Alan Catlin

Holiday Spirits


The after Christmas parties

are the sordid ones, all that

desperation and fear, trying

to hook up with last remaining

unconnected female/male standing

before time is called, the occasion

turning chronological adults into

morons, acting out their inner

child with party favors, dance steps,

noise makers, silly hats they wouldn’t

be seen in the same room with eleven

months of the year, soul kissing complete

strangers, all reticence abandoned,

drowned by designer cocktails, cheap

champagne, participating in crowd

noise making activities that ordinarily

would be associated with a riot in progress

but is regarded as normal at this moment,

as the party goes on.  Heedless to the outcome,

willing, even eager to drive after, to participate

in the human bumper car/pinball game,

contest of life at high speeds on four lane

freeways, tote board scores tallied by spinning

lights: the red, the blue and the white, dead lucky

to wake up at all on the floor, half-naked  under

the overturned artificial tree, the dog barking at

the door, frantic to get out.

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