatic weapons
and hand grenades; at home and abroad,
the wars go on and on and on.

Alan Catlin has been publishing since the 70’s: from the mimeos to the Internet. His last full length book of poetry is “Alien Nation.” He is currently working on a sequel under the working title, “Beautiful Mutants."