Catfish McDaris

Prolonging the heartbreak, baby
baby, your love leaves me on a
ten story ledge watching the side
walk artists below creating master-

Pieces vanishing in the rain, they
smile like hundred dollar bills are
pouring down, they know that every
thing is temporary even blossoms

Floating on the xeric wind, apricots
and nectarines make fiery love and
replace the sun in the cinnamon sky,
watching a video of Tommy Castro

And the Painkillers, play his song,
Ride, pretty ladies dancing, while
Kerouac struts past City Lights Books,
keeping me alive like a Cherokee Rose.
*The Trail of Tears, which started in 1838, was named for the mothers of the Cherokee, who cried as they marched because they were unable to do much to help their children survive the journey. Along the way one day, the elders prayed for a sign that would lift the mother’s spirits and give them strength -- and the next day a beautiful rose began to grow where each of the mother’s tears fell. The rose was white for their tears; there was a gold center, representing the gold taken from Cherokee lands; and each rose had seven leaves on each stem, for the seven Cherokee clans. This is the wild Cherokee Rose, and to this day, it grows along the route of the Trail of Tears into eastern Oklahoma. Source: The Cherokee 1994 Heritage Calendar by Dorothy Sullivan, Memoray Circle Studio, Norman, Ok.



CATFISH MCDARIS won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s been active in the small press world for 25 years. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto.