Sunday, April 16, 2017


Delving into the Vicarious Mystique

Heartbroken and afraid of the mysterious,
death everywhere, surrounded by germ
warfare, rotting black plague victims flung
by catapults, malaria, yellow fever, small

Pox, napalm, dynamite, plastique, white
phosphorous, bullets, nerve gas, sarin, ricin,
fire, drones, poison, howitzers, mortars,
nuclear missiles, machetes, spears, rifles

Hey Mr. Canary, so you’re the boss, where
ever you go, there you are, you’ve done some
taboo things, the Wovoka is doing a Ghost
Dance in your honor, quietly go home, now.

--Catfish McDaris

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. He’s been in the New York Quarterly, Slipstream, Pearl, Main St. Rag, CafĂ© Review, Chiron Review, Zen Tattoo, Wormwood Review, Great Weather For Media, Silver Birch Press, and Graffiti and been nominated for 15 Pushcarts, Best of Net in 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016 he won the Uprising Award in 1999, and won the Flash Fiction Contest judged by the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2009. He was in the Louisiana Review, George Mason Univ. Press, and New Coin from Rhodes Univ. in South Africa. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His 25 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s listed in Wikipedia. Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. His ancestors are from the Aniwaya Clan of the Cherokee Nation and related to Wilma Mankiller. He’s working in a wig shop in a high crime area of Milwaukee. Bukowski’s Indian pal Dave Reeve, editor of Zen Tattoo gave Catfish McDaris his name when he spoke of wanting to quit the post office and start a catfish farm. He spent a summer shark fishing in the Sea of Cortez, built adobe houses, tamed wild horses around the Grand Canyon, worked in a zinc smelter in the panhandle of Texas, and painted flag poles in the wind. He ended at the post office in Milwaukee.

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