“Carnage” by Catfish McDaris

All his life Quick heard bizarre rumors about his father. He remembered the tiny town in Oklahoma where his father was from. There were oil wells everywhere, even right in the middle of Main St. The wells resembled metal Pterodactyls sucking up black dinosaur blood. Johnny, Quick’s dad was wounded nineteen times by Japanese machinegun fire in World War 2. Lucky for him they had run out of lead and had to use wood projectiles. Johnny’s legs and buttocks looked like chunks of raw hamburger. He caught malaria on the Bataan Death March in the Philippines. Every six months, he’d go into a bad spell trance. Quick loved him and used to make up stories about him. He said, “Time stood still for the man that didn’t sleep. You could cheat death in a game of Texas Hold ‘em and the gold will keep stacking up, until the table legs get weak. Sometimes after these lies I tell, my tongue grows so long I bite it bloody while trying to eat.” Then he’d take an afternoon siesta. Once Quick woke up in a canyon valley full of extinct creatures. The earth tremble like it was in agony. A Tyrannosaurus Rex was eating a Brontosaurus like a steam shovel scooping bloody coal into its gigantic mouth. There were roars from all four directions. Two Triceratops were goring each other with entrails streaming red carnage on their hooked heads. Quick had to escape this sleep induced madness. He leaped onto the back of a flying Quetzalcoatlus. They flew out of the ravine high into the snow covered mountains. ♦

Catfish McDaris’ 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. Catfish McDaris won the The- lonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s recently been translated into many languages including Spanish, French, and Polish. His 25 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.



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