Catfish McDaris: Four Poems

Catfish McDaris – his most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. His best readings were in Paris at the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore and with Jimmy “the ghost of Hendrix” Spencer in NYC on 42nd St. He’s done over 25 chaps in the last 25 years. He’s been in the New York Quarterly, Slipstream, Pearl, Main St. Rag, Café Review, Chiron Review, Zen Tattoo, Wormwood Review, Great Weather For Media, Silver Birch Press, and Graffiti.

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Dreaming of Paris

Intense sheer walls painted
hyacinth and saffron with
brushstrokes of scarlet sulfur

Searching for silver spoon to
make sotol and datura for sun
tea and going on a magic trip

Dangerous peacocks in a raspberry
sky, green sleeping ducks by the
cattail forest and melodic stream

Rainbow cutthroat trout leaping
for the gnat hatch, fat frogs burping,
loons and cranes on stilts hunting

Vincent thought about the dancer
at the Crazy Horse and how she’d
asked him to steal a Van Gogh,
he painted her one instead.


The Blue Throat of Day

Coltrane in the Van Gogh rain,
“Hey Fish, what you working on?”
my boss, Big Joe Cocomo asked
he was from Texas, my black pals

At work loved me being a writer,
I showed my latest to Joe, he said,
“You like Trane?” I nodded yes
“What are your favorite songs he

Plays?” “Lazy Bird and The Night
Has a Thousand Eyes” “You must
have taken beaucoup acid, back in
the day? Who’s your sketch of?”

“Vincent Willem van Gogh” “Not
bad kid” we both laughed, since I
was twice his age, back to Gauguin,
he lopped off Vincent’s ear with his

Sword during an argument, they
agreed to say it was self-mutilation,
to keep Gauguin out of prison, van
Gogh never recovered his rationality.


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 swirling starry night.


Van Gogh’s Ear Is Full of Beer 

The sky was drunk, the sun puked lemon
juice, the moon had a toothache, the lady
asked the dope fiend to come to talk to
Jesus, he smelled of absinthe and funk.

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