Catfish McDaris – 5 poems

The Eagle Killer

I made a bald eagle die
once, after McDonald’s
I was in a glass
elevator in Chicago

My wife and daughter
were with me and they
almost passed out

Well dressed women
got on the elevator,
screamed and sprayed

Perfume, that pissed me
off, so I made wind every
three floors, when we got

To Michigan Avenue the
elevator opened and an eagle
happened to be flying over-

Head, it plummeted to the
ground temporarily stunned,
the women trampled it to death.


Van Gogh Blues

Thinking about Vincent’s madness
layering paint on canvas, thick
plaster colors, mountains, valleys.

An earthquake in Italy killed 100’s.
A one year old baby was hot in
Milwaukee, he tried to climb out

A window and the window slammed
down on his little neck, killing him.
A woman put her baby in the refrigerator

To cool down, she forgot she did it, her
man comes home three hours later, goes
to get a beer and finds their dead daughter.

An eleven-year-old girl was riding her
bike, the driver hit her dragging her for
three blocks and kept on going, drunk.

Vincent, you died at thirty-seven, you
are thought of as a freak that cut off his
ear, I see you in the starry night smiling.


Necropolis Ghost Dance

A buffalo cloud sky,
good for copperheads and
turtle ants, a coyote sun
dream, peyote perfume

A Cheeto bag with a 357
inside, robbing banks slick
Mexican bandito style
while Buddha and Confucius
plays banana split with Linda

Lovelace, mosquito’s fat as
grapes from blood they’d
gorged from fellow vampires,
like Saturn Devouring His Son
by old Francisco Jose de Goya.


Fried Catfish

Made a blind lady cry
just by walking by

No jail gonna hold
old slippery catfish

Your papa man ain’t
gonna laugh, he wanna

Cook me up, rolled in
corn meal and jalapenos

In a big cast iron skillet,
needing a big distraction

Jose got his red guitar and
played some Jeff Beck

Ramona fetched some ice
cold beer, I took a gulp

The freight train moaned,
we headed north for Pierre.



Spaniard sat on the dock smoking
a cig he’d rolled, he thought about
how expensive tobacco was now,
killing yourself ought to be cheaper

He waited on trucks to arrive, so
they could be unloaded and maybe
he could catch a catnap in the sun

Spaniard’s strongman Frank loomed,
putting him in the shadows, “You’ve
met my Uncle Big Nate, he’s starting
a roofing business on the Northside.
Can you think of any catchy names?”

“How about: Niggas With Big Ham-
mers? It will draw attention, both black
and white. You could draw some soul
brothers with big hammers for business
cards, stationary, t-shirts, and logos for
trucks. Nate will clean up big time.”

“You are one crazy motherfucker.”

“I know, but that’s why we’re amigos.”


Catfish McDaris has been in more magazines, chapbooks, and broadsides than a porcupine has quills. He’s from Albuquerque and Milwaukee. Currently he’s selling wigs in a dangerous neighborhood in Milwaukee.

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